Kosher Today, the house organ of the kosher trade organization that, among other things puts on KosherFest, issued the following two 'news articles' on the Postville Controversy. Please note that many of the claims made by Kosher Today are false or misleading. For example, Kosher Today writes that:
Similarly a spokesman for the chief rabbinate, who explained policies that are in effect in Israel, was misquoted [by PETA -– see context below, after the jump] as saying he would no longer accept Agri products, the only kosher beef slaughtered in the US allowed into Israel.
The problem is that the Jerusalem Post – not PETA – sent a reporter to the Rabbinute, and it was the Jerusalem Post – not PETA – that reported the story.
Then, we have this:
It used a bellowing sound from an animal waiting to be slaughtered in conjunction with a frame allegedly showing an animal thrashing on the floor (a clear reflexive action not associated with pain, veterinarians say) after schechita. A spokesman for Agri confirmed that the company has sent the tape for expert analysis.
The problem is that experts (as well as some highly placed rabbis involved in the supervision of AgriProcessors) have clearly shown that the animals that walked and crawled were not unconcious and their efforts at escape were not "reflexive".
Kosher Today also labels this as an "attack against shechita," when all evidence so far made public shows that it is not an attack against shechita, it is an attack against bad shechita at one poorly-run slaughterhouse.
As for sending the tape out for "analysis," I look forward to the results – and to learning the name and affilliations of the experts who conduct it.
The Kosher Today 'news articles' can be read after the jump.
Kosher Community Repudiates Vicious PETA Attack on Schechita
New York (www.koshertoday.com) A year after its spokesman equated all slaughter of animals to the Holocaust, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) unleashed a vicious attack against kosher slaughter (schechita) in the US. Kosher Today has learned that rabbis and organizations involved in schechita have released an unprecedented statement defending practices at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa as kosher and humane. Rabbi Menachem Genack, Kashrus Administrator at the Orthodox Union, told the Jewish Week that all slaughterhouses are "very gruesome" places but that "schechita done properly is probably the most painless slaughter." And he said that the schechita performed at the Iowa facility was a "kosher schechita." Rabbi Genack said there have been numerous studies about the process and when the humane slaughter act was passed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. government affirmed that schechita is a humane form of slaughter. The rabbi insisted that the movement of the animals after schechita was nothing more than a "reflexive action" similar to chickens that run around after their heads have been cut off. Kosher Today has also learned that a high-level team of inspectors of the USDA that visited the plant late last week also found practices at the plant consistent with humane slaughter laws. Nathan Lewin, noted constitutional attorney who is representing Agri, reminded listeners of a radio talk show that PETA had sent a letter of protest to deceased PLO head Yasser Arafat protesting the use of a donkey in a suicide bombing that wounded several bystanders.
PETA Scores PR Coup Through Lies, Distortions, and Panicked Misquotes, Sources Charge
New York (www.koshertoday.com) The smoking gun that PETA used to defame Agriprocessors was a videotape used by one of its employees who clandestinely filmed proceedings at the Postville, Iowa plant, the nation’s largest processing plant of kosher meats. It used a bellowing sound from an animal waiting to be slaughtered in conjunction with a frame allegedly showing an animal thrashing on the floor (a clear reflexive action not associated with pain, veterinarians say) after schechita. A spokesman for Agri confirmed that the company has sent the tape for expert analysis. PETA employee Tal Ronen misrepresented himself to Rabbi Shar Yoshuv Cohen, Haifa’s Chief Rabbi, as a baal teshuva (returnee to authentic Judaism) interested in proper slaughter practices. Rabbi Cohen, who is a life-long vegetarian (not disclosed in the PETA statement) has since written a letter to PETA deman ding that he be removed from their Web site as being critical of the video. Similarly a spokesman for the chief rabbinate, who explained policies that are in effect in Israel, was misquoted as saying he would no longer accept Agri products, the only kosher beef slaughtered in the US allowed into Israel. Some press sources used these divide and conquer PR misquotes to create sensation and to further their liberal agenda, say kosher sources. Some rabbis panicked at the thought of being accused of being cruel to animals questioned the practices on the video, further igniting the hysteria that had been created by a clear PR debacle for a community defending a 3000 year tradition of the most humane treatment of animals through the proper process of schechita.