This is a rather interesting one to chew on. Belgium (the latest out of a number of nations in Europe) on the verge of banning the production of Halal / Kosher meat products. Though it would seem a silly (and possibly discriminatory) move on its face, it turns out that there is an animal rights angle to it.
For meat to be considered kosher by Jews or halal by Muslims, the animal must be conscious when killed. In theory, that goes against the law since slaughterhouses are required to electrically stun the animals first, to lessen mental and physical suffering. Most countries have granted exemptions for religious slaughter, but in Europe, that unanimity is crumbling.
You learn something new every day. That Kosher / Halal meat at the supermarket is not exactly like everything else right next to it. In my opinion, its actually worse than the infamous and evil western comfort food Foie Gras.
Whats worse than that is how often I see those Halal items (at least at my local supermarket) marked down, with many still sitting on the shelf with few days left on the expiration date. Not only will the animal have suffered pointlessly, it will also have been for nothing.
In all, I can’t say I disagree all that much with such a law (banning the production of Kosher / Halal meat). It could be argued as pointless, being that these products will be imported from (and thus, produced) elsewhere. But nations have a right to govern as they want in their territories, so if they want to outlaw production methods deemed inhumane, so be it. And besides, if everyone took the “Well the US isn’t taking steps to curb carbon emissions, why should we?” stance on everything . . . we know how that would end.
Were pretty sure already. But that would be just further assurance.
The environment committee of southern Belgium’s Walloon Parliament voted unanimously for the ban, which will take effect in September 2019 if the parliament’s plenary approves the ban later this month.
N0 matter what happens in Belgium, it won’t be for another 2 years anyway.
Also in the category of religiously based abuse (this time to a child, rather than an animal however), we have circumcision. And a rather amusing quote.
“This decision, in the heart of Western Europe and the center of the European Union, sends a terrible message to Jewish communities throughout our continent that Jews are unwanted. … We call on legislators to step back from the brink of the greatest assault on Jewish religious rights in Belgium since the Nazi occupation of the country in World War II.”
Just a little over the top, don’t you think? Apparently not.
My viewpoint on this is obvious. I have no tolerance for the Catholic churches seemingly official policy of turning a blind eye to the diddling of children in its flock, so I certainly have no tolerance for something that is just as bad. Actually no, worse.
And no. There is a big difference between systematic discrimination and genocide, and putting your foot down on practices that are genuine child abuse. To pull the holocaust card in this case is just insulting to the millions lost to that horror.
It bears remembering that, if the Progress Party has its way, circumcision will remain legal in Norway, but only for those 16 and older. At that age, should an uncircumcised believer desire to go under the knife, the bill before parliament allows such an informed decision.
Offering that choice strikes me as a great deal more enlightened than having adults decide that the private parts of their babies or toddlers must be trimmed with a sharp instrument, based on nothing but “tradition.”
And there it is.
Its not about discrimination or antisemitism, as is the case being made (unsurprisingly, being that such is really the ONLY case that can be made). Its about choice, mandating that the people directly impacted by the actions actually have a say in the matter.
And its not just those living with the beliefs of Judaism and Islam that are affected by this either. To my knowledge, my family has no direct connection to either faith. In fact, most of us tend to be drawn more to Roman Catholicism (the faith of my grandparents). Despite this, I also didn’t have a choice.
In truth, its something that I had never given a thought to for the vast majority of my life. I just didn’t know (how often do you go around showing other friends your pecker? Not a part of life for many, I would imagine. But I won’t judge, either!).
And even in the extremely odd circumstance where the topic would come to mind for some reason or another, I had picked up somewhere that it was for my benefit. A more healthy and hygienic way to be.
Yet that is not really the case either. There are indeed exceptions that will favor circumcision. But that can be said for the removal of virtually ANY body part.
Religion, tradition, ignorance, it really does not matter the motivation. Its to late for me to make the decision for myself (as is the case for millions of people). But its not to late to give the decision back to children everywhere.
Good for the Progress party in Norway for attempting to bring this into the mainstream by way of a change in legislation. Hopefully the cause will be taken up by many others as well.
If you have some time to devote to a podcast (great way to motivate one to do housework!), I recommend this episode of Aron Ra’s podcast The RAman. I learned many things I didn’t have a clue about previously, and I suspect that you will to.