I was reminded by facebook of the video I posted a year ago about live animal exports.
I believe that the majority of Australians, if given all of the facts, would be against this trade. The problem is that, as in any industry where animals are used, animal welfare tends to take second place to the almighty dollar.
Although the Australian government has sought to increase the markets to which live animals are exported, it cannot be denied that the original growth of this industry was caused by the requirements of live animals for slaughter by Muslims and Jews.
I realised that we need a two-pronged approach to tackling this issue. We must tackle this issue in Australia from the supply end, where we aim to convince our government of the necessity to end this cruel trade, just as William Wilberforce succeeded in doing in Britain with the slave trade. However, we also need to tackle this issue from the other end, and work to reduce the demand for live animal exports.
As with everything in life, this issue boils down to a spiritual question and requires a spiritual answer.
How can either religion, Islam or Judaism, require that animals suffer so that humans may eat?
In fact, the original reason for both halal and kosher slaughter, along with providing food that was healthy for the believers to eat, was to ensure that the animals suffered as little as possible. However, both halal ritual slaughter for Muslims, and kosher slaughter for Jews, has become a habit based on tradition, rather than a spiritual practice reflecting the original reasons for the practice.
We know a lot more about biology today, than was known in the days of the original Torah or Qur’an. What we know today, is that every sentient being feels pain and feels fear, just as we would if we were faced with the situation which food animals face in order to be slaughtered. Although there are arguments from proponents of both Western, and Middle Eastern methods of slaughter that their method is most humane, the fact is that neither the scientific knowledge in the West, nor the original reasons for ritual slaughter in the East, have succeeded in guaranteeing the welfare of animals sent for slaughter in today’s factory-farm systems. The animals suffer fear, pain, and misery, in many, if not all, of the processes which we inflict upon them.
There is a method of food preparation which does guarantee their welfare, however. It is called veganism.
I call on all Muslims and Jews to embrace this method of guaranteeing that their food is, not only healthy, but in keeping with the original reasons for Muslim and Jewish dietary laws.
Please help us end live animal export.
Wikipedia tells us in its article about shechita (kosher slaughter): “The Torah (Deut. 12:21) states that sheep and cattle should be slaughtered “as I have instructed you” but nowhere in the Five books of Moses are any of the practices of shechita described. Instead, they have been handed down in Judaism’s traditional Oral Torah, and codified in halakha.”