BREAKING: RUBASHKIN SUPPLIER FAILS ANIMAL WELFARE AUDIT, Shackle & Hoist Used, RABBIS APPROVED

Here’s the lowdown: AgriProcessors (Rubashkin) purchases veal and lamb from other slaughterhouses. I’m told the reason for this is, at least in the case of veal, primarily economic; Holstein cattle are notorious for having defects that render them non-kosher, and veal is almost always Holstein. One of Rubashkin’s suppliers is (or was) Atlantic Beef & Veal. Atlantic is based in Brooklyn, and is the largest veal producer in America, and has plants in the Midwest. (Atlantic was involved in shipping to Japan beef that failed to meet US-Japan trade agreements for Mad Cow disease.)

Atlantic went into the kosher business primarily for Rubashkin. Its kosher output was all killed using the shackle and hoist method of slaughter, perhaps the most cruel method of slaughter regularly practiced in America. The animal is raised toward the ceiling by a chain attached to a hind leg, and is then slaughtered hanging upside down, in great pain and terror. Sysco, a major food distributor, has as a condition of purchase the requirement that all slaughter passes the Food Marketing Institute’s Animal Welfare Audit (AWAP). Sysco’s auditor failed Atlantic because of shackle and hoist. Sysco cancelled its $7 million contract with Atlantic.

Atlantic sued Sysco, claiming it had no idea its kosher slaughter would affect its AWAP score. Last week, a judge allowed that suit to stand.

In effect, Atlantic is claiming that it did not realize that its non-kosher shackle and hoist production, the byproduct of its kosher slaughter, would count on the AWAP score even though that shackle and hoist byproduct was sold to Sysco.

How does this affect us?

1. Rubashkin’s rabbis supervise(d) Atlantic’s slaughter and approved shackle and hoist.

2. This means the OU, which claimed to certify Rubashkin’s own upside down Weinberg pen slaughter only because the Israeli rabbinute demanded it, readily gave supervision to other plants using even more cruel methods of slaughter.

3. Worse yet, those plants then sold to Rubashkin, with the full knowledge and approval of the OU, etc., and then sold that meat to you as if it had been slaughtered by Rubashkin is a less cruel fashion. The OU, et al, did this even as they touted Rubashkin’s “improvements.”

4. The rabbis are calling Sysco’s actions an “attack” on freedom of religion.

5. Much of Rubashkin’s own output comes from plants he owns or associates with in Latin America. They overwhelmingly use casting, another cruel method of slaughter, or shackle and hoist. I have been told that no Rubashkin-affiliated Latin American plant uses an ASCPA pen, and that all cast of shackle and hoist. This is also alleged to be true for Alle and all Satmar Latin American output, as well.

6. This means that, because most kosher food processors buy by supervision, any packaged meat product from hot dogs to TV dinners to airline meals, along with a fresh and fresh packed meats, may very well be made from the product of shackle and hoist or casting slaughter.

What should be done about this?

Until kosher meat carries an independent, non-rabbinically controlled guarantee of humane slaughter, all kosher meat must be presumed to be inhumanely slaughtered.



The rabbis have proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted. To drive that point home, at least for the short term, eat fish or go veg.

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28 Comments

Filed under Kosher Business?, Kosher Meat Scandal

28 responses to “BREAKING: RUBASHKIN SUPPLIER FAILS ANIMAL WELFARE AUDIT, Shackle & Hoist Used, RABBIS APPROVED

  1. C-G

    “He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
    — Immanuel Kant

  2. Anonymous

    news flash who cares

  3. Yosef Blau

    Shocking. The pen was introduced with the approval of gedolei yisrael over forty years ago. Rabbi Soloveitchick (Z.T.L.) was directly involved (see Community Covenant and Commitment pages 61-74) as were Rabbis Aharon Kotler (Z.T.L.) and Pinchas Teitz (Z.T.L.)(See chapter 12 of Learn Torah Love Torah Learn Torah which was written by my wife) amongst others.

