Wednesday, December 1

HEADS UP: Schlochthaus Videos

Teachers, here's a "heads-up":
The press seems to be making a big deal about PETA's hidden schlochthaus videos. You're liable to encounter questions on schitah and cruelty to animals.
The NY Times quotes:

Rabbi Chaim Kohn, of the AgriProcessors plant, says the steers feel nothing, even as they struggle on the floor and slam their heads into walls. "Unconsciousness and the external behavior of the animal have nothing to do with shechita," he said. Because the throat-tearing happens after the shochet's cut, the rabbi said, it does not render the animal nonkosher.

Other experts in kosher law were divided on the issue. Rabbis Menachem Genack and Yisroel Belsky, the chief experts for the Orthodox Union, which certifies more than 600,000 products as kosher, including Aaron's Best meats, said the killings on the tape, while "gruesome," appeared kosher because the shochet checked to make sure he had severed both the trachea and esophagus. Scientific studies, Rabbi Belsky said, found that an animal whose brain had lost blood pressure when its throat was slit felt nothing and that any motions it made were involuntary. "The perfect model is the headless chicken running around," Rabbi Genack said.

See also the AP report.
Keep your eyes on the OU website for what will hopefully be a useful response (for our classroom discussions).


At 9:27 PM, Blogger Uri Cohen said...

Nasty video. If you haven't watched it yet, please do. There was an article yesterday that was practically foaming at the mouth against the so-called attack on the legitimacy of all shechitah -- and it was clear that the author had neither spoken with anyone at PETA nor even bothered to watch the video (the author claimed there was no audio, which you can hear for yourself is not true at the link above).

Regarding the slaughter expert Temple Grandin, who is pro-shechitah but is siding with PETA in this case, see this link:


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