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In Belgium, Euthanizing Mentally Ill Is OK, Kosher Slaughter Is Not


It makes my head hurt. Belgium’s largest region has outlawed kosher and halal slaughter of cows. From the Independent story:

Belgium’s Wallooon region has voted to ban kosher and halal meats by outlawing the slaughter of unstunned animals. The environment committee of southern Belgium’s Walloon Parliament voted unanimously for the ban, which will take effect on 1 September, 2019.

Both Jewish kosher and Islamic halal rituals require the butcher to swiftly slaughter the animal by slitting its throat and draining its blood, a process condemned by animal rights campaigners, who argue it is more humane to stun animals before killing them.

As the story notes, the law has been condemned as a direct attack on religious practice.

I agree. That’s what secularists too often do, even though freedom of religious practice is supposed to be one of the West’s primary human rights.

But I take away another lesson: Belgium has legalized euthanasia by doctors of the mentally ill — and allowed these homicides to be conjoined with organ harvesting. So the treatment of cattle receives greater concern in Belgium than the lives of society’s most disturbed people.

Rejecting human exceptionalism creates such surrealistic outcomes.

More: When ending suffering becomes society’s prime directive — rather than defending the intrinsic dignity of all human life — it profoundly distorts our moral priorities.

Photo: Belgian Blue cow, by joost j. bakker [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Cross-posted at The Corner.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.



Belgiumeuthanasiahalal slaughterhuman dignityIslamJudaismkosher slaughtermedicineWalloon region