  4. Neo-Conservaguy

    With all due respect to the list of distinguished rabbis, the pen is a disaster both from a humane animal handling perspective at slaughter time as well as introducing kashruth issues if there is a concern about nicking the knives (mentioned at Postville). Standing/upright slaughter with good animal handling practices appears to be the best approach and maximizes meat quality too.

    Shackle and hoist may even break a basic noahide commandment regarding tearing the limb from a living animal – the legs can break or even tear off because they can’t support the inverted load of a heavy animal. It is the dark ages – a time period in which all too many modern “kosher” Jews seem content to live. God forgive us all.

  5. C-G

    “They overwhelmingly use casting, another cruel method of slaughter”

    This refers to the Weinberg pen, the rotating-to-upside-down restraint device that Agriprocessors initially used.

  6. John K. Diamond

    Eliminating inhumane slaughter in Kosher slaughterhouses is simply a bandaid covering a much more serious issue. Until all animals that are sent to Kosher slaughterhouses come from Humane and Sustainable animal farms, where ALL of G-d’s laws regarding our treatment of animals are obeyed, all meat sold in the Kosher markets will be NOT KOSHER, independent of the way the animal was slaughtered.

  7. Shalom,

    As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), I would like to respectfully state that when the Jewish community is generally ignoring the facts that (1) animal-based diets and agriculture violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources and helping hungry people,(2) animal-based diets have been conclusively linked to heart disease, strokes, several forms of cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases and (3) the production of meat and other animal products is contributing significantly to global climate change, perhaps the greatest threat to humanity today, waidening water scarcities, deforestation, rapid species extinction and many more environmental threats -when these important factors are generally being ignored — perhaps we should not be surprised that there are so many examples of violations of Jewish teachings when animals are slaughtered.

    At this time when we are to consider ways in which we have “missed the mark” and to do teshuva, I think that it is time to consider the many benefits of switching to plant-based diets, and put these items up for consideration on the Jewish agenda.

  8. Neo-Conservaguy

    C-Girl: Postville still uses the Facomia pen, which is the same type of rotating device seen in the PETA videos. It’s better than shackle and hoist for larger animals, but that’s not saying much. It is required by Israel for imported kosher meat, so Agri would be losing the ability to import to that market if they changed pens. Thank you, great rabbis of the Holy Land. Change must occur in a systemic nature throughout the kosher meat production and consumption systems, not merely in Postville (although it would be a damn good place to start).

    John: most animal treatment issues seem to occur in the final phase of their growth – on the feed lots. That’s where conditions can be overcrowded and feed can be tainted with far too many things that consumers would rather not know about. Of course, let’s be clear, those animals are perfectly happy to gorge themselves on whatever is in the feed troughs, which produces the marbling of fat in the meat that consumers prefer. The task is to prevent overcrowding in those situations and therefore the “need” to overly medicate the animals to treat resultant issues.

    Richard: what a surprise to see you weighing in with that idea. Please let kosher Jews that eat meat fight this fight and stop making it so easy for our opponents to marginalize our positions by chiming in with the same line whenever this subject arises. Now go have a nice spinach salad and feel superior… 😉

  9. John.K.Diamond

    Hi Neo,

    It is a scientific fact that herbivores that eat the diet commanded them by Hashem in Gen 1:30 do not produce E. coli 0157:H7 in their feces, while animals that eat the feedlot food do. This is, according to the latest information, the cause of the current spinach contamination.

    As Hashem never changed the diet for the animals in the Torah, the cruel factory farming industry is yet violating another Torah law, feeding animals raised for Kosher slaughter an un-Kosher diet and setting the stage for a potential E. coli 0157:H7 pandemic. (See the article below, which was published in the latest JVNA Newsletter).

    Very respectfully,
    John

    —-

    “The Current Spinach Scare, a Tip of the Iceberg for a Potential Pandemic”

    by John K. Diamond

    The current “Spinach Scare” should be yet another wake-up call for the clear and present dangers that the cruel factory farming of animals for human consumption is wrecking upon the earth and its inhabitants.

