Rubashkin Spokesman Mike Thomas: “We view PETA’s efforts as an attack on kosher slaughter. They put their political interests before the right to the free practice of religion”

The JTA has a report on the Rubashkin Scandal. Note the leading way the piece begins:

A kosher slaughtering plant says it has come to terms with a written warning from a U.S. government agency.

But the activist group behind the complaints that led the U.S.
Department of Agriculture to probe the Agriprocessors plant in
Postville, Iowa, isn’t satisfied.

A spokesman for Agriprocessors, which received the warning following an
investigation into allegations that kosher slaughter rules — and
therefore, U.S. law — were being violated at the plant, said the
company accepted the probe.

“It was fair,” Mike Thomas said. “That’s the job of the regulator and we respect it.”

Well, duh! Rubashkin was caught red-handed ripping the throats out of live animals. He could have been fined a very large amount of money and could have spent a long time in court, with the astronomical attorney’s fees that would entail. Instead, he got off with a warning letter, and the USDA secreted the report for almost one year, saving Rubashkin’s reputation. He could not have asked for a better outcome.

But did Rubashkin really "come to terms" the findings of the report? No:

In a letter to Agriprocessors dated Sept. 20,
2005, the department warned that “future violations could result in the
matter being referred for legal action,” though no such action has

PETA believes the warning and report should “serve as a wake-up call” to Agriprocessors, Friedrich said.

But Thomas said Agriprocessors has no plans to talk to PETA, let alone comply with any of its demands.

“We view PETA’s efforts as an attack on kosher slaughter. They put
their political interests before the right to the free practice of
religion,” Thomas said.

When the news initially made
headlines, some members of the kosher community were upset that
slaughter at Agriprocessors appeared less humane than they expected.

But that hasn’t affected sales, Thomas said — and since the PETA video
was made, Agriprocessors has opened another plant, in Nebraska.

As noted in a post below this, Rubashkin’s attorney Nathan Lewin echoed Thomas’s words and was quite clear – Rubashkin did no wrong.

As long as Jews continue to stuff their mouths with Rubashkin’s products, nothing will truly change. Refusing to eat Rubashkin’s, Aaron’s Best, and other AgriProcessors products is the only way to make a difference. Speak with your mouths – and your wallets.



Filed under Kosher Meat Scandal

11 responses to “Rubashkin Spokesman Mike Thomas: “We view PETA’s efforts as an attack on kosher slaughter. They put their political interests before the right to the free practice of religion”

  1. Yochanan Lavie

    Shmarya: Why don’t you make a list of their products?

  2. They’re all branded Aaron’s Best, Rubashkin, and another brand used for the non-Jewish market. Mostly you’ll need to ask your butcher where he gets his meat.

  3. Jerome Soller

    I never thought I would agree with PETA on anything. I view Rubashkin’s (and the rabbis that have served as their apologists) actions, attitudes, greed and public statements as a great attack on kosher slaughter, moreso than anything external. They have put their financial interests before ethics or morality. In addition to the potential moral/ethics/halachic issues, they are hurting the Jewish people, by providing ammunition to antisemites and those critical of kosher slaughter (even when done properly).


  4. Neo-Conservaguy

    Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just Rubashkin’s that has issues. The other two major beef suppliers to the American market, Alle’s and International Glatt, both have issues including shackle and hoist slaughter in some locations…

  5. Big Bloody

    The whole scandal is disgusting, and it paints the entire kosher community in a bad light. Given the enourmous problems with all of the main kosher meat sources (IG, Alle, Rubashkins), I personally eat non-kosher beef. I would rather eat meat that is humane and non-kosher, that inhumane and kosher.

    The humane non-kosher meat is closer to the ideals of kashrut than what passes for kosher in the market today.

  6. Neo-Conservaguy

    What are your standards for “humane non-kosher” meat? Are you aware of the general issues involved in slaughter that affect both kosher and non-kosher operations?

  7. mazeartist

    PETA is not going to be pleased until everyone in the world become a vegan. Even if Rubashkin allowed PETA activists to supervise every single slaughter in Postville, the actvists would still be upset.

    Find me one PETA member who is not a vegetarian ,and I will gladly apologize for making the above generalization. Long live Rubashkin!

  8. Neo-Conservaguy

    I’m no fan of PETA in general – throwing red paint on people wearing furs is freak show stuff. I would have preferred that kosher Jews had been wise enough and had enough courage and conviction to catch Rubashkin’s. But, we didn’t; we sat on our fat asses so certain that an unlimited supply of kosher meat could be delivered from Postville. And so, PETA did the work that we should have, but didn’t, and I have to give them credit for a job well done.

    In addition, the letter they wrote to the OU in no way advocated veganism, rather, it was a concise, rational list of requests directed toward improving kosher slaughter at the plant. If you haven’t read the letter, you should – it’s a well written document.

  9. Saul

    Mazeartist, I’m not a vegetarian and I donated money to PETA after I saw their undercover investigation into Agri. That makes me a non-vegetarian PETA member.

    Apology accepted.

  10. ah yid

    shore habore is their chabad brand

  11. Big Bloody

    Yes, I’m aware of the issues of non-kosher slaughter.

    However, my feeling is that dispatching the animal with a single shot of a bolt gun, is more humane than hacking it with chalef, and then ripping it’s throat out with a hook.

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