There is a new bill in the European Parliament that would force “more humane treatment of animals being slaughtered.” Opposition is coming from Jewish communities who are worried that this law would ban shechita (ritual slaughter). The bill is nothing to get your hopes up about though – the “more humane treatment” is making slaughterhouses stun animals before killing them. But it would lead to less animals being slaughtered while fully conscious, as happens in shechita.
Shechita is shockingly cruel. From Wikipedia:
Shechita is the ritual slaughter of mammals and birds according to Jewish dietary laws. The act is performed by cutting the animal’s throat by drawing a very sharp knife horizontally across it and allowing the blood to drain out.
Which means, a long, drawn-out, and painful death.
Needless to say, traditions are not always good. It is easy to change your habits, even if the tradition in question is of a cultural or religious origin. After all, we all know that many members of popular religions do not follow every single rule or guideline contained in their religion’s “sacred text.” (i.e. wearing garments made of only one fiber, etc.) Why follow a cruel custom such as shechita when you might not necessarily follow other rules? Religion should never be used as an excuse to commit cruelty, no matter how hold a tradition might be. Shechita is cruel, and an animal’s right to a life free from pain and suffering is a more fundamental right than the right to be allowed to cruelly kill animals.