Seth Tillman shares his letter to the UK Independence Party “in regard to UKIP’s supporting the British Veterinary Association (“BVA”) and Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“RSPCA”) in calling for a ban on non-stun slaughter (7 March 2015).” (See here for more information about the UKIP’s position.)
You may download Seth’s letter here (pdf). It’s worth reading.
One hopes the UKIP will decide not to go down this path.
14 thoughts on “The UKIP and Ritual Slaughter”
His last point is particularly important. There’s a reason why religious rituals such as this one have survived for so long. It’s because they work, are the correct way to do things, and have been tested and refined for thousands of years.
The passage of time and the survival of cultural practices is a better governor than modern laws, especially ones with discriminatory intentions.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to talk the European nationalist Right out of idiocy like this. The catastrophic misgovernment of the European establishment (Leftist and nominally “conservative” alike) over the last few decades has utterly discredited the notion of accommodating minority religious practices, even practices that don’t affect anyone else and even minorities that do not include anyone seeking to take over the whole society. Make no mistake, support for garbage like this proposal is motivated by the desire to lash out at minorities in response to the ongoing immigration disaster, not by concern for animals. The French National Front, for example, supports a law banning all religious dress in public – even skullcaps worn by Jewish men. I don’t see any animal rights issue there.
A visit to American “traditionalist” rightwing websites will reveal that the same sort of attitudes exist on the American right and are held by ostensibly intelligent, educated people. I am not talking here about toothless nuts who dress up in Nazi uniforms. It is truly disheartening.
As with the anti-ritual-circumcision movement, this looks like an informal coalition of religious bigots, people opposed to Muslim immigration, and new-agers (and WRT ritual slaughter, naive animal-lovers). It would be interesting to know how the opinion distribution breaks down between these respective groups in the various countries where there’s significant political support for banning these ritual practices, and also how much of the religious bigotry here is old-fashioned anti-Semitism in a new guise.
My wife was talking recently to a vet acquaintance about all this. For some years in his career he had had slaughterhouse inspection duties. His experience was simply summarised. The kosher chaps were skilful, quick, and seemed to cause little or no suffering. The halal chaps were duds: it was painful to witness their clumsiness and incompetence, and the suffering it caused.
Surely a remedy could be devised that didn’t penalize all for the ineptitude of some.
I decided to opt out early on. I became a vegetarian when I was 18. It seemed to me that this whole mass of cruelty could be avoided that way.
I’m 68 now and climb mountains for fun. ;)
I was talking to my left wing daughter last night and mentioned this. I was teasing her a bit (She is good natured and a bit naive at 34 ) and mentioned the fear and panic the vegetables must feel as the farmer enters the field for harvest. She took me seriously. She was going on about communication between vegetables and plants. Very New Age.
There have been studies showing cut grass releases its scent to signal distress. Some New Agers seized on this as a signal that plants feel pain. I’ve tried to tell them that it isn’t agony but sanctification.
Imagine the screams of our gut bacteria when we take an antibiotic.
Richard, I have been a Buddhist since I was 18 as well. The Buddha specifically denied the existence of a soul. I like that. I am tired of the mainstream, patriarchal control religions, threatening people with damnation.
It is certainly the truth that all animal life needs other life to eat and survive. An illustration of our mutual interdependence, a useful lesson. Doing this at a minimum harm level is one point of vegetarianism.
Opposition to ritual slaughter is part of an awakening in Europe where there is deep unease regarding the values of the Islamic settlers our governments have brought in. Scratch the surface and it is more than their values but their very presence in large numbers that Europeans are not happy about. Anti-discrimination laws and the mindset behind them make it difficult to single out ritual slaughter by one religion and not another.
I suspect that you are right. The problem, to which you allude in your point about anti-discrimination laws, is that UK and Euro politics have made it difficult for voters to express their concern directly, so it comes out via support for fringe anti-immigration parties, and anti-ritual laws.
“The Buddha specifically denied the existence of a soul.”
So what is it that is reincarnated? Why should you act as if karma exists?
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