After the giraffe-killing controversy in Denmark that made headlines worldwide, Denmark has invited more controversy, though also some supporting voices, by banning certain types of animal slaughter, such as those observed by Muslims and Jews.
Care2 reports that Denmark’s new law bans slaughter of animals while they are still conscious, which is the case in “Kosher” (Jewish) or “Halal” (Muslim) cultures. Most other countries require the animals to be rendered unconscious before slaughter. While this new law in Denmark is being received with criticism by Jewish and Muslim minorities, the country’s Minister for Agriculture and Food expressed his support for the law by stating that “animal rights come before religion.”
As an animal right advocate, and a vegetarian for the same reason, I regard all animal killing for food and/or recreate or business purposes as cruel and far from humane. But in this case, when confronted with the necessity of choosing the lesser of the evils, I would welcome Denmark’s ban on the more cruel form of slaughter practiced by Muslims and Jews.
All slaughter is cruel, but for the sake of less pain inflicted on the victim, Denmark moved in the right direction. A leap in the same direct would of course be highly appreciated – banning all slaughter and allowing only vegetarian diet.