[Buddha-l] Insight into Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka

Richard Hayes richard.hayes.unm at gmail.com
Tue Aug 20 21:09:19 MDT 2013

On Aug 20, 2013, at 20:08, "Dan Lusthaus" <vasubandhu at earthlink.net> wrote:

>> Is death ever painless and instant?
> Which of us is the vegetarian?


> Obviously the quicker the death, the less pain.

Not necessarily. The pain may be of shorter duration, but it is not necessarily less intense. And if one takes into account how the animal is raised and led to slaughter, the amount of suffering that a domesticated animal raised for food undergoes varies considerably. It is not simply a matter of the method of delivering the death to the animal.

> The kosher method is supposed to be fairly instantaneous. If it takes longer, the meat is not kosher.

So if a mistake is made and the animal suffers a lingering death, then it won't be consumed by an observant Jew? That must be a comfort to the animal and its family.

> Cows were led down these labyrinthian chutes -- you could smell the blood ahead, and so could the cows who had glaring fear in their eyes.

Yes, I know. It was visiting a slaughterhouse in Alberta in 1967 that led me to give up eating meat.

>  Kosher slaughter is nothing like that. But it is slaughter.

Precisely my point. Good to see we're in agreement.

> I presume no one was eating ham sandwiches or killing pigs, etc. near the kosher vats.

No lard ran through the pipes that led to the kosher vats. No lard ran through the pipes that ran into any of the vegetable oil vats. No pigs were killed near the premises. It was a seed oil refinery. I never bothered to take notes on what the workers ate, but given that most of them were Polish, Ukrainian and German Catholics and one or two Dutch Protestants, I wouldn't be surprised if an occasional ham sandwich slipped down the gullets of the workers who prepared the vegetable oil that eventually left the plant as kosher. And because I knew every pipeline and valve and vat in the place, I am quite sure the oil that was not deemed kosher was every bit as pure in every way as the kosher oil.

> The hard work had already been done, and he was just coming out to make sure things were still ok.

We had food inspectors insuring that everything was OK. Part of my job was to see to it that everything remained OK. All the vegetable oil that left the plant was processed in exactly the same way. Some of it was deemed kosher, some was not. The distinction was utterly vacuous. 

>  To say that another way, you could take oil from the kosher vats and put it in the nonkosher vats and sell that as nonkosher, but you couldn't do the reverse. Once it is in the nonkosher vats, it has lost its "purity".

I agree that scare quotes are appropriate here. The very idea of purity, beyond hygiene, was a complete fiction, an idea in the mind without a corresponding external reality. Maybe the rabbi was a Vijñaptimātravādin?

> This is not the forum to go into the details of how things get koshered

Nor is it the forum to make the utterly unsupportable claim that koshering is in any way less superstitious and irrational or less cruel or more pure and more in keeping with the bodhisattva precepts than halal.


More information about the buddha-l mailing list