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Author Topic: Do ritually-killed animals suffer?  (Read 5615 times)

Offline Jonathan Raymond

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« on: 14/11/2010 16:30:02 »
Jonathan Raymond  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Naked science,

I have been living with a Muslim house mate now for over a month, and some interesting questions have come up.

It's been said that Halal methods of killing animals is barbaric, and cruel. My house mate asserts that since the main artery to the brain has been cut the animal can't feel anything. Is this true? How much suffering is caused to the animal compared to current western practice?

Much thanks,

Yours Faithfully,

Jonathan Raymond.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 14/11/2010 16:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline RD

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #1 on: 16/12/2010 15:56:51 »
This reporter will tell you that consciousness is lost a few seconds after the blood supply to the brain is interrupted ...
see
@ 4:20 - 5:33   [I think something was lost in translation  :D ]
« Last Edit: 16/12/2010 16:00:01 by RD »
 

Offline peppercorn

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #2 on: 16/12/2010 16:08:16 »
What about the treatment of animals up to the point of death. To me this is far more of an issue (as it can be in non-Halal rearing or transport).
 

Offline Airthumbs

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #3 on: 28/12/2010 19:05:19 »
I saw a documentary on this type of animal slaughter and the cow having it's throat cut was extremely distressed and I can categorically state that it did not loose conciousness after a few seconds.  It was truly horrendous to watch and anyone who tells you that the animal does not suffer is truly deluded.
 

Offline RD

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #4 on: 28/12/2010 22:12:44 »
I can categorically state that it did not loose conciousness after a few seconds.

Is a headless chicken conscious ? ... http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/run_around_like_a_headless_chicken

Quote
Clinical death is the medical term for cessation of blood circulation and breathing, the two necessary criteria to sustain life ...
At the onset of clinical death, consciousness is lost within several seconds. Measurable brain activity stops within 20 to 40 seconds. Irregular gasping may occur during this early time period
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_death

« Last Edit: 28/12/2010 22:24:34 by RD »
 

SteveFish

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #5 on: 29/12/2010 02:01:40 »
For regular slaughter of cows in the US they are shot in the head with a bolt gun that kills before their carotids are cut and they are hung upside down to drain. This is humane, but care prior to slaughter, in the feed lot, is pretty dismal.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #6 on: 29/12/2010 04:09:36 »
What about the Vertebral Arteries?

I know that rats can survive quite well with one carotid artery severed.

The blow to the head gives immediate loss of consciousness, and death.
 

SteveFish

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #7 on: 29/12/2010 17:04:03 »
This is a bit off topic, but I just remembered (it sometimes takes a while) the name of the relatively recent film that featured a bolt gun-- No Country for Old Men. This is a chilling vision of an intelligent sociopath.
 

Offline Airthumbs

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #8 on: 30/12/2010 17:39:51 »
Quote
Clinical death is the medical term for cessation of blood circulation and breathing, the two necessary criteria to sustain life ...
At the onset of clinical death, consciousness is lost within several seconds. Measurable brain activity stops within 20 to 40 seconds. Irregular gasping may occur during this early time period
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_death

I believe that this may be somewhat misleading as it pertains to what happens in Humans and not animals.


I am so sorry to have to do this but after you watch this video maybe you can decide for yourself....

feature=related

This is definitely not for the feint hearted and I should warn you that it is very graphic in it's content! 
 

Offline CliffordK

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #9 on: 31/12/2010 00:15:28 »
For those of you that can't get to the YouTube video...
I think this is another copy of the same video.

However, please pay attention to the YouTube Warning.  The video is NOT for the Faint of Heart.
http://www.blingcheese.com/video-0/slaughtering.htm

Looking at the video, I can not tell when consciousness is lost.

Have you ever heard the saying "flopping around like a chicken with its head cut off"?

I.E.  If the head is fully severed, one assumes that the chicken looses consciousness virtually immediately.  However, the body (which does not have consciousness) will continue to have reflex actions for a half a minute or so.

Like I said earlier, the vertebral arteries are likely a significant source of blood to the brain, especially to the brain stem (and they aren't severed in this procedure).  However, if the blood pressure drops to zero, then the blood flow would cease.

An EEG would give some indication of the brain activity, but still wouldn't be conclusive as it may become momentarily chaotic.  However, without further data, I would have to conclude that the animal ceases suffering quickly, and before all movement ceases.  It was interesting though, that one cow may have been reactive to environmental stimuli, such as being splashed in the face.

Personally, I think I'd rather the bolt to the head which I assume would immediately knock one unconscious, followed by the severing of the trachea and blood vessels to prevent regaining consciousness.

One would have to be very careful with the use of anesthetics that could be introduced into the food.  Perhaps there would be some such as N2O (Nitrous Oxide), CO2, or CO that wouldn't significantly impact the food quality (butchers like red meat produced by CO anyway).

(sorry, I wrote NO, meant N2O, Nitrous Oxide).
« Last Edit: 31/12/2010 09:49:32 by CliffordK »
 

Offline Airthumbs

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #10 on: 31/12/2010 01:52:29 »
I agree with not being able to tell when the animal loses conciousness although I have not seen chickens with their heads cut off stand back up again after they have stopped running about for a bit!

One of the cows in particular seems to try to stand on all fours several times and eventually manages to do so! It gets round the back of the machine it was dumped out of.  It headed straight for what was the only escape route at the time and appeared to be using its eyes, thus avoiding bumping into any of the obstacles along the way.  This to me also suggests that the animal was in a concious state as had it not been able to see would have charged headlong straight into a wall.

The cows you do see all attempt to get back on their feet most of them successful to some extent before slipping back onto the floor.  I have never heard of an unconscious animal trying to get back on its feet. Have you? 

I think that this method of slaughter is extremely nasty and agree that if we must eat meat then scientific methods must be applied to ensure that the animal does not suffer during the slaughter, such as a bolt to the head or using NO as mentioned in the previous comment......

I feel ill and do not intend to research this topic any further as I have just seen a cow get its tendons severed on its back legs before the process of cutting its throat, all I can say is don't eat halal in Egypt as they don't have any animal protection laws whatsoever...  [V]
« Last Edit: 31/12/2010 02:06:10 by Aaron Thomas »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #11 on: 31/12/2010 09:59:43 »
US Law actually specifies "Humane Slaughter" of animals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humane_Slaughter_Act
http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusfd7usca1901.htm

Essentially the animal is to be rendered unconscious through a blow to the head, or electrocution prior to cutting the animal.

However...

To recognize religious freedom in the USA, "Religious Ritualistic Slaughter" is also allowed.


Also see:  Dhabihah & Shechita

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhabihah
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shechita

It sounds to me that these practices were developed in part to minimize the suffering of the animals.  However, they are now antiquated...  and need to be updated to modern standards. 

The problem with religion is that they often follow doctrine without questioning whether it is rational or not.
 

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Do ritually-killed animals suffer?
« Reply #11 on: 31/12/2010 09:59:43 »

 

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