Cristina Odone, writing in the Torygraph, says:
I don't want to live in a Britain that prizes its cows more than its Jews
Britain is set to become a country that prizes a cow more than a Jew, an ox more than a Muslim. If John Blackwell, soon to be head of Britain's vets, gets his wish, ritual slaughter will be banned. Blackwell, you see, is worried about the pain that animals might feel if they are not stunned before they are butchered. He is not worried though about the millions of Muslims and Jews whose religion dictates that they eat only animals that have been killed in a particular way. Let them eat cake.
[Odone, helpfully, linked the above to an item behind a paywall in the Times. Because, what? She doesn't want to bother herself with journalist-ey things like, just for instance, actual reporting? I've linked it to the HuffPo, instead where it can be read for free.]
John Blackwell, the president of the British Veterinary Association, has stated his horrendous and barbaric(!!!) view that if we're going to kill animals, we should at least kill them in the most humane way we can. An attitude I share, if you hadn't guessed.
Ms Odone, on the other hand, believes that people should be able to treat animals as inhumanely as they like, provided they claim that a god wants it done that way. Which, so far is pretty-well par for the course. Religion has long been given such unearned privileges, and many religious people seem to have got used to the idea that their fair share is "as much as they want." That trying to make them abide by the same laws the rest of us have to is, in matter of fact, persecuting them.
This particular objection, though, is a dilly. A dilly containing much straw.
As Ms Odone makes clear in her final paragraph;
Banning a religious ritual because an animal may (who knows) feel some pain before its killing, is a nonsense value. It prioritises the animal over the human, and the four-legged over the pious.
That's clear then, right? You all got that? Telling people they can't treat animals inhumanely by giving them a more lingering, painful death than necessary, is treating those people as if they are worth less than the animals they're torturing to death.
At the risk of belabouring the bleedin' obvious, Ms Odone, those people are not their beliefs. They have all the worth that any human being has by virtue of being human, plus any extra they've picked up along the way.
Their beliefs, however, are just that: beliefs. If I had a religious belief that it was my duty to dump a ton of horse-manure on your lawn at six-o'clock every morning, would you, as your argument appears to imply, see me as less worthy than that dung, merely because you wanted laws enforced to make me dump it some other place?
Or would you, just possibly, think your right to a crap-free lawn should trump my right, as a human being, to act on my religious beliefs?
Mind you, at least the huge pile of horse-shit covers up that huge and unsightly strawman you've erected.
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