    In addition to the possibility of it causing the extinction of the human race by the end of this century or sooner (See the March 27th JVNA Newsletter), global warming, caused mainly by animal factory
    farming, is causing unusual severe weather changes, which are leading to catastrophic flooding in many areas where vegetables are being grown. This flooding may be picking up E. coli 0157:H7 from the factory farms and contaminating water sources which irrigate spinach and other vegetables. This can create a clear and present danger, in the long term, that all vegetables will become contaminated and vegetarians, who are obeying G-d’s ultimate dietary law, will be in grave danger of sickness and/or death.

    All vegetarians, I feel, need to give this very serious thought relative to their survival and that of their children and grandchildren.

    I believe, that we must give very serious consideration, to forcefully challenge our Orthodox Rabbinic Leadership and those who
    oversee the Kosher Meat Industry, that they MUST see to the phase-out of accepting animals for Kosher slaughter from the cruel factory farms as well a making other much needed reforms.
    —-

  10. D

    “What should be done about this?”

    Simple. Don’t eat veal. At all.

  11. D

    …or meat from South America (yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, Alle and AP in Uruguay and Argentina).

  12. Re the comment re spinach above,the current publicity about E. coli 0157:H7 contamination in spinach should actually be a wake-up call to the need to shift away from animal-based diets and agriculture. While the current focus is on spinach, Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) believes that we should consider how modern intensive animal-centered agriculture (factory farming) threatens our entire agricultural system and the health and welfare of people in the United States and worldwide. The vegetarian groups believe that the following factors should be considered:

    • While the cause of the current spinach scare is still not known, there is a strong possibility that it is related to animal manure and by-productsfrom factory-farmed animals. E. coli is an intestinal bacteria of mammals, and that the only way spinach or any other vegetable could be contaminated by E. coliis from water polluted with animal or human fecal material. Further, since the strain of E. coli causing this outbreak, O157:H7, is very pathogenic to humans, it is almost impossible for it to have come from unsuspecting human sources, and it also was established in numerous previous cases of E. coli O157:H7 contamination that the source was animal agriculture.

    • Currently over 10 billion animals are raised for slaughter annually in the United States. The manure from these animals is at least 13 times that from the entire human population of the United States. This manure is generally untreated and it often ends up in our rivers and streams, badly polluting them. This introduces toxins into our drinking water and irrigation water, thus endangering our entire food supply.

    • While only a few people died and less than 200 have been sickened by the E. coli O157:H7 found in some bagged spinach, about 1.5 million Americans die annually from heart disease, strokes, several forms of cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases that have been conclusively linked to animal-based diets. Many millions more suffer from illnesses related to the consumption of animal products.

    • The high amounts of pesticides and chemical fertilizers used to grow feed crops for farmed animals also threaten human health and our land and water.

    • Over half of the antibiotics produced in the United States is added to animal feed to reduce diseases in animals who are raised in crowded, unsanitary conditions. This is leading to a resistance to antibiotics in people who consume animals that have high amounts of antibiotics in their flesh.

    • While there are many causes for the current widespread hunger, we should consider that over 70% of the grain produced in the United States and almost 40% of the grain produced worldwide are fed to animals raised for slaughter, while an estimated 20 million of the world’s people are dying annually and close to a billion are suffering from the effects of chronic malnutrition. Many lives would be saved if that grain was fed directly to people.

    • Animal-based diets require up to 14 times as much water than plant-diets, largely because of the need to irrigate feed crops. This is significant because experts are projecting that over half of the world’s people will live in areas chronically short of water by the middle of this century.

    • Animal-based agriculture contributes significantly to the major greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, due to the burning of forests to produce grazing land and land to produce feed crops and due to the mechanization necessary for the modern mass production of animal products; methane, from the digestion and excretion processes of cattle; nitrous oxides from the nitrogen in chemical fertilizers. Since climate change is arguably the greatest threat to humanity and one of the greatest moral issue of our time, reducing these major contributions to greenhouse gas emissions should be a major consideration today

    • The combination of increased global warming and widening water shortages, along with the erosion and depletion of arable land and the increasing formation of deserts is threatening the world’s food security with many more people facing future food shortages. Making the situation even worse is the fact that countries like China, India and Japan are increasingly shifting to animal-based diets. In 1995, China shifted from a grain exporter to a major grain importer.

