Allot has happened since I came out with my original article supporting Urban Adamah and my follow up post tempering some of those words. This week the 15 hens in question were slaughtered in an unadvertised class that took place on the Berkley area farm. I'm personally glad to see that Urban Adamah was able to conduct their slaughter in peace and that the incident is finally coming to a close. I hope that the activists who have given so much energy to this fruitless pursuit that will find a better way to help animals in the future. While the protesters ultimately failed to force their will on Urban Adamah they did do people the disservice of ensuring that the farm will likely never be able to provide public slaughter education again. Education is of the utmost importance in improving our relationship with animals and changing the agricultural system and I am utterly saddened that the misguided protesters have taken this opportunity away from people. Now.... I think I've said enough on the matter so here are a few good articles and opinion pieces that have come out since last week.
After my controversial article criticizing the JVNA and supporting Urban Adamah came out last week, I decided to reach out to their executive director Jeffrey Cohan. While we disagreed on many issues relating to my article and the protest, we were able to have a respectful and positive conversation. One point he felt very unhappy with is that I used the words bullying, yelling and screaming to describe the organization's actions. After listening to his arguments I have come to see that the JVNA was not directly responsible for such behavior. I still do believe that JVNA deserved much criticism for throwing their hat into the ring with people that were partaking in aggressive and threatening actions as well as for doing nothing when protestors used their Facebook events page to defame and embarrass Urban Adamah. I also still believe that the JVNA should of engaged Urban Adamah in dialogue about the morality of their planned class rather than join a misguided and fruitless protests. Nonetheless I do feel that I was altogether much too hard on the JVNA who actually served as a voice of moderation within the protestors, and for this I would like to offer my sincere apology.
We Need Dialogue not Protests, Why I Stand by Urban Adamah and am Appalled by the Actions of the JVNA
In August of 2012, I ran one of my first kosher slaughter workshops at the Urban Adamah educational farm in Berkeley. I explained the kosher process and demonstrated live slaughter and processing on a few of their spent laying hens. Several participants cried during the slaughter and while some were inspired to eat better meat afterwards, others said they wanted to become vegetarians or vegans as a result of the experience. The class not only facilitated a tremendous amount of dialogue, growth and learning for all involved, it also provided a highly nutritious and tasty heritage chicken soup for farm visitors. This past Sunday, Urban Adamah had once again set up a workshop where they were slated to slaughter the remaining 15 hens of their laying flock. Things were going very smoothly until animal rights activists found out about the event and began to organize a mass protest. Their threat eventually caused the farm’s landlord to request a cancellation and despite holding strong until that point, farm founder Adam Berman was forced to scrub the workshop in the face of this large and disruptive demonstration.
I support people who want to be vegans or vegetarians %100 but I don’t support the claim that meat consumption is inherently immoral. So I've decided to share my top 3 reasons why meat consumption is not only moral but an important piece of who we are.
3. Meat is Healthy
Growing up many of us were told that meat is unhealthy, it makes people fat and will clog your arteries. Luckily, in recent years the studies which were thought to prove this have been largely debunked* and most all health professionals maintain that animal flesh is actually highly nutritious.* Meat contains high levels of protein, good fats and large amounts of vitamins B3, B6, A, D, K, Iron, Zinc, and Selenium just to name a few.* But by far the most important nutrient to be gotten from animal products is B12 which cannot be found in any vegetable source. B12 is so important that low levels can cause intense fatigue, mental depression, irreparable nerve damage and a myriad of other serious and debilitating symptoms.* So I ask you, how can something necessary for maintaining basic human health be essentially immoral?
I’m sick and tired of vegetarians thinking they are somehow doing animals a favor by not eating their flesh. Now I’ve got no beef, pun intended, with vegans. You’ve got to respect people who are able to abstain from all animal products, and as long as they can do it in a healthy manner, I see it as a positive way to fully and truly avoid the cruelties of commercial animal production. For that matter, I have no problem with people becoming vegetarians because of personal preference, health, or environmental concerns. While I do think that meat production done right can in many instances help the environment,* and that meat is very healthy when consumed as part of a balanced diet,* I can still respect people choosing to abstain from it for legitimate considerations. What I absolutely cannot stand is when someone becomes a vegetarian because of animal welfare. The fantasy that simply going veg helps animals is a lie, it hurts animals, it harms society, and I will not keep quiet about it any longer.
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.