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Investigator Discusses PETA Sting on Kosher Slaughterhouse

Written by PETA | February 15, 2008

PETA’s Investigator Inside the Slaughterhouse
Investigator at Uruguay Slaughterhouse 3.jpg

Last week, PETA revealed shocking footage taken inside a South American slaughterhouse which exports kosher meat to the U.S. The abuse our investigator found was especially horrific due to the use of a method called “shackling and hoisting,” which is extremely painful and frightening for the animals. I spoke with the investigator yesterday to discuss his experiences working on this case:

What was the most difficult thing about this investigation for you?

Being Jewish, I grew up believing that kosher food was better supervised and therefore cleaner, healthier and produced more humanely. Like the famous kosher slogan, I thought the kosher food industry always “answered to a higher authority.” It was disillusioning to see, yet again, such callous violations of the most fundamental Jewish principles, such as tsa’ar ba’alei chayim (kindness to animals) and to witness this horror face-to-face with the tortured animals.

Why did you agree to do this investigation?

As someone who keeps kosher, I feel ashamed and embarrassed that the kosher food industry has been complicit in some of the worst farmed animal abuses. PETA has been instrumental in bringing about humane improvements to kosher slaughter within the United States and much of that has been due to our undercover investigations. We have also tried for years behind the scenes to get the important companies to end this hideous “shackle and hoist” kosher slaughter method in South America but unfortunately these companies were more concerned with hiding what goes in their slaughterhouses. Undercover footage is the best way to expose the truth and ultimately hold people accountable to make conditions less cruel for the animals. I desperately want kosher food to live up to the highest standards and I know other kosher consumers demand the same.

You can watch the results of the investigation below, and if you’d like to take action, please click here to write to Jewish leaders asking them to enforce tougher standards on kosher slaughterhouses like this one to ensure that these horrors never happen again.

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  • Maya, C.V.T. says:

    Judith WOW I just read your message from February 16th where have I been? LOL!!! I am so happy for that lucky kitty! How did you find the owner?? Glad I could help but you are definetly the ultimate miracle worker many blessings to you!!!!

  • Brandon Becker says:

    rojo You acknowledge that nonhuman animals feel pain and do not want to die yet you still endorse the practice of breeding confining and killing them for food. The bottom line Humans can be healthy without eating animal flesh and their secretions therefore we should all be vegan. PETA can send you a free guide to help you on your way httpwww.goveg.comorder.asp

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Rojo I never thought I would agree with you but I so agree until we can bring an end to slaughter all together. Peace!!!!!

  • rojo says:

    Shirhonda animals can feel pain and be afraid like us and we don’t like it. It is thus imperative that they sense the absolute minimum of either during slaughter. Thats why its better to kill it humanely.

  • animalfriend says:

    Shirhonda Jones it’s exactly the cruelty inside people like you and Ashley which makes me feel to be a misanthropic freak! What kind of people are you do you have a stone heart or what? People treating animals as they treat them in this video and people posting as you are posting here make me loose every kind of human sympathy! and animal torture should be punished by hanging like this these twolegged beasts would learn how it feels to be treated like rubbish! this earth and her inhabitants here are not ours to abuse and torture! people like you are making actually a hell out of this planet and we have to swallow silently all this fascist treatment because criminal laws are protecting the evil doers! i’m sorry but from a spiritual viewpoint we are not living on the same planet at all! if i happen to see a person who is about to kill or abuse an animal i try to stop him and i don’t care about the consequence of this action or the result! animals are by far smarter and cleverer as you and the rest of the bunch are thinking! they are feeling pain exactly in the same way as we do! if a human being takes the right to kill or abuse an animal it’s with the right of the stronger see fascist and we uptil now a minority do not agree with this but are the others asking us? no they are just killing and abusing according to their whims and if we try to defend ourselves which of course includes the animals they tell us that we are extremists and ridiculous and terrorists and crazy! we should really start now to put the things in the right order but a continuous oppression and abuse is leading to a complete misanthropic feeling from which animal protectors could risk to suffer and i fully agree with judith’s statement and understand her holy anger! too much is too much specially the stroppy remarks of Ashley are worse than trash!

  • Enrico says:

    Ashley go to hell with your juicy steak!

  • green sun says:

    shame on you ashley! you are really a disgusting naughty person without any culture and education! you have no idea about anything you don’t know or even feel through which kind of hell these poor animals have to go because you little shady are the slave of your belly! may karma strike you with full power!!!

  • Shirhonda Jones says:

    So all I read on here is oh that’s so unhumane so if they killed the animals in a human why would it be better? And for thoses who said that “Humans would be hanging from the ceiling not animals” how are you or anyone else who feels that way any better than the people that do kill the animals?

  • Ashley says:

    Yes! I bet the sales of meat are really slowing down because of this sting! Oh and Judith if you would like to see people being harmed like that…go to Africa..it’s much sadder than some stupid cow getting slaughtered to provide a big juicy steak for me and my family! Approve that site owner.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Carla I too believe that more than animal blood would be spilled. They would never want to send someone like myself in a place like that to investigate. Humans would be hanging from the ceiling not animals. Peace!!!