    In summary, while the current “Spinach Scare” is a cause for concern, it has caused a relatively small number of deaths and illnesses. By contrast, the current widespread production and consumption of animal products threaten our agricultural system and, indeed, all of humanity. Hence, it is essential that people become more aware of these threats and the importance of shifting to plant-based diets, for the sake of their health and that of our imperiled planet.

    ==========================

  13. Rabbi S

    Can’t wait to have a steaming pot of cholent this shabbas, heavy on the meat.
    You people at Jewish Vegetarians of North America are WACKOS!!!!!!!!!!!
    My fellow jews, keep eating all the meat you want.

  14. Avraham

    Rabbi S, right on. I cant count how many sickly vegetarians, my brother a sister inlaw formerly among them, I have seen, jaundiced yellow most of em or iron poor blood tired
    We need to do an equal evaluation of vegetarians with the the same rules as used to get all these conclusions regarding meat eating.
    Global climate changes, yaaa right. And as for all those starving people, maybe they ought to think twice about giving birth to children during a famine and then putting their hands out.
    There can be plenty of food of all kinds to feed everyone on this planet, meat or vegetable, but some people like Vegans want us to think there is no other option but there way.

  15. C-G

    Boys, boys, boys- wait just a minute here. (I can’t believe that I, of all people, have to be a voice of reason…)

    Rabbi S, thanks, as always, for your wise insight. I’ll refer you to parshas Beha’aloscha. Happy reading.

    John, please be careful about what you call “scientific facts”. Here’s a real fact: any cow can harbor a nasty strain of e. coli, even one that eats only green grass, berries and tasty tree bark, because there are multiple modes of transmission. At this point, very little is known about the way(s) the bugs got into the spinach, although a livestock vector is the most likely. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the pathogen is linked to beef production.

    Richard, Neo is right. Your position, while admirable, is detracting from the point that’s being made here. You can talk up seitan all you want, but people are still going to put meat in their cholent. This is an issue for the omnivores to deal with.

  16. Neo-Conservaguy

    “My fellow jews, keep eating all the meat you want.”

    …until it comes out your noses. Isn’t it funny how so many “Torah Jews” are so selective about which text from the mikra they follow?

    (Numbers, Chapter 11)

    18 And say thou unto the people: Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow, and ye shall eat flesh; for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying: Would that we were given flesh to eat! for it was well with us in Egypt; therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.

    19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;

    20 but a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you; because that ye have rejected the LORD who is among you, and have troubled Him with weeping, saying: Why, now, came we forth out of Egypt?’

  17. John K. Diamond

    Dear Conserva Girl,

    With all due respect, please read the following article by Nina Planck that was published in the NY Times on September 21, 2006.

    With best regards,
    John

    “Leafy Green Sewage”

    By NINA PLANCK

    Published: September 21, 2006 – NY Times

    FARMERS and food safety officials still have much to figure out about the recent spate of E. coli infections linked to raw spinach. So far, no particular stomachache has been traced to any particular farm irrigated by any particular river.

    There is also no evidence so far that Natural Selection Foods, the huge shipper implicated in the outbreak that packages salad greens under more than two dozen brands, including Earthbound Farm, O Organic and the Farmer’s Market, failed to use proper handling methods.

    Indeed, this epidemic, which has infected more than 100 people and resulted in at least one death, probably has little do with the folks who grow and package your greens. The detective trail ultimately leads back to a seemingly unrelated food industry – beef and dairy cattle.

    First, some basic facts about this usually harmless bacterium: E. coli is abundant in the digestive systems of healthy cattle and humans, and if your potato salad happened to be carrying the average E. coli, the acid in your gut is usually enough to kill it.

    But the villain in this outbreak, E. coli O157:H7, is far scarier, at least for humans. Your stomach juices are not strong enough to kill this acid-loving bacterium, which is why it’s more likely than other members of the E. coli family to produce abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and, in rare cases, fatal kidney failure.

