Denmark and Unadulterated Anti-Semitism
Michael Widlanski: The Jerusalem Post 19.2.2014
Centuries after Shakespeare said “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark,” we have hard proof of a big stink in Denmark and nearby Scandinavian countries.
Only days after Denmark passed a racist law banning kosher butchers, supposedly because kosher meat slaughtering is “cruel to animals,” Danish authorities showed everyone what real cruelty to animals is.
The Danish Zoo took a healthy young giraffe – named Marius – shot him in the brain with a bolt gun, dissected his body in front of a crowd of children, and then fed pieces of the carcass to the zoo’s lions. Television cameras caught the happy lions at their meal.
Sounding a bit like Nazis, Danish Zoo authorities said they had to kill the giraffe for the sake of racial purity – to protect the genetic lines of their giraffes. They added that the zoo needed lebensraum – living room – space for other, purer giraffes.
They also justified the murder of the giraffe for the sake of the hungry lions. Not since the Roman Empire has there been such governmental concern for the feeding of lions.
“Our giraffes are part of an international breeding program, which has a purpose of ensuring a sound and healthy population of giraffes,” Bengt Holst, scientific director at Copenhagen Zoo, told CNN. He explained that there was not enough room at the zoo for giraffes with inferior bloodlines.
Danish authorities rejected appeals from tens of thousands of people who asked that the zoo find a less-than-final solution for the problem of a genetically inferior giraffe, for example sending him to another zoo, or to a nature reserve.
The Danish Giraffe Murder shows Danish hostility to kosher slaughter to be hypocritical; the Danes, like the Swedes and the Norwegians, only take pity on those animals that are being eaten by Jews. Otherwise, they will happily shoot anything that moves.
When Danish, Swedish and Norwegian boys reach their teens, they are often presented with a shotgun or a rifle, and taken by their fathers to kill their first deer or elk.
When Jewish boys reach 13, they learn to read part of the Bible. Jews get gifts ranging from pens to tablet computers.
Religious Jews slaughter animals only to feed themselves, and use a very sharp knife under very strict procedures specifically designed to eliminate animal suffering.
Many houses in Denmark, Norway and Sweden have animal heads on the walls as trophies. This custom is not often seen in Jewish circles.
Scandinavian countries also have laws barring Jewish circumcision, claiming that the practice is cruel to children, though there is clinical proof circumcision reduces many diseases (in men and women), from sexual diseases to cervical cancer. There is much evidence that circumcision by the Jewish timetable (the eighth day) is largely safe and relatively pain-free. Circumcision at a later time in life is more dangerous and complicated.
Limiting kosher slaughter and circumcision has now spread to other European countries, such as Holland. The Council of Europe passed a resolution in October calling on European Union states to “adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted.”
Nevertheless, many Jews are not impressed by claimed European concern for the suffering of Jewish children, remembering just how many non-Jewish Europeans came to the rescue of defenseless Jews during the past century, especially during the Holocaust.
It seems the real motive for Scandinavian laws against kosher meat and circumcision is simple anti-Semitism or Jew-hatred. These laws are not linked to pain felt by defenseless animals or children, but rather by a desire to inhibit Jewish communities and, more recently, Islamic communities that also have ritual slaughter of animals and circumcision.
After all, in Europe, persecuting Jews is always kosher, and the Jews will sooner or later leave Europe rather than suffer the fate of that Danish giraffe that was found to be genetically inferior.
The author, visiting professor at UC Irvine and an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat, published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor respectively at The New York Times, Cox Newspapers, and The Jerusalem Post, and he served as strategic affairs advisor in Israel’s Ministry of Public Security.
Anti-Religious Bias in Danish Slaughter Ban
Eliyahu Federman: The Jerusalem Post 19.2.2014
Ritual slaughter, performed according to Islamic and Jewish tradition, is considered a humane method of slaughter under the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (HMSLA), the US federal law designed to decrease animal suffering. In ritual slaughter, the trachea, esophagus, carotid arteries, jugular veins and vagus nerve are cut with a swift action using an extremely sharp blade, resulting in quick death.
But a growing number of countries, including Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, have restricted ritual slaughter, under the guise of animal welfare.
Now, starting Monday, by order of Danish Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jorgensen, Denmark is banning ritual slaughter, claiming that “Animal rights come before religion.” The ban would require stunning, a method of slaughter not permitted under Jewish or Islamic law (some authorities permit reversible stunning, such as electro-stunning, prior to the cut).
Claiming animal welfare as a basis to restrict humane Jewish and Islamic slaughtering practices is wrong, and is a further erosion of religious liberties in a country already attacking other religious rituals, including circumcision.
Denmark allows traditional hunting. With hunting, animals are shot at a distance, and can end up wounded, and suffering, for hours before death. Hunting is certainly more painful than religious slaughter, which renders the animal almost immediately unconscious.
The hypocrisy is even more glaring given that Denmark is the number one farmed mink producer in the European Union, with around 14 million mink killed for fur every year. In addition to the unnatural, painful and agonizing confinement of these wild animals, the methods of killing them are far crueler than a slit to the throat.
These include “breaking the animal’s neck, gassing, lethal injection, genital electrocution and anal electrocution.”
Minister Jorgensen claims that slaughter “must be done in a way that does not bring pain to the animal. This can be accomplished only by stunning.” Contrary to Jorgensen’s sweeping assertions, there is nothing cruel about the age-old practice of killing animals with a swift cut to the throat. Neurophysiological research also disputes Jorgensen’s claims. For example, a study in the Veterinary Record concluded that ritual slaughter “is a painless and humane method of animal slaughter.”
Stunning is not foolproof either. When the machinery fails, the animals suffer.
The Torah and Koran both require that animals be treated compassionately and humanely prior to and during slaughter.
By claiming that animal rights conflict with religion, Jorgensen demonstrates an anti-religious bias and complete misunderstanding of Abrahamic religions.
Ritual slaughter is not cruel. Abrahamic traditions have prohibited animal cruelty thousands of years before modern civilization even started passing laws on humane animal treatment.
If Denmark is really concerned about animal welfare it should be focusing on humane husbandry practices that prevent animal suffering in cattle and fur farms, not on targeting a humane ritual slaughtering method.
The author has written for USA Today, Forbes, Huffington Post, Fox News and other publications on religion, culture, business and law. Follow him on Twitter @EliFederman.
Diane Langleben says
Extremely well put. You forgot to mention that many zoos, including some here in the UK, volunteered to take the giraffe.