I would love to know what other people think on the issue of religious slaughter and its circumventing of the law...

Is it acceptable that animal should suffer (even more) for religious reasons based on the magic books of a minority?

What is the wider impact of tolerating this kind of nonsense on the religion/law debate? 

My view is that the law is the law and supercedes any religion because religion is a choice, in the same way that rape and murder are a choice, If societies start to allow the religions a way out based on their choice to believe, where will it stop? On the same logic, isn't killing infidels ok for muslims as it's in the koran? Or rape and slavery fine if practiced by xtians because there they are pretty much condoned in the bible?

Seems like a slippery slope to me..

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I once tried to spend three days engaging in aluminumy, but was foiled.

:D

I can't aluminumy makes my nose itch. ;)

I'm reminded of an aluminum-based tongue twister that requires a bit of setup:

You're walking down the street and see a boy dipping toy soldiers into a can of aluminum paint. Only you are in the UK where the word for aluminum is "aluminium." You ask, "What are you doing with those toy soldiers. His reply (the tongue twister) is this:

I'm aluminiuming 'em

Try saying it three times in rapid succession.

The law and most people draw a distinction between the treatment of animals and humans.  In other words, the implicit assumption is that it isn't a slippery slope.  We make the same assumption in justifying all sorts of things, such as experimentation on animals.  Logically speaking, most people would say you are comparing apples to oranges. 

That being said, I agree with your general conclusion.  There are many sections of the Bible and the Koran that are not honored in the letter because it would obviously be barbaric.  The same should also happen to provisions regarding the slaughtering of animals.  Such provisions may have seemed humane in a more barbaric age, but we should know and do better now.

What about lower animals? I was watching a show last night showing some Australian natives catching goanas using fire and then if the lizard was still alive they'd hold it by the tail and smack it on a rock, or smack its head with a rock.

Should they be forced to stop using fire and then stun the lizards electrically instead of the rock-smacking method? Are you ready to send in the Sardaukar Shock Troops to make them be more humane?

Most places in the world, out on the farm, animals are killed by either slitting their throats while they are quite conscious or, in the case of chickens, beheading. 

I don't see this as one of the world's major issues. It's the kind of thing hipsters have the leisure to worry about while ISIS is out there beheading humans.

"What about lower animals?"

What about taller animals?

WE should avoid sizeism at all costs ;)

@Michelle:

In American we don't have a problem with "sizeism"  we buy pills at the pharmacy. :D

Hello Unseen, I am talking really about commercially farmed animals for whom, in Europe at least, there is protection under the law to which an exception exists purely on religious grounds. Whether or not animal welfare is a hipster issue to one side, my question is whether religion should ever be above the law, religious slaughter being just an example of special treatment which is in the news in Europe currently. Personally I think that allowing religions the freedom to opt out of laws that bind the rest of us is indeed a major issue because since their beliefs are purely superstitious they have the weight of absolving someone from driving on the pavement/sidewalk because they are scared of walking on the gaps between paving slabs.it is giving legal validity to the magic books which in my view, they should not have.

I'm speaking of here in the states. Technically our constitutional freedom OF religion is also our freedom FROM religion, so I'm all for giving them their religious exception here in the US.

Hi Mo, my point was really that these two religious books are given sufficient credence that specific exemptions are made for them to a law that binds everyone else (in Europe I don't know what the slaughter laws are in the US) it was an example of the law validating religious texts for which absolutely no proof exists on one hand and cozying up to religion on the other. I feel that ALL laws should apply to ALL citizens equally and that, whatever your stance on animal welfare, the principle of any law not being applied solely on religious grounds is a very worrying one for atheists as it shows a stranglehold of religion over State which is something else that has to be addressed in the fight against religion

In America the law doesn't require a great deal of "extra" rationalization.  What seems to be a purely religious exception or rule will be upheld by the courts if it can be justified on even the flimsiest of pretexts.  For instance, prior to Griswold v. Connecticut, states could outlaw contraceptives simply on the pretext that they wanted to increase the number of workers in the labor force.

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