Dutch to Jews and Muslims: Stop abusing animals

I hope this becomes an enforceable law soon:

The Dutch parliament has passed a bill banning the slaughter of livestock without stunning it first, removing an exemption that has allowed Jews and Muslims to butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules.

If enacted and enforced, religious groups say observant Jews and Muslims would have to import meat from abroad, stop eating it altogether, or leave the Netherlands.

When atheists and other reasonable people talk about the undeserved respect that religion gets, it is these sort of allowances we’re referencing. Why should Jews and Muslims, or any other religious group for that matter, be exempt from laws banning the mistreatment of animals? Because they think their acts are holy? Because they’ve been abusing animals for a long time? Has either group even bothered to give a rational reason?

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4 Responses

  1. Glad to hear it, and I’m hoping we can get similar legislation passed in the U.S. soon.

    “It’s my religion” has never been an acceptable excuse for other forms of barbarity, so it shouldn’t be a permissible dodge when it comes to animal cruelty.

  2. Has either group even bothered to give a rational reason?

    Yes, Jews claim that slitting the throat with a sharp knife is the most painless way to kill.

    I don’t know if their reason is valid or not. I doubt it. I don’t know what Muslims claim.

  3. This is a pretty big deal. A rich nation has the guts to make practices from two major religions illegal. They are putting ethics before ancient books. Outstanding!

  4. I don’t know a lot about the slaughter of animals, but I do recall PETA saying that the Jewish way, slitting the throat quickly and deeply, was the most painless way.

    This is in comparison to stunning, which I have heard can leave the animal ‘stunned’ but still conscious.

    If I had to guess, I’d say this is a stupid law. Possibly pure discrimination, given the general feeling towards Muslims in Europe these days.

    If I’m not mistaken, I also think that cruelty to animals is expressly forbidden in the Torah, which is why they require it to be done in this way, at least in part.

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