Loving Animals, Hating Humans

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

(JTA) – The European Union’s highest court has upheld Belgium’s bans on slaughtering animals without first stunning them, a ruling that confirms the prohibition on the production of kosher and halal meat in parts of Belgium and clears a path for additional bans across Europe.

Israel’s ambassador to Belgium called the ruling “a blow to Jewish life in Europe.”

EU court upholds Belgian bans on ritual slaughter, dealing major blow to Jewish and Muslim advocates

The pious masters — a strictly secular piety, of course, all about THEIR moral superiority over US — puts those strange superstitious outsiders in their place.

These Europeans are just SO much more pure and clean than those filthy aliens.

To continue from the GetReligion article:

The Examiner piece wasn’t a comprehensive news piece. Rather, it was an opinion column that ran under the in-your-face headline, “EU court prioritizes animals over Jews and Muslims in backing ritual slaughter ban.”

The banning of shechitah — as the kosher slaughtering process is called in Hebrew — is ripe with angles. Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are the two most obvious, as has been noted above. Religious freedom issues are, of course, also front and center, as also noted.

But what peaked my interest most is the reek of hypocrisy this story carries.

The shechitah ban is rooted — to give its proponents the benefit of the doubt based on their rhetoric — in concerns over animal cruelty. But here’s the rub.

If easing animal cruelty is the motivation, why are factory farming, the isolation and confining of veal calves, the cutting of hens’ beaks, the production of foie gras and the endless pregnancies that dairy cows are forced to endure also not outlawed? Then there is the continued use of animals for human medical research and the legality of hunting strictly for sport.

This opinion piece from the Jewish News Syndicate articulates clearly what I consider to be this blatantly two-faced approach. And this essay from RationalistJudaism.com notes:

The possible suffering of animals in how they die pales into insignificance compared to the suffering of animals in how they live. Yet all this is legal in every country, for human benefit. Belgium – the country at the forefront of the opposition to shechitah – even permits sport hunting!

Given the amount of animal suffering which is perfectly legal in every country in the world, one can only conclude that the targeting of shechitah has less to do with compassion for animals and more to do with hostility to religion.

Need to read more? Then try this opinion piece from Tablet, another online Jewish publication. It ran under the no-messing-around headline, “Europe’s Highest Court Gives Its Approval to Attempts to Outlaw Jewish and Muslim Life.”

Finally, here’s a far more theologically nuanced essay on the issue written by an Orthodox rabbi for the largely conservative Christian readership of First Things.

[…snip quote…]

EU hypocrisy? Foie gras and factory farming continue, but kosher and halal traditions nixed by Ira Rifkin

Observing the rampant incompetence of Our Betters, it’s quite likely that the secularist state will disintegrate by 2100. Pick your poison: economic bankruptcy, demographic implosion, total political delegitimization, intellectual logic collapse, disconnect from reality.

Most Christians won’t be ready to take the reigns, still listening to some delusional prophet or dreaming about a Rapture escape from their problems.

But some Christians can be ready: and the more of those kind of solid, grounded, compassionate, just, and capable Christians there are, the better.

Forget about the Galactic Empire, run from Washington: that’s doomed to irrelevance. Focus on your own county, town, neighbourhood.

And start teaching your children now that justice and liberty is a birthright given from our Father to all humans. Not just Christians.

Not just the saved and heaven-bound. Not just to those beloved of God.

Every man and woman, boy and girl deserves justice, and the right to live in liberty, even if they are going the wrong way…. and it is God (and not powerful men) who defines what Justice and Liberty mean.

Aside: A human life is worth more than the life of an animal, because God says so. To not believe is to despise Law in the name of emotion-driven Sentimentality and Man-grounded moralism. But still, animals are of worth, and are to be respected: the Biblical principles for this has already been set in Scripture, both the Old and New Testament.

I am weary of power-hungry atheistic moralizers: moralizers only and solely because virtue posing gives them the opportunity to more aggressively control the lives of other people — especially their religious enemies — and not out of any concern for the animals.

But it is foolish for Christians to expect much truth, justice and righteousness from those who oppose Christ. If you want justice in the government, Christians will have to get it themselves, from the bottom-up.

From the top-down simply won’t work, and it won’t last. The hearts of men must be shifted for enduring expansion of the Kingdom of God, and that takes face-to-face contact and networking, personal time and personal connection.

Abstract and distant power-seeking from on high… throwing someone elses’ money about as a hollow substitute for personal love and concern… is a waste of time and energy, a snare and delusion.

PS: The Jewish Telegraph Agency was founded in 1917. That means that they should have records of the events leading up to, including, and immediately after the Holocaust. They should also have information on general antisemitism from that time period.

I suggest that an academic could spend some profitable time in their records.

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