7. Kosher Slaughter (aka shechita) solely entails the draining of blood.
One of the aims of shechita is to drain blood but it’s not the sole purpose of the practice. The legal literature even states that if an animal mysteriously releases no blood during slaughter the meat is still considered kosher. Although it must undergo salting to be eaten raw, something not normally required.
6. For kosher production animals must be hung upside down to facilitate bleed out.
When an animal is shechted the heart quickly pumps the blood out of the body regardless of what position it’s in. This myth likely partially originates from the practice of hanging certain animals upside down during shechita. But this method of animal restraint, known as shackle and hoist, only gained prevalence because of USDA regulation and not kosher law. Additionally shackle and hoist is rarely practiced in the U.S. today.
5. Shechita requires that only one or both jugular veins be severed.
Allot of backyard chicken butchers believe myth #7 and mistakenly assume that this is best way to drain the blood. They even avoid cutting the trachea and esophagus lest the animal inhale blood during slaughter. But this method often occludes blood vessels, stemming bleed out and delaying insensibility. Kosher slaughter strictly requires the butcher to attempt to immediately sever the esophagus, trachea and all major blood vessels. When done correctly this will cause massive blood loss and rapid insensibility.
4. Kosher slaughter involves cutting off the head.
Beheading requires the use of a chopping motion, which is one of the five movements that disqualify an attempted kosher cut. Additionally, such an action can cause extreme pain and would likely have a high error rate.
3. Kosher Slaughter is cleaner or more hygienic.
Some aspects of kosher production, mainly checking for sickness and the soaking and salting of meat, did provide a leg up for kosher production in the past but with today’s strict cleanliness standards kosher has little to do with increased hygiene.
2. Shechita produces healthier meat
While there might be some truth to this there is certainly no clear scientific evidence for it. If there is truth to it, whatever small health benefit might be gained from the kosher method would likely be far outweighed by other factors such as the way an animal is bred and raised.
1. Kosher meat production requires that a Rabbi bless the animals.
This is a common myth about kashrut and while a blessing is recited over the act of slaughter this doesn’t need to be done by a Rabbi nor does meat become un-kosher if one omits the blessing.
About the blog:
Welcome to The Kosher Omnivore's Quest! My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. For new content check out my new website, The Kosher Cut™. There you'll find: blog posts about shechita and related topics, educational slaughter presentations, kosher slaughter training, and a selection of high quality professional kosher slaughter equipment.