Two months ago, The Jew & The Carrot posted an article about the kosher-keeping couple who went undercover on behalf of PETA to videotape Agriprocessors’ treatment of the animals it slaughters. Earlier this week, Jewcy published a great interview with the couple – Hannah and Phillip Schein. Here’s an excerpt, and you can read the full interview here.
Has your view of Judaism changed since the Rubashkin scandal of 2004 and the various rabbinic reactions to it? (Especially rabbinic reaction to using a meat hook to excise the trachea and esophagus of a fully conscious animal.)
PS: I used to buy into the image that kosher meat was cleaner and more humanely produced because of the multiple levels of supervision and added scrutiny. However, the kosher meat industry is complicit in all the abuses of the conventional factory-farming and slaughter industries, and we have documented how some of the worst violations—the most inhumane practices—in recent industry history have been perpetrated in the kosher meat industry as standard operating procedure. In many ways, the additional oversight has served only as a buffer, concealing some of the most abusive practices.
HS: It’s been very disappointing that the first reaction by the Jewish community to our kosher investigations has been to circle the wagons and scream, “Anti-Semitism!” It is heartening that the Conservative movement has started to take a stand against the cruel practices that we’ve uncovered, and I have great hopes for Hekhsher Tzedek.