Why religious rules on butchering beasts make many people see red


Source: The Economist

IT IS hard to imagine such a sizzling political issue, one that connects the welfare of children and animals with clashing notions of religious freedom, and even with Brexit. The issue is the religiously sanctioned killing of animals, and it also includes the supply to schools of meat that has been slaughtered according to ancient precepts of faith.

The issue arises because for traditionally minded Jews and Muslims it is a matter of principle that animals slain for meat should be dispatched by a single swipe of a sharp knife, one that drains the blood and causes a rapid death. The death is not rapid enough for many animal-rights advocates, though. Some Muslims accept that the animal can be stunned before slaughter (as is considered humane in most Western countries), so long as death still results from blood loss. Other Muslims feel unable to make that concession.

In several different ways, controversy over this matter is heating up in pre-Brexit Britain. It also happens to be raging in Belgium. In recent weeks, the issue has been highlighted by a study by Britain’s National Secular Society (NSS), which campaigns for an end to the special treatment of religions. The NSS found that at least 17 councils across Britain are supplying non-stunned meat to a total of 140 or more schools, in deference to conservative Muslim parents.

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2 replies

  1. The argument for religious freedom can surely be fairly compared to the arguments for any type of freedom from any particular group in society. To quote a few : homosexual freedom , freedom of speech , freedom to drink alcohol , freedom to smoke Cannabis ,freedom to take drugs , freedom to make as much noise as we wish , freedom to walk naked in public , freedom to carry a weapon. The list is endless but of course we all have to abide by the law of the country where we live.
    Where religious rules break the law of the nation they cannot be allowed because we must all live under the same law of the land without exception. The law of the nation is constantly changing as debated and agreed by those who run the nation and we must move forward with the law which the majority endorse.

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