The Jewish people today are facing many conflicts. One of these concerns shechitah, the ritual slaughter of fowls, lamb and beef so that Jews are permitted to eat the meat. Pressure from a number of groups is attempting to ban shechitah, or to impose government laws which would prevent it from being carried out effectively.
In practical terms, shechitah is virtually painless for the animal. The special shechitah knife is honed razor sharp: if it sliced a person's finger he would not feel it. The act of shechitah generally cuts the carotid arteries, causing immediate cessation of the blood supply to the brain. This is an effective, swift and pain-free stunning procedure. Many contrast this with the fixed bolt form of stunning used in non-kosher slaughter which anti-meat-eating groups describe in very negative terms.
In terms of life in modern society there is another issue: religious tolerance. We live in a pluralist society where freedom for religious practice can be claimed, so long that this does no harm to other human beings. As mature human beings in the 21st century, we can therefore claim acceptance of shechitah as a human right. Further, attacks on shechitah are often a disguised form of anti-Semitism: during World War II, shechitah was banned in all countries under Nazi control.
The real issue is, however, the spiritual question. The Torah commands the Jew to use the method of shechitah in order to eat meat.
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