Today, the Daily Telegraph reported, ‘Horrifying animal slaughter in [a] halal abattoir’ in Yorkshire. If you have a strong stomach then click on the link at the bottom of this post to witness a little bit of hell on earth.
Now, what I don’t understand is this. This year marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta. One of the superb outcomes of that Charter was that nobody, but nobody – no individual, no business, no institution, not even the Monarch – is above the law of this land. Except we bend the rules for religion. Specifically, we make ‘concessions’ that allow animals to be slaughtered without being first stunned – which strictly speaking is against the law of our land. So, if you have certain religious beliefs then some people are, to all intents and purposes, allowed to break the law of the land on your behalf. They slaughter animals without stunning them. Then, being given this leeway under the law they have the opportunity to make a slaughterhouse hell on earth for livestock; or even hell on earth if you were to perhaps spend some time yourself in that abattoir. It’s good that this particular abattoir (click on the link below to pay a visit, but beware of graphic content) has been put under the spotlight. But why do we allow a section of our society to function outside of Magna Carta anyway? I thought we all – every single one of us – were expected to live our lives wholly and completely under the law of our land? Am I missing something here? Can I have a ‘concession’ not to pay any income tax please, because it’s against my religion to pay income tax. Why does religion qualify for ‘concessions’ under the law?
According to the BBC, “the law requires abattoirs to stun animals before slaughter to prevent unnecessary suffering, but there are exemptions for Jewish and Muslim producers.” Now that exemption from the law thing is reprehensible according to me. Sorry.
PS I had to post this comment, ahead of my planned next post, because I take an enthusiastic interest in how my country is governed, how we are ruled and how we preserve a certain quality of life in this generally fair, peaceful and pleasant place. Also, I am an atheist.
PPS Magna Carta puts us about 800 years ahead of Islam – so working through diversity and multiculturalism (it’s good for me, it’s good for you) could take some time …