Exploiting Islamophobia: The Attack on Halal Slaughter
The Daily Mirror recently published a story entitled ‘Animal campaigners slam rules to protect “painful” religious methods of slaughtering chickens’.
The story details the misguided objections of animal welfare organisations like the RSPCA and the British Vetinary Association to the government’s recent decision not to prohibit stun-free methods of slaughter, which are closely associated with kosher and, in particular, halal meat.
So, why are animal campaigners fighting for regulation to protect animals from halal and kosher slaughter, in favour of the Western model of stun slaughter?
The answer, it seems to me, is simple. Animal welfare campaigners are exploiting the rise of post-9/11 islamophobia, and the rising sentiment of British nationalism to push forward incremental improvements in animal welfare.
They are sacrificing the safety of minority groups in society for the benefit of their own agenda, and the maintenance and financing of their own organisation.
The campaign against halal and kosher meat is Islamophobic and anti-Semitic. It feeds into the false stereotype that there is something substantively worse about halal and kosher slaughter than stun slaughter.
It may be the case that, when done correctly, stun slaughter is marginally better than halal or kosher (though it is contestable whether stun slaughter does in fact cause less suffering). However, if you look into undercover investigations of egg farms, dairy farms, factory farms, slaughterhouses (even the organic, free-range and grass-fed wind up here), you will see horrific and unimaginable suffering. This is the case whether the method of slaughter is halal, kosher or stun.
Someone who condones animal farming and stun slaughter, considering all the harm involved, does not have any right to condemn the halal or kosher slaughter. Clean up your own act first.
Not only is the approach discriminatory, it is also bad for the animal liberation movement. By focusing on the morality of the slaughter method rather than the morality of slaughter itself the terrible reality of animal farming is glossed over and ignored. People are able to continue on in blissful ignorance of the horror to which they are complicit.
In their attempt to appeal to the majority, the campaigners even go so far as to suggest that stun slaughter method, is “humane”. To suggest that any slaughter is “humane”, however, is a outright misrepresentation of fact. Humane slaughter is a myth — an oxymoron.
On a practical level, to have an organisation which exists to defend and represent animals reproducing such violent nonsense entrenches these misconceptions and significantly slows progress to justice. On a conceptual level, to legitimate the humane slaughter myth is an absolute abandonment of the principles of animal liberation.
The fight for animal liberation must be intersectional. Those devoting themselves to animal liberation should stand in solidarity with all oppressed groups. They certainly should not exploit and contribute to discrimination. After all, humans are animals too.
No to Islamophobia. No to anti-Semitism. No to animal slaughter.
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