Some people may find this a difficult or disturbing subject matter involving animals; please be advised.
Banning Jewish Practice (Randyjw; April 2, 2017)
Kosher slaughter of animals, or “sh’chita”, has been practiced for several thousand years, based on commands and interpretations of the laws governing Jewish practice. These rulings were provided by G-d, and are part and parcel of the Jewish faith, which we are commanded to keep (although the liberal Reform denomination of Judaism does not keep the ritualistic aspects of certain of these commands — but, this is a small number of the totality of all Jews).
The many laws must be followed by the expert Jewish butcher, or “shochet”, to follow the exacting guidelines so that the resultant cut of meat from a “fit” species will still be “fit” for consumption (“kosher”) when slaughtered. The practices are based on the laws of the Torah, which lays out the determining factors whether the creature, whether animal, fowl, fish or creeping thing is allowed among the “clean” ones determined by G-d to be fit for consumption.
While some people might presume that the “cleanliness” of an animal is based on its diet or hygiene, such that the prohibition against shellfish might be presumed in place due to the predominance of a mostly bottom-feeding diet from such species, or that the pig might be banned due to the presumptive eating of slop and having a predilection to mud bathing, neither of these are the actual reasons why they are disallowed in the Kashrut Jewish diet.
Shellfish are not allowed because they do not contain the characteristics of having both fins and scales. Pigs are excluded from the default category because, while they do have parted hooves, they aren’t considered as one that chews the cud — and both traits must be met within this category.
Throughout the millenia, people who have held anti-Semitic views have often tried to prevent the Jews from practicing the rituals of our religion. It was as true during the Babylonian exile, when Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, in keeping with their Jewish traditions, convinced their captors to feed them only vegetables and water, rather than the King’s rich meats and wines. Furthermore, Daniel set a clinical research study by making comment that it should be conducted as a test by appearances at the end of ten days: Daniel and his men, versus the meat-eaters. The end result was that Daniel and his men appeared healthier in all respects (plus, they did not have to disobey their religious strictures).
Flash forward to the time of the First Temple destruction by the Romans (given as about 600 years later from the Babylonian exile), when they set up a pagan shrine to their idol and bade the Jews to worship it, and forbade them their own practices. The Jews would not comply, and this resulted in the eventual sacking of Jerusalem, as well as the razing of the Temple.
In Europe, where they experienced the Dark Ages, as if the dumbing down of society had led to a paucity of knowledge, the rise of various denominations within branches of the Christian faith, plus a belief in a wealth of superstitious rites, led to a fear and resentment of the “otherness” of the Jew, and caused many anti-Semitic edicts and actions perpetrated against the Jewish people. This included the ban of certain practices, such as Kosher slaughter and circumcision.
Upon occasion, these same discriminatory rulings against the Jewish people and their religious practice finds implementation amongst various of the world’s countries, in Europe, and elsewhere. These became the rule of the land in olden days — but, they have a chance of being struck down for their obvious discrimination in more modern times.
According to a recent article in The Jewish Press, the following countries have a ban on the practice of Kosher slaughter: Denmark, Switzerland and New Zealand. Coming up for a parliamentary vote in the Flemish province of Belgium is a law to compel only the electric stunning of animals before slaughter, which is a practice contrary to Kosher law. Further countries, including Poland, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden were also on the list banning Kashrut slaughter, back in 2011, but some have since seen that it represents Jewish discrimination and have since remanded their ruling.
Jewish law compels the slaughter of animals to be done with the least amount of pain inflicted upon the animal as possible. For this reason, a very sharp blade is used. Other specific practices are also completed, such as the draining of all blood from the animal, as it is forbidden by Jewish law to consume the blood, for the blood is life.
Throughout the Torah, there are many stipulations placed on humans to be kind in their dominion over the animals: to yoke them equally; to keep them unmuzzled while they work, in order for them to be able to eat; to feed them before your own meal is eaten, etc. These all form part of the basis for how the laws relate to each other and within the categories relating to the treatment of animals.
Having followed these laws for several thousand years already, and seeing the practice of pre-stunning the animals in modern times, which often is a tragic and painful failure, it has been the position from our religious standpoint that the Jewish method is the most humane way to slaughter an animal for food, if one is going to slaughter an animal, at all.
Animal rights activists, without fully always knowing what Kosher practice actually entails, disagree. Placing themselves in the Leftist camp, which tends to be funded by people such as George Soros or Arab-supportive groups of the like which side often with terrorist sympathies, their real agenda is anti-Semitic, couched in a veneer of pretence for the animals — even though stunning the animals has been shown to often result in horrid pain for the animals.
I think it’s just another way to boycott the Jews. I just thought you might like to be aware of how these countries stand, in case you’re planning to write any letters to their governments or have any travel or trade purchasing considerations in mind…
Israel, David. “Belgian Province to Ban Kosher Slaughter”. The Jewish Press.com; March 31, 2017:
Antebi, David. “What is the Shchita (Kosher Slaughter)?”. Israeli Students Combating Antisemitism (isca-org.com); October 4, 2015:
Updates / Additional Reading:
Berkowitz, Adam Eliyahu. “Marine Le Pen Announces She Would Ban Kosher Slaughter in France”. Breaking Israel News.com; April 26, 2017:
JNS.org, via Breaking Israel News.com. “France’s Le Pen Will Force Jews to Renounce Israeli Citizenship if Elected”; February 12, 2017:
Update (September 28, 2019):
Keidar, Nitsan. “Belgian ban on kosher slaughter goes into effect”. israelnationalnews.com; September 1, 2019: