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Kosher Killing Cruelty

PAINE'S writings often put his publishers in jail and booksellers behind bars, principally because Paine had a flair for diction that could rattle people's teeth. Most writers are satisfied if they can raise their reader's brow.


I never supposd that anything I might put in print would precipitate a street riot or cause a man's arrest. But it happened, nevertheless, from a simple little leaflet protesting against cruelty to animals. In a world of kaleidoscopic surprises, we live to learn. The man who reprinted an item of mine from The Truth Seeker and distributed it on the streets of New York was not only assaulted by religionists but spent a night in jail.


The Kosher Killing Court Case, with its victory for Mr. Nathan Schwarz, the distributor of the leaflet, did not end as the kosher crowd wished. Here I shall touch briefly on one aspect of the trial.


The Jewish "expert" who testified on the witness stand that kosher killings are not cruel was careful to avoid all references to the slaughter of the animals higher than domestic fowl. He might as well have talked about the "merciful" process of making kosher salt. Chickens, he assured the Court, showed only muscular reactions in flapping about and suffered no pain. But this does not apply to higher forms of life or "red-blooded" animals such as cattle and sheep. Bleeding a cow or a lamb to death without first stunning it involves a lingering death. Anyone will be convinced of this who has seen animals bleed to death and spew their gore.


Kosher killings are cruel and barbaric, and, except for religious sanction, would not be tolerated in a civilized community.


We do not put our worst murderers to death by cutting their throats and watching them bleed. If bleeding a cow to death is an instantaneous and painless way of slaughtering an animal, then there should be no objection on the part of Orthodox Jews if kosher methods were employed for the disposal of Jewish criminals. Why not, if bleeding is "painless", have kosher killings of condemned criminals, with a rabbi on hand to slit the throats of orthodox Jews?


But when has Judaism ever been considerate of domestic animals?


Animal sacrifice and bloody atonements are part of Judaic ritual.


"And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God." (2 Chron. vii , 5).


Here is a religious slaughter of 142,000 dumb creatures to glorify a bloody Jehovah.

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