  • Carla says:

    Amy having a glitch in posting some Peta Members’ posts?

  • RAINBOW WARRIOR says:

    John it’s incredible but true! There are still people approving such crimes! I don’t know in what kind of a world you are living in i’m just sure that accepting this horrific crime for a piece of meat is sick whatever religion one has! what kind of ‘mangiven’ standards are you talking about? Your supposed ‘Godgiven’ standards are merely diabolic or fascist!

  • Ana says:

    Thanks Brandon!!! Go vegan enough said!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Stacy She is normally stunned first with a captive bolt gun which shoots a retractable projectile into the brain. On paper it should work quite well. In practice an improperly stunned cow can regain consciousness as she is being hacked apart farther down the disassembly lineand this does happen far too often.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Michelle Please do not be taken in by the lies that the proslaughter people are spewing. History shows that the number of starving horses today and 10 years ago have not changed. The AQHA would love to have everyone believe otherwise. The people have spoken. And we will continue to move foward. P.S. America has been sending horses to slaughter in Mexico for over 20 yearsthe pro people would like to have you believe that this has just happened since the closing. Peace! savedahorses.com

  • little big woman says:

    John with people like you i don’t loose much time! first you are not a jew and second you are a karmi! for nonslaughtering religions in this world there is no worse than you! i just can say enjoy your corpses create karma and study the real jewish bible the thora and the holy kabbalah the same advice as i gave to furwearing madonna! human being is a paradox…

  • Don Quijote says:

    Thomas Paine reading your text i feel pain it is a pity to see how people like you didn’t make any evolution!

  • Darryl says:

    I agree that the footage is gruesome and apalling. But really how humane can you actually be in a SLAUGHTERHOUSE? These cattle fuel people with food.

  • Janice says:

    This has to be stopped. I want to know where the meat I buy is coming from and that the treatment is humane. I am pretty much reduced to buying white meat only these days and I am sure it goes on there as well. makes me sick to my stomach.

  • Avera Sims says:

    Sickening! One has to have very sadistic tendencies to watch that being done let alone to take part in it.

  • Carla says:

    Sick sick sick and all for WHAT meat!! WHAT did they do to deserve such madness!! I don’t know if I can be an investigator for this. My blood would be boiling I would be burning up… Let me tell you I may be the only human walking out of there ALIVE!!

  • natasha forder says:

    Hi i was disgusted and heart broken at what i have whitnesses. I love jewish people and my mother is jewish but im also a lover of all and i mean all animals! please stop these cruel people from doing this.. it upsets me heart so much i cry myself to sleep… terrible is the only way to describe it… I am a Christain and stongly belive in the lord. The lord would not want animals to be treated this way.. we are such a greedy and cruel race…it breaks my heart…god forgive us. Natasha Forder

  • JJ says:

    It is disgusting I like meat but am apalled to eat it sometimes. I would actually starve if i went vegan. My question is why can’t governments force companies to use CAK or controlled atmosphere killing. You can find more about it here at the peta website. Until then it makes me sick to see videos like that and i only really eat chicken anymore but beef still tastes good sometimes. Why do they say all “serial killers” start abusing animals? Because it is not natural!

  • Michelle says:

    FYI Horses are starving by the thousands. The government shut down the last horse processing plant last year. The 100k plus horses that would have been sent to slaugher in the U.S. are now hanging out with nowhere to go. Drought prices have caused hay feed prices through the roof. People are abandoning them because it is too costly to feed them. A grown horse eats 10lb to 15lbs of hay a day there is no grass due to the drought here in the south so we must feed hay. A 50lb bale of hay costs $9 $12 that’s a five day supply for just 1 horse. Multiply that by 100000+ horses. Domestic Horses are being set free abandoned and many of them are starving because people can’t afford to feed them. The government passed the anti slaughter bill without a plan “B”. I wish PETA would now lobby for a good solution for the hundreds of thousands horses that are now starving. We rescued one horse last weekend go to hanksqdtoo.com to meet “Scarlett”. What is the answer for the surplus of horses? Responsible breeding will never happen. It’s bad bad bad out there. America’s horses could use PETA’s help now more than ever. Is it worse to be slaughtered in the U.S. or to starve to death? I don’t know anymore. Until you’ve really seen a starving horse up close you can’t really appreciate what I am saying. What are we going to do with America’s massive and growing population of “unwanted” horses? Not wild mustangs out west domesticated aging former show horses and polo ponies and children’s ponies and broodmares and race horses and trail riding horses? A lot of people use them up and put them on the market when they are 20 or so. Well a horse can live to be 40 and many need special attention as they age. They used to go to slaughter now they are ending up on barren land starving to death. I hate it but it’s a sad fact.

  • Gregory says:

    I’m going to avoid the topic of religion completely in this comment. The objective here isn’t to debate what anyone’s “God” wants it’s about the animals suffering. This is yet another horror taking place right before our eyes. All I see is a major corporation using a religious term koshr to manipulate and lie. These methods of slaughter are far from humane. As respectable enlightened concerned people we cannot allow this to