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PETA’s Unkosher Behavior

Those numbskulls of PETA are back, this time trying to deny practicing Jews the right to eat kosher meat (hat tip: Bloghead).

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the radical vegetarian group that in an advertising campaign once compared the slaughtering of chickens to the murder of Holocaust victims, is taking aim at one of the world’s largest kosher meat processors.

 

AgriProcessors Inc., the Postville, Iowa-based firm that markets meat under the Rubashkin and Aaron’s Best label and is found in America’s biggest supermarket chains, is being accused by the group of violating humane slaughter laws and Halacha, or Jewish ritual procedure.

 

Complaints against the company began a year and a half ago, when PETA wrote the meat producer and in unspecific terms expressed its dissatisfaction with the company’s operating procedures. The company’s lawyer, Nathan Lewin, responded by offering to discuss and, if necessary, fix any problem the group had. But he said he never heard back from them.

 

Last week, Mr. Lewin, regarded as one of the country’s leading authority on church-state issues, was contacted by the New York Times seeking comment on an undercover videotape the paper received from PETA, in which it claimed to document abuses by the meat manufacturer. On Friday, Mr. Lewin traveled from his home in Washington, D.C., to The New York Times’ Manhattan offices to watch the video with Rabbi Chaim Kohn, Chief Dayan of Khal Adath Yeshurun, AgriProcessors’ New York City-based kosher certifying agency.

 

The film, which Mr. Lewin describes as having no audio track but uses titles with dates of supposed abuses — from August and September of this year — depicts the slaughtering process in gory detail. Viewers see the shochet, or ritual slaughterer, cutting in one uninterrupted incision the esophagus and trachea. Then, another person facilitates bleeding in order to render the cow unconscious.

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Mr. Lewin charges that “all PETA wants to do is inflame the public against kosher slaughter.” The group, he added, “just doesn’t understand shechita — what’s permitted under Jewish, and consequently, American Law.”

 

The video also shows cows appearing to still be alive after the slaughtering process. But, “reflexive movement”, wherein dead creatures appear to be alive is quite common, Rabbi Belsky said. “Think of chickens running without heads,” he said.

 

News of PETA’s attack against a prominent kosher meat manufacturer forced a historic vote at the Agudath Israel of America’s annual convention in Stamford, Connecticut. Moments before the end of the powerful Orthodox umbrella group’s four-day strategizing session yesterday, David Zwiebel, its executive vice president of government and public affairs, took to the microphone urging all in the room to remain seated. By unanimous vote, the group condemned what it termed a “vicious and unethical attack on Jewish religious practice.”

 

Though PETA had previously compared the slaughtering of chickens to the murder of Holocaust victims, the Agudath resolution noted that among the first organized efforts the Nazis did against Jews was “peddling photographs of allegedly ‘cruel’ kosher slaughter.” PETA, the resolution added “now follows in that vile course.” Jewish tradition, the proclamation said, “introduced human society to the concept of humane treatment of animals and that, even today, is well ahead of organizations such as PETA in its concern for welfare of all living creatures.”

This attack on kosher slaughter goes beyond misguided; it is ignorant and deceitful. Ignorant, since if they read up on the subject, they would find that the Jewish laws of slaughtering animals are the most humane.

While there is much blood, explains Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the kosher slaughtering process, and a head of the kosher division of the Orthodox Union, it is precisely the bleeding that renders the slaughter the most humane because it makes sure the animal feels absolutely no pain because it is totally unconscious.

Deceitful, since PETA have cited two rabbis who agree with their position. The problem is 1) PETA does not point out that the rabbis are, in fact, vegetarians 2) at least one of the rabbis was “duped”

Agreeing with PETA, however, are two rabbis: Shear Yashuv Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Haifa and President of the Haifa District Rabbinical Courts, and Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s director of Interreligious Affairs, according to Mr. Lewin. However, PETA did not point out in its material that both rabbis identify themselves as vegetarians.

 

Rabbi Cohen was unaware that he was being used by PETA in any way, according to Mr. Lewin. He told the lawyer that he was approached by an Israeli animal rights activist, Tal Ronen, who told him he was a baal teshuva, or recently-turned Orthodox Jew, who was interested in the proper treatment of animals.

PETA are clearly not for the ethical treatment of Jews. While the article above mentions the chicken slaughter-holocaust campaign, the worst example of their lack of regard for Jewish life is their letter to Arafat, asking that he leave donkeys out of the conflict.

 

Then again, PETA don’t seem to care too much about any human beings, let alone Jews.

 

Update: While we are on the subject of eating meat..and slaughtering..

A man was charged with stabbing two relatives who allegedly criticized his table manners during Thanksgiving dinner. 

 

Police said the fight broke out when Gonzalo Ocasio, Jr., 18, and his father, Gonzalo Ocasio, 49, reprimanded an uncle for picking at the turkey with his fingers, instead of slicing off pieces with a knife, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported Friday. 

 

The uncle, Frank Palacious, 24, of Worcester, allegedly responded by stabbing them with a carving knife. 

 

The father and son were being treated for stab wounds at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. 

 

A nursing supervisor said Friday she had no information on the younger Ocasio’s condition. Police said he suffered stab wounds to the chest, back and right side. His father was treated for a stab wound in his arm. 

 

Palacious is charged with two counts of domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault with intent to murder, Detective Sgt. Thomas R. Radula said.

PETA have responded to this incident, stating that it “served everyone right for eating turkey.”

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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