Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Quintuple Bypass Of Kashrut Authority

Complicating the situation with Agriprocessors, writes Chakira. up to the minute reportage.

Ben Goldsmith from PETA writes Tzemach Atlas:

PETA received a whistleblower complaint about this slaughterhouse in 2003. Based on the complaint we were very concerned about the manner in which this particular slaughterhouse performed shechita, and we wanted very much to resolve this problem quickly and quietly with AgriProcessors to ensure that both kosher and federal laws were being upheld. We did everything in our power to work with AgriProcessors to improve conditions at their facility, but they refused to work with us (you can see these letters--ours and their attorney's. We then sent an undercover investigator to work in the slaughterhouse for several weeks, and what we found was far worse than we could have ever imagined. In fact, Dr. Temple Grandin, who has worked in more than 30 kosher slaughterhouses and who has been the subject of a very kind story about her work with shechita says this is the worst she's ever seen, is "horrific," and that everything this place could be doing wrong, they're doing wrong.

Have you watched the video? Don't you think this sort of cruelty should be addressed? I want to stress, again, that we tried to do this w/o fanfare; we were rebuffed.

PETA has conducted similar investigations into secular slaughterhouses and facilities all over the world, and this is in fact the first investigation that involved kosher slaughter in any way. Prior to this investigation PETA conducted an undercover investigation into a Kentucky Fried Chicken supplier slaughterhouse in Moorefield, West Virginia, and we have since been seeking changes to the slaughter process at this facility similar to those we are seeking in the case of AgriProcessors. In a country that raises and kills over 11 billion animals per year for consumption there will always be cruelty associated with the handling and slaughter process. In the the case of AgriProcessors we simply ask that they uphold the standards of Jewish and federal law to ensure that the animals die as painlessly as possible. Quite honestly, no one should be more upset at this moment that those who have trusted that seeing “kosher” on the label of this food meant there was no cruelty involved in its production, for that was a lie.

I am outraged and incensed by what I saw on this tape, as is my family and congregation. This kind of cruelty flies in the face of everything we stand for as Jews, and everything shechita stands for as a humane form of slaughter. As a Jew and one of the coordinators of this campaign I can assure you that our efforts carry with them no bias. Like compassionate people everywhere, we categorically oppose unnecessary cruelty and will fight it in any form.