Culture, Justice, Religion

Kashrut Brouhaha Has Legs

Last year the kashrut-observant world was turned upside down (inverted?) by accusations from PETA that AgriProcessorsInc in Postville, Iowa (also made famous from the 2000 book, “Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America,” by Stephen G. Bloom) was violating animal creulty laws, and indeed, that the kosher slaughterhouse’s procedures were in violation of kashrut practices, as well. PETA’s claims provoked massive defensiveness among Jewish organizations, who largely responded by accusing PETA of anti-Semitism.
The Department of Agriculture has now released a report finding that the producer of meat for the brands Aaron’s Best, Rubashkin’s and Iowa’s Best Beef, did indeed violate animal cruelty laws, that government inspectors took improper gifts of meat from plant managers, and that some of the plant’s inspectors made faulty inspections of carcasses, failed to correct unsanitary conditions and were seen sleeping and playing computer games on the job.
Perhaps we shall say that they were hoisted and shackled on their own petard?
Click here for a statement issued by a number of individual rabbis in different movements in response to last year’s publicizing of the matter.

6 thoughts on “Kashrut Brouhaha Has Legs

  1. Perhaps we shall say that they were hoisted and shackled on their own petard?
    No, we shan’t, because it would be an improper metaphor. A “petard” is a bomb, not a hook.
    Petard: 1. A small bell-shaped bomb used to breach a gate or wall. 2. A loud firecracker. [French p?tard, from Old French, from peter, to break wind, from pet, a breaking of wind, from Latin pditum, from neuter past participle of pdere, to break wind. See pezd- in Indo-European Roots.]

  2. hoisting and shackling isn’t a necessary part of kashrut. it’s just a modern slaughterhouse practice. they can do away with it and be in less danger of violating tzaar baalei chaim, but of course we should really all just be vegetarians…

  3. bleeding hearts – I live in Postville, Iowa, and while there may be things that can be done more gently etc. There is no unnecessary pain caused to the animals on an official level. An individual worker could possibly choose to abuse an animal, but there is no basis to claims that anything that goes on there is Tzaar Baalei Chayim.

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