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..
We already know they cherry pick the parts they like to put on their Sunday.
So, if they get it into their head that a part is important (Say, the wasting of baby batter or non-missionary sex, or being kind to others/killing those who disagree, etc), and decide other parts are not important (Say, the number of textiles per garment, mixing of food types, being kind to others/killing those who disagree, etc)...they magically transmogrify their religion into what they believe.
If the part they leave out was previously "in", they simply claim its no longer relevant.
If the part they leave in is questioned as to its current relevancy, they simply claim its the word of god.
This is why religion has historically been SUCH a great why to control the flocks of sheeples, and facilitate their fleecing.
Some may be wondering if "Halal" is the same thing as "Kosher." Not exactly. This page explains the differences.
Here is my Murican analysis.
Two competing interests: Free exercise of religion, life and liberty interests of animals.
The essentials of free exercise are well known. The state cannot intrude on citizens regardless of how obscure, irrational and insupportable the religion of the citizen. However the right to exercise or practice one's religion is or can be circumscribed if it interferes with competing interests. Obvious and glaring examples come to mind. If the adherents want to sacrifice a blue eyed, blond virgin pursuant to their religion then the rights of the blue eyed blond to avoid being sacrificed supersede the free exercise of religion.
A real life example of the push and pull of competing interests is seen in the case of native americans who take peyote mushrooms as a religious rite. The state makes those same mushrooms illegal to consume. Predictably the Supreme Court balanced the scales in favor of the religious practice. What would otherwise have been illegal was allowed because the right to practice one's religion was deemed paramount where the state's interest in furthering its drug policy was comparatively insignificant.
So what happens when free exercise meets defenseless animals?
Unfortunately the status of animals must be evaluated. And at present animals are property. Animals are treated as slaves were once treated. In fact there was a fugitive slave law in which it was illegal to harbor an escaped slave. Without having followed the law recently i do believe there is a nascent recognition of animal rights. But it is in its infancy and probably will not be legally relevant.
So unless the religious practice involves stealing animals or shocking cruelty the rights of the religious nuts to practice will trump the rights of the animals. I know that animal abusers are sometimes prosecuted in the USA. However the meat industry is ruthless in raising and slaughtering animals and sometimes dispatching them cruelly. Against the backdrop of our history and the religious culture of hierarchies in which "resources" are there to be exploited it would take some pretty shocking hypothetical to stop the religious from killing animals.
However at least animals today are often protected by "animal cruelty" laws.
"...take peyote mushrooms.."
right you are
Unseen, your last point about animal welfare being protected by the law brings this back to the starting point, if welfare laws exist, I assume they are in the interests of protecting the animals from unnecessary suffering, which I assume stems from the majority considering this to be desirable , I am going to try to post the video of goat slaughter though as a newbie I'm not sure I know how, but here is the link if I fail miserably https://www.facebook.com/maryline.philippe.71/videos/54483751234631...
Now, I don't speak goat, but I am still pretty sure that they aren't saying "Well that stings a bit but it'll all be over in seconds and I'm willing to endure some pain to keep allah happy"!
I don't disagree that animals are less important than humans, or that this isn't the biggest, most important topic in the world, BUT it is an example of one law for 'us' and another law for the religious and I can't think it is right on any level, however you feel about animal welfare.