    Where does this particularly virulent strain come from? It’s not found in the intestinal tracts of cattle raised on their natural diet of grass, hay and other fibrous forage. No, O157 thrives in a new – that is, recent in the history of animal diets – biological niche: the unnaturally acidic stomachs of beef and dairy cattle fed on grain, the typical ration on most industrial farms. It’s the infected manure from these grain-fed cattle that contaminates the groundwater and spreads the bacteria to produce, like spinach, growing on neighboring farms.

    In 2003, The Journal of Dairy Science noted that up to 80 percent of dairy cattle carry O157. (Fortunately, food safety measures prevent contaminated fecal matter from getting into most of our food most of the time.) Happily, the journal also provided a remedy based on a simple experiment. When cows were switched from a grain diet to hay for only five days, O157 declined 1,000-fold.

    This is good news. In a week, we could choke O157 from its favorite home – even if beef cattle were switched to a forage diet just seven days before slaughter, it would greatly reduce cross-contamination by manure of, say, hamburger in meat-packing plants. Such a measure might have prevented the E. coli outbreak that plagued the Jack in the Box fast food chain in 1993.

    Unfortunately, it would take more than a week to reduce the contamination of ground water, flood water and rivers – all irrigation sources on spinach farms – by the E-coli-infected manure from cattle farms.

    The United States Department of Agriculture does recognize the threat from these huge lagoons of waste, and so pays 75 percent of the cost for a confinement cattle farmer to make manure pits watertight, either by lining them with concrete or building them above ground. But taxpayers are financing a policy that only treats the symptom, not the disease, and at great expense. There remains only one long-term remedy, and it’s still the simplest one: stop feeding grain to cattle.

    California’s spinach industry is now the financial victim of an outbreak it probably did not cause, and meanwhile, thousands of acres of other produce are still downstream from these lakes of E. coli-ridden cattle manure. So give the spinach growers a break, and direct your attention to the people in our agricultural community who just might be able to solve this deadly problem: the beef and dairy farmers.

    Nina Planck is the author of “Real Food: What to Eat and Why.”

  18. C-G

    Thanks for the article, John, but I’m going to stand by my word. While Ms. Planck’s article is well-crafted, I’ll point out that it is an Op-Ed piece, and the research she cites is not accepted across the board.

    I’ll also mention that the fix she proposes is highly unfeasible.

    Here’s a good reference article for you:
    http://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/pbs/zoonoses/O157DT104/O157DT104index.html

  19. Isa

    Something to do when veal is served:
    Just say “Don’t you know that is baby cow”
    Or how about this: (In high mimic voice)
    Mooo wheres my baby! I cant find my baby Mooo
    I saw my baby by that truck now the truck and my baby is gone Moooo! Wheres my baby Mooo I canyt find my baby Mooo!
    Maybe you even turn somebodys stomach!

  20. John K. Diamond

    To all readers,

    Previously, on this blog, mention was made of the linkage of “Global Warming” to the factory farming of animals. The article below has valuable information refgarding this.

    Respectfully,
    John K. Diamond

    MEAT IS A GLOBAL WARMING ISSUE
    By Dan Brook, E Magazine

    Posted on August 24, 2006, Printed on September 22, 2006

    http://www.alternet.org/story/40639/

    There are many human activities that contribute to global warming. Among the biggest contributors are electrical generation, the use of passenger and other vehicles, over-consumption, international shipping, deforestation, smoking and militarism. (The U.S. military, for example, is the world’s biggest consumer of oil and the world’s biggest polluter.)

    What many people do not know, however, is that the production of meat also significantly increases global warming. Cow farms produce millions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane per year, the two major greenhouse gases that together account for more than 90 percent of U.S. greenhouse emissions, substantially contributing to “global scorching.”

    According to the United Nations Environment Program’s Unit on Climate Change, “There is a strong link between human diet and methane emissions from livestock.” The 2004 State of the World is more specific regarding the link between animals raised for meat and global warming: “Belching, flatulent livestock emit 16 percent of the world’s annual production of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.”

