04 November 2010

Nationalism and animal welfare

Before I start my post, I want to emphasise the fact that I abhor ALL forms of animal cruelty and believe that animals for meat should be treated as humanely as possible, from the way they are reared, to the way they are eventually taken for slaughter to the actual slaughter itself. There is no justification for inflicting cruelty and suffering.

I believe that many (maybe even the vast majority of nationalists) stop way short of genuinely caring about animal welfare. The halal meat issue is a glaring example of this. Halal slaughter involves the animal having its throat cut whilst the slaughterer recites a Muslim prayer. The animal bleeds to death but remains fully conscious throughout the slaughter procedure. Like all nationalists and those who care about animal welfare, I find this revolting when there are more humane, less stressful ways of killing an animal for meat.

Recently, it was announced that Kentucky Fried Chicken would introduce halal meat to some of its restaurants, which prompted calls from nationalists to boycott the chain. This brings me to the point of my post. Why is it that those who claim to care about animal welfare only object to KFC on halal grounds? Obviously they don't spare a thought for the intensively produced chickens that are sold in KFC outlets, so their claims to care for animal welfare are rather hollow! I would never eat at KFC as I do not eat factory-farmed meat, whether it is halal or not.

Those whose only objection to this (see video below) is that the birds might have had their throats cut at the end of their miserable lives has no right to say they are concerned about animal welfare.