Students vote for ban of non-stunned meat at Oxford College

Students vote for ban of non-stunned meat at Oxford College February 13, 2019

THE President of the Jewish Society at an Oxford University college has attacked a motion passed by students calling for a ban of halal and kosher meats from its dining hall.

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The BBC reports that Nicole Jacobus, above, said of the motion that was passed by Somerville College’s Junior Common Room (JCR) :

The very fact that this amendment was passed in a JCR meeting without a Jewish student being able to challenge it highlights the lack of diversity and awareness of other cultures amongst students in Oxford.

The vote to ban kosher food only makes the diversity issue worse, as it shows that Jewish students are not only poorly provided for, but that they cannot actively practise as Jews at Somerville.

This reflects badly on the whole of the Oxford student community.

Judaism forbids the use of stunning, where animals are made immobile or unconscious, immediately before slaughter. The RSPCA says slaughter without pre-stunning “can cause unnecessary suffering”.

According to the Halal Authority Board, there is a strong strand of religious opinion that livestock should not be stunned before slaughter, but others feel that light stunning is permissible.

Its standards permit both types of slaughter, and dictate a number of requirements regarding animal welfare for both.

According to its head of certification, Shaykh Tauqir Ishaq:

If followed properly, both unstunned and stunned are extremely humane forms of slaughter and the evidence to suggest otherwise is completely wrong.

The issue arose after the college said it looking to expand its halal and kosher menus.

It said it is looking into the JCR motion, but the vote by the students is not binding.

A college spokesman added:

We want all our students to feel comfortable and well looked-after, including at meal-times. We are looking into expanding our provision of halal and kosher meat, and also providing more lactose-free, gluten-free and meat-free options, following a request by the JCR.

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  • Just so you know, Hitler passed a law in Germany in 1933 banning meat from butchers who didn’t stun their animals before killing them. These kinds of bans have long been tools of the right wing to marginalize Jews and Muslims under the pretext of animal welfare.

    Animal rights organizations are pretty adamant that all use of animals for food involves cruelty, and that making a distinction between “stunning” and “non-stunning” is a red flag that there’s an anti-Semitic or racist agenda being pushed.

  • Anat

    Yeah, let’s see them ban all meat. Then we can talk.

  • Bubblecar

    That’s pretty much exactly what you said the last time this subject was raised in Freethinker. And this time too, Hitler is just as irrelevant. Do you really think the Oxford students are Nazi sympathisers?

    By “animal rights activists” you clearly mean vegans, who certainly don’t have sole claim to concern for reducing cruelty in our treatment of animals. Many meat eaters such as myself wish to see animal suffering minimised as much as possible in the production of our meat.

  • I think the Nazi ban on kosher slaughter is extremely relevant here, because it demonstrates that these kinds of measures have always been tools of right-wing bigots in Europe. If you have no qualms about supporting the hate campaign du jour against Jews and Muslims, then maybe you’re not as offended by unnecessary suffering as you claim.

  • Broga

    You are sick. Driven into animal abuse by your superstitious claptrap. Well, too bad, you sadist, your time has passed. I would like to string you up for a few minutes with a bit of a cut round your greasy chops. I don’t want to kill you. Just let your howl for a couple of minutes. Get it into your stupid brain that animal torture before killing is morally, ethically and every other way I can think of wrong, barbarous and illegal.

  • Bubblecar

    I would say it’s you who are supporting bigotry, because you refuse to recognise that many people who are not remotely “right-wing bigots” object to cruel and superstitious slaughter practices, and should be entitled to do so with being slandered as “hate campaigners”.

  • Broga

    Agreed. The evidence is now clear that every kind of crap is put in animal food in the USA. For example: chicken shit because it is a good source of protein; road kill; and the great thing is that with the systems they have they can squash it up, package it attractively; and sell it in the supermarkets. One meat producer said, “If we don’t use these methods we could not sell the meat so cheaply.”

    It wont be too long till the USA junk meat is coming to us. I reckon you know what I am talking about and also the videos and books that provide the evidence and back it with sources. Most here will be shocked and not be aware.

    The stench from the meat producing areas where cattle and pigs are crushed into small pens is so overwhelming that they are never located near golf and country clubs.

  • I wouldn’t say every person who objects to ritual slaughter is a bigot. But especially hereabouts, I recognize that a lot of people making noise about animal welfare are just using the concept as camouflage for their contempt for Muslims and Jews.

  • Cali Ron

    Non sequitur and bs. Just because they voted against serving those foods doesn’t make them antisemitic and mentioning Hitler is just an emotional appeal not based on facts.

  • Cali Ron

    Some may be, but impossible to quantify.

  • Bubblecar

    I make no bones about the fact that I have contempt for food superstitions, no matter who holds them.The great majority of religious food rules are irrational bollocks.

    Nonetheless if the superstitions don’t involve cruelty, as far as I’m concerned the believers can chant their chants and refuse unGodly foods etc until they’re blue in the face, it’s none of my business.

    But if they do involve cruelty, I’m going to object.

  • Um, yeah, you don’t seem self-righteous or intolerant in the least.

  • Bubblecar

    Well I’m not so self-righteous and intolerant that I accuse anyone who objects to religious food rules of being a Nazi, no.

  • persephone

    Do they have a kosher or halal certified kitchen? If not, however the meat is obtained, it’s not kosher or halal when served.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    I HATE broccoli AND spinach. Broiled, boiled or even stewed. Love me some tomato. Even like lettuce. The fuck with somebody telling me what to eat.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    i like venison. and even rabbit. and I eated me lots of fish. Ima a OMNIVORE. I eat everything, especially if she enjoys it O_o, several times {:

  • Cozmo the Magician

    If you EVER open you mouth , you will notice we have TEETH for a reason. And tongue, and taste buds, and FFS you must be hungry.

  • Broga

    What are you talking about. It seems like nonsense. Has it ever occurred to you that with an obesity problem that is getting worse; four millions diabetics and rising; something is wrong and something needs to change.

    You will also find that our teeth are not the teeth of carnivores. For millions of years we ate what we could and it was mainly what we could find as hunter gatherers. That included very little meat and usually the scraps left by the big carnivore killers.

  • Broga

    You are nuts. You must eat a lot of them.

  • Robert Baden

    Plus insects. And I suspect the obesity problem is because we don’t have the regular food shortages we evolved to survive any more. We evolved to recover from famine when food was finally available.

  • Kevin K

    So the article doesn’t make it clear — did the students understand that they were basically voting against kosher or halal butchery? One wonders about the religious make-up of that particular “common room”, and whether even the Jewish or Muslim students (if any) understood the implications of the vote.

    So many questions, but not much clarity here, I’m afraid.