My Online Writings - 2004 - '07
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Is halal slaughter cruel?
Posted on: Jun 5 2004
I dont know what you mean by Halal. Is it the muslim traditional way of killing animals, and chicken? If it is what is meant here, well then, it is pretty cruel. I have seen it, and there is an element of deliberate cruelty in it. The animal, or chicken is killed by cutting its neck to a small depth, and the animal is left to die in agonising pain and horror.
I was told that this cleans the body of blood, and hence the meat is more edible. For, the terrified animal’s hearts beats with fully intensity in its fright.
The bigger animals take around 15 and more minutes to die, I am told. But, then I do not know the British way of killing animals. I would suggest a clean cutting of the neck in one strock would definitely be a better manner of killing an animal, who’s meat we are eating.
There is no suggestion of anti religious feeling in this opinion, just a expression of a feeling.
If I have made a mistake about the meaning of the term Halal, please excuse.
Posted on: Jun 8 2004
I have seen certain types of killing of animals for food. They were purely barbaric. But then what about the whole concept of killing animals for eating?
Whoever designed this link between animals, has introduced this cruelty. One animal’s body is the food of another. And that too, to be plucked savagely.
But then, what about the killing of animals for human food? Whatever be the scenario in the English nations, in most developing nations, animals which are eaten are not bred for that purpose alone. Most of them are the by-product or let us say end product of other functions. For example, in most third world nations, cows are used as milch animals, and bullocks as animals of burden. After their useful life, the only option left for the farmer/owner is to sell them for slaughter.
And that is better than leaving them to starve to death. So what remains, is to bring in humane methods of killing. Saying that one cannot really know what is the killed animal’s opinion of the method of killing is pure departure from the issue.
Believe me that popular English systems and understandings are far better in comparison with many others. What is to be done is to improve on it, and not go backward. And it is absolutely necessary that one understands this fact, and not go in for philosophical debates about the relative understandings on cruelty, based on cultural differences.
For example, in North India, at the time of British entry, widowed women were burned at the pyre of their husbands. Nothing was noticed to be amiss about this practise, in a nation which boasts of very superior spiritual knowledge. Only the ordinary British young men (boys?), who came to positions of civil powers, could discern that there was something of the nonsense in this holy function. (I do not personally think that this is an example of British superior intelligence, only that they could insulate their mental process from the complexities of native thinking peculiarities). It would be plain nonsense to say that the burned women are actually happy about being involved in such a holy ritual, and that the non-involved spectator’s understandings are not deep enough.
About animal slaughter, may I describe what I have seen?
The legs of the animal, say cow, are tied together, and in one pull of the rope, the legs are pulled towards each other. The animal falls, with a gasp of astonishment. Immediately a small insertion by a knife is cut into the neck, cutting the main blood vessel. Blood pumps out, at the same time, the knife is slightly inserted into the wound and one side of the cut is pulled back to stretch the opening wider. Then the legs are freed from the tie. And the animal is left to beat out its limbs for an extended period of time.
The terror, which is evident on the expression of the animal, it is said, accelerates the heartbeat and the blood gets pumped out, literally, fully.
It might be good if some, more humane, faster methods are used for the killing of animals.
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