Bad use of bad science

The president elect of the British Veterinary Association reportedly attacked religious slaughter this week according to a front page article in The Times, March 6th. Other papers carried the same story as did the BBC.

I do not doubt John Blackwell’s credentials but question his so publicly using his soon-to-be position to attack Jews and Muslims. I guess this is an “institutional” issue rather anyone being antisemitic or Islamophobic. Key elements of the news media (possibly including the regulators) are for sure “institutionally Islamophobic”. Much is due to genuine ignorance.

My issue is one of very simple science. When shechita is correctly applied there is a catastrophic loss of blood pressure to the brain. Unconsciousness will be almost instantaneous. Pain sensation is lost before unconsciousness. How do I know this?

Many years ago I had gas, nitrous oxide, to facilitate a tooth extraction. At the time I did not know but you are not rendered fully unconscious. Indeed I can recall to this day seeing a hazy dentist and assistant but there was no pain. Today we associate nitrous oxide with pain management after trauma. Pain sensation goes before going into unconsciousness.

There may be no feeling of pain but the pain sensors are probably still working and sending messages to the brain where reduced consciousness means they are not registered consciously.

This does not mean there is no place for a debate. Proper kosher/halal meat is not easily produced in industrial abattoirs. It is expensive. Industrial abattoirs introduce a different level of welfare concerns. In some cases pre-slaughter care is not halal thereby negating the halalness of the slaughter method.

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