Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the motor-mouthed conservative talk radio host and rabbi to the stars, believes that PETA's Rubashkin campaign has distorted shechita and made Jews look bad. But he won't defend Rubashkin shechita – because he cannot:
"My area of expertise is Jewish values and ideas, not Jewish ritual slaughter. So I will not defend AgriProcessor's seemingly incomprehensible practice of removing the animal's trachea after its throat is slit, or the company's practice of using upside-down pens, in which the animal is held in the air by its feet, to facilitate the shechitah."
Of course, as even a cursory look at the PETA video shows, the animals are upside-down, but are not held in the air by their feet and Rabbi Boteach won't deal with throat-ripping because there is simply no defense for it. That does not stop him from blaming PETA for Rubashkin's and his rabbis' sins:
PETA's devotion to animals may be laudable, but its so-called "exposé" of shechita is shameful, distorting Judaism's five thousand-year history of sensitivity to animals.
PETA has repeatedly stated that, done properly shechita is the most humane method of slaughter available. The only distortion here is Rabbi Boteach's.