    The July 2005 issue of Physics World states: “The animals we eat emit 21 percent of all the CO2 that can be attributed to human activity.” Eating meat directly contributes to this environmentally irresponsible industry and the dire threat of global warming.

    Additionally, rainforests are being cut down at an extremely rapid rate to both pasture cows and grow soybeans to feed cows. The clear-cutting of trees in the rainforest — an incredibly bio-diverse area with 90 percent of all species on Earth — not only creates more greenhouse gases through the process of destruction, but also reduces the amazing benefits that those trees provide. Rainforests have been called the “lungs of the Earth,” because they filter our air by absorbing CO2, while emitting life-supporting oxygen.

    “In a nutshell,” according to the Center for International Forestry Research, “cattle ranchers are making mincemeat out of Brazil’s Amazon rainforests.”

    Of course, the U.S. should join the other 163 countries in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Of course, we should sharply reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and shift towards renewable sources of energy. Of course, we need to stop destroying the rainforests. Of course, we need to stop the war in Iraq and drastically reduce the U.S. military budget (presently at half of the entire world’s total military spending), which would increase, not decrease, national and global security. But as we’re struggling and waiting for these and other structural changes, we need to make personal changes.

    Geophysicists Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin from the University of Chicago concluded that changing one’s eating habits from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a vegetarian diet does more to fight global warming than switching from a gas-guzzling SUV to a fuel-efficient hybrid car. Of course, you can do both. Where the environment is concerned, eating meat is like driving a huge SUV. According to Eshel, eating a vegetarian diet is like driving a mid-sized car or a reasonable sedan, and eating a vegan diet (no dairy, no eggs) is like riding a bicycle or walking. Shifting away from SUVs and SUV-style diets, to much more energy-efficient alternatives, is key to fighting the warming trend.

    Global warming is already having grave effects on our planet. Vegetarians help keep the planet cool in more ways than one. Paul McCartney says, “If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do.” Andrea Gordon, in her article “If You Recycle, Why Are You Eating Meat?” agrees: “There is a direct relationship between eating meat and the environment. Quite simply, you can’t be a meat-eating environmentalist. Sorry folks.”

    Vegetarianism is literally about life and death — for each of us individually and for all of us together. Eating animals simultaneously contributes to a multitude of tragedies: the animals’ suffering and death; the ill-health and early death of people; the unsustainable overuse of oil, water, land, topsoil, grain, labor and other vital resources; environmental destruction, including deforestation, species extinction, mono-cropping and global warming; the legitimacy of force and violence; the mis-allocation of capital, skills, land and other assets; vast inefficiencies in the economy; tremendous waste; massive inequalities in the world; the continuation of world hunger and mass starvation; the transmission and spread of dangerous diseases; and moral failure in so-called civilized societies. Vegetarianism is an antidote to all of these unnecessary tragedies.

    The editors of World Watch concluded in the July/August 2004 edition that “the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future — deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease.” Lee Hall, the legal director for Friends of Animals, is more succinct: “Behind virtually every great environmental complaint there’s milk and meat.”

    Global warming may be the most serious global social problem threatening life on Earth. We need to fight global warming on the governmental and corporate levels, and we also need to fight global warming on the everyday and personal levels. Now we need to fight global warming — with our forks.

    Dan Brook is an instructor of sociology at San Jose State University and author of “Modern Revolution” (University Press of America, 2005).

    © 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.

    View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/40639/

  21. C-G

    So what’s the answer? More crops to sustain vegetarian lifestyles? The answer is not as clear-cut as you’d think. I recently read an article in a journal at work that dealt with the massive deforestation of parts of Brazil for, mostly and ironically, increased soybean production. You can find a more readable article here:
    http://www.physorg.com/news77897490.html

    We can probably agree that large-scale food production is ultimately going to do us in in the long run.

    But the original topic here (anyone remember that???) was how to minimize the bad stuff that seems to be (unnecessarily) inherent in the kosher meat-producing system. This is a very important issue that needs to be resolved, not obscured with vegetarian hype and dubious science.

