posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 08:19 AM
I've never previously seen this type of ritual slaughter being practised by Jews, although I've read that Jews claim that the process is humane
because once the jugular veins are cut, the animal suffers no pain and loses consciousness immediately. In this instance however, there are elements
that are clearly very disturbing. The sacrificial paschal lamb (I believe that that is what we are witnessing) is first examined carefully for
imperfections and blemishes - only if none are present can the animal be deemed suitable for sacrifice. The throat, where the cut will be made is
shaved of hair so that a clean cut can be made. Finally, the 'schochet' (the authorised slaughterer) cuts through the jugular veins. Cessation of
oxygenated blood flow to the brain will cause death in a human within four minutes - it may be less time for an animal of less size - but this animal
was clearly not completely 'dead' for an appreciable amount of time after its throat was cut.
In recent times we have been able to see videos of Al Quaeda terrorists beheading humans - the actual actions are amazing quick but essentially the
same. This type of slaughter is the normal way animals are killed for meat in countries where 'halal' meat is required for consumption by Muslims,
i.e. throughout the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc and it is also the normal way that animals are slaughtered for the meat to be
'kosher' or fit for consumption by Jews who closely observe religious precepts.
For those of us living in countries where the preferred method of slaughter is industrialised killing using bolt guns to stun the animal followed by
beheading using a fast-rotating circular blade, after which the animal is hung to drain blood for recycling before skinning and portioning, this
depiction of ritual slaughter may seem to be more unkind. In reality, it is less 'unkind' than being simply 'different'. Both Jews and Muslims
would argue strongly that their methods are preferable to the industrial methods that we practise in the UK and the USA.
I was once very disturbed, and afterwards often haunted, by unwillingly seeing the slaughter of a goat at the tender age of 12 yrs. The goat was
tethered at the back of street market stall behind which was a 'wadi'. I saw two men up-end the goat, stretch its neck, take the head of completely
with a single cut and then proceed to skin the goat so quickly I could hardly believe I'd just witnessed the death of an animal. It was all very
illegal, but not something that hadn't happened before, and many times too, judging by the brown staining of the soil below the site. The process
that I saw was not a religious ritual slaughter - there was no prior inspection of the animal, its feet were not hog-tied, as far as I could tell,
watching from the other side of the 'wadi' no prayers were said, and far from the blood being collected, it spurted out freely in a cascade. But I
had no sense that the animal suffered, or was not immediately very dead. This slaughter was not 'ritual', so my opening remark remains true, and I
don't know if the slaughterers were Arabs or Jews - they could have been either.
So I go back to the video I've just seen and still have questions. It was not what I expected to see.