Religion & Beliefs

Naked Chef Jamie Oliver Becoming a Kosher Slaughterer

Naked Chef Jamie Oliver is working on some PETA style exposes that would condemn shechita, the kosher slaughtering process, and the Jewish community in Britain is freaking out. I've received this email from a number of friends at home and … Read More

By / February 14, 2008

Naked Chef Jamie Oliver is working on some PETA style exposes that would condemn shechita, the kosher slaughtering process, and the Jewish community in Britain is freaking out. I've received this email from a number of friends at home and abroad in the past few days:

It has become apparent that Jamie Oliver and Channel Four are in the process of filming a new series about food production. This time, Jamie will be focussing on ritual animal slaughter. Jamie Oliver's next series is set to be an examination of shechita, the method of ritual slaughter used by Jews and Muslims. Reports suggest that Oliver will condemn the practice as barbaric, and argue that animal rights must take precedence over religious sensibilities. It is thought that the programme will show animals being slaughtered under Jewish and Muslim auspices, with footage showing great pain and suffering, rather than it being a painless method, as its supporters have claimed. Although all the details are not yet clear, it appears that Oliver will actually be undergoing full training to become a Shochet, or Kosher slaughterer. Channel Four then intend to show in graphic detail the slaughter of a cow involving Oliver cutting through the jugular vein. Obviously, the spilled blood will make the practice appear cruel and inhumane without taking into account the skill and precise work of a real Shochet. If shown, the programme will be a shocking attack on religious freedom in Britain, and an example of gross anti-Semitism. Shechita is a humane method of slaughter, and, more importantly, the Jewish community has the right to continue to practice its ancient traditions. If the idea of banning shechita gains popular approval (and Oliver certainly has the capacity to do this, following his recent campaign on the welfare of battery hens) other Jewish practices such as circumcision are sure to soon be under threat. We have to mobilise now, to prevent this programme from being aired, and safeguard religious freedom in the UK. Signing this petition will send a clear message to Channel Four – together we can stop this show and preserve our rights. Sign the online petition

The tone of this email is a bit more hysterical than I think it needs to be. If shechita really looks awful, can’t we consider the possibility that it is awful? And though I would never condone anything that could have detrimental effects on the UK's Jewish community, it sounds like Oliver is going to do his best to portray things as accurately as he can. If it really isn’t inhumane, then the Jewish community needs to figure out a way to make that clear. And if shechita is being carried out in an inhumane fashion, then the community needs to put a stop to it.

Update: Turns out it was all a hoax on the part of those British pranksters Jewdas!

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