    So thank you, John, for pushing that part of the equation back so far in the discussion that no one even remembers it anymore. You’ve provided a valuable service to the detractors. In the future, a simple link would do just fine.

  22. John K. Diamond

    Dear Conserva Girl,

    In the works at the JVNA is the following:

    That a Petition be presented to the OU, KAJ, other Kosher certifying agencies and those who oversee the Kosher Meat and Dairy Industries DEMANDING:

    1. That a phase-out period begin for accepting animals sent to Kosher Slaughterhouses and Dairy Farms from the cruel factory farms and replacing them with animals raised on Humane and Sustainable Animal Farms which meet all of the the Torah Laws regarding animal welfare.

    2. That all Kosher slaughtehouses use an upright pen and that they be monitored via random, unannounced visits by Dr. Temple Grandin or other non-Rabbinic experts in Kosher slaughter.

    3. That all workers in Kosher slaughterhouses be paid livable wages and have access to affordable health insurance.

    Would you and other omnivores be willing to join with the JVNA to support such a petition?

    Very respectfully,
    John

  23. C-G

    In order for a consumer action, such as a petition, to be credible, it has to come from the actual consumers. If a group of RCA rabbis or a bunch of O-U affiliated congregations were to advocate such radical change, someone *might* listen. Of course, these rabbis and/or congregations would probably suffer social and political repercussions…

    As a vegetarian organization, the JVNA has no credibility with and poses no threat to O-U, KAJ, Alle’s, Meal Mart, Agriprocessors, etc.

    In addition, your “demands” are admirable but hardly implementable. For example, who would decide who’s a non-rabbinic expert? Would you need to first outlaw the rotating pen? Would the consumer be willing to subsidize the high cost of worker health care? And lastly, on whose interpretation of “Torah Law” would you base the first condition?

    I feel that it’s best to start with more practical measures. For example, Rav Feinstein was very clear on the kashrus status of veal. This information should be made available to the general public. Sure, everyone knows what he had to say about the Conservative movement and takes it as the gospel truth- so why don’t we hold his opinion on caged livestock? It’s all about consumer education. People, if they know the truth, will make educated decisions, which will ultimately drive the market.

  24. John K. Diamond

    Dear Conserva Girl,

    Will all due respect, my statement stands.

    John

  25. Neo-Conservaguy

    “Would you and other omnivores be willing to join with the JVNA to support such a petition?”

    No, because you are outside of the ring and will be ignored by most, if not all, kosher Jews involved in making such decision. You have chosen a path of marginalization – therefore, you are left posting huge quotes as comments with little chance of effecting any change. The real fight will be lead and fought by those of us still inside the circle of kosher carnivores, and as I’ve pointed out to you clearly, you are hurting rather than helping that effort.

  26. John K. Diamond

    Hi Neo,

    “The real fight will be lead and fought by those of us still inside the circle of kosher carnivores”

    Then I expect you and other Kosher carnivores to take strong appropiate action to see that truly Humane and Kosher Animal Foods become a universal reality. The proposed petition I posted will give you some very good guidelines.

    Very respectfully,
    John

  27. Paul James

    I was involved in the kosher meat business with a friend of mine that is a Rabbi back in the mid 90’s. We used to buy from Agriprocesors. We had gone down to Agriprocessors numerous times. We both witnessed the shchita (cutting of the throat) and had found times when cattle would get up on all four legs and run around and make horrifying noises from what truly appeared to be pain. In almost all cases, upon the throat being slit open, the animal would howl for some time and appeared to be in great pain.

    I would like to see a movement to force -all- kosher killing plants to stun cattle with perhaps a ‘taser’ or some other electronic device that would simply render the animal unconsious. Then the schocet can perform schita and for sure, the animal will not feel pain.

    In conversations with this same Rabbi, I said to him that if a test period could be done whereby the animals were checked by the shochet and/or bodek for all the organs of the animal such as brain, liver, kidneys etc. vs. the current method of schita that does not have my step in place prior to schita and those organs in which the electronic stunning was performed, are found not to be damaged in any way that would render the animal treif, then the problem is solved.

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