Saul Singer, the Jerusalem Post's influential editorial page editor and columnist writes:
I am an increasingly observant Jew. I don't imagine becoming fully Orthodox, but I'm a great believer in the power of the two institutions that kept Jewish communities whole throughout the centuries: kashrut and Shabbat.
I became attracted to kashrut, in particular, for two reasons: its ethical foundations and the way it brings Judaism out of the synagogue, elevating a mundane aspect of daily life. The ethical impact of kashrut is found most broadly in the simple idea that people, unlike animals, should not eat anything they want to. Automatically, this raises consciousness toward animals, as shown by the general Jewish revulsion for hunting. But the most concrete sign of kashrut's ethical basis are the laws of shehita (kosher slaughter).
The idea that it matters how an animal is killed was itself a breathtaking ethical advance for its times. In the ancient world, it was not uncommon to eat from live animals - a practice so abhorrent that its abolition became one of just seven Noahide laws that the Torah applied also to non-Jews.…
To me, if kashrut is not on the cutting edge of humanity toward animals, it's not kashrut. I would be happy to pay extra for "ethically glatt" meat. I have already stopped eating veal, and consider that decision part of my kashrut observance. Until I can be assured that shehita is being performed according to the full letter and spirit of Jewish law, I think I will have to avoid "kosher" beef as well.
Read it all here.