On Eid and sheep led to the slaughter
Eid Mubarak – it is the time of the most important Islamic festival again which celebrates the culmination of the rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah and commemorates the sacrifice Ibrahim (Abraham) was willing to make by giving up his then only son Ismail (Ishmael). Muslims around the world sacrifice an animal and distribute of its meat amongst the needy, friends and relatives.
Here in the UK and other European countries this practice is considerably impeded by government regulation. Many Muslims are still able to make an arrangement with a local farmer to sacrifice a sheep in his barn, but generally Western control society does not like independence. There are too many sheep to tag them all, but cows already have ear tags and passports. People are thus unnaturally separated from our environment. Most people who eat meat would not know how to dispatch an animal, having to rely on their butcher instead.
Animal rights activists have since long been restlessly campaigning for a prohibition of Muslim slaughter (they don’t dare attack kosher practice) claiming that it is a cruel way of killing an animal for consumption and that all animals should be pre-stunned. They are dishonest in their arguments, because in reality they argue for vegetarianism and simply single out Muslims as an easy target. I have had many exchanges with them about the evidence that captive bolt stunning is much more painful for animals yet a lot more convenient for the mass production in slaughter houses. My leaflet “The Halal Slaughter Controversy: Do animal rights activists protect the sheep or the butcher?” addresses this issue.
In this leaflet I have quoted a scientific study on the pain experienced by animals using either the captive-bolt or the kosher/halal method of slaughter. In my exchanges with animal rights activists they argue that the study is outdated as it was carried out in 1978. However, no more recent experimental studies are available, and the same people object to new studies being carried out on the grounds that these would cause unnecessary suffering for the animals involved. Thus the animal rights people are quite content that millions of animals should be dying a more painful death by stunning, because they do not want their unsubstantiated claims put to the test.
Sadly, there are many Muslims who could not care less what they eat provided it has been declared as halal for them. Meat labelled halal from Denmark, for example is from pre-stunned animals, because Danish Muslims have gone for a compromise. Here in the UK, too, we probably only retain the right to halal slaughter in order to protect the kosher exemption. When the government revisited the relevant legislation a few years back our self-appointed leaders were quite happy to limit the range of animals which can be slaughtered halal and consumed by Muslims: venison, for example will not be found in the list of animals exempted from the captive bolt stunning requirement, and if you fancy hare or rabbit you will have to go poaching.
The majority of Muslims live in large cities and do not realise that they should make common cause with the country population who also find their way of life increasingly curtailed – not only by the high-profile but unworkable new laws on hunting. I suppose city dwellers are much more dependent on the services and organisation provided for them and are, consequently, easier to manage for the authorities. I hope Muslims in the West will still teach their children how to survive outside the cosy trappings of “civilisation”, so they know how to slaughter a sheep rather than be themselves, like sheep, led to the slaughter by an ever-imposing government demanding respect, but giving none.