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Don't the laws of shechita provide for a humane slaughter of animals so that we need not be concerned with violations of tsa'ar ba'alei chayim?

It is true that shechita has been found in some scientific tests conducted in the United States and other countries to be a relatively painless method of slaughter [see the extensive discussion in Schochet, Animal Life in Jewish Tradition, pp. 283-287.] However, while shechita can be humane, undercover investigations of the world's largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse have shown that extremely abusive slaughter practices -- like shocking animals in the face, gouging holes in their throat, tearing off their ears, and pulling out their internal organs while still concious -- not only go on at kosher slaughterhouses but do not invalidate its kosher certification. Kosher is therefore no guarantee of humane slaughter.

Even if it did, can we consider only the final minutes of an animal's life? What about the tremendous pain and cruelty involved in the entire process of raising and transporting animals? When the consumption of meat is not necessary and is even harmful to people's health can any method of slaughter be considered humane? Is this not a contradiction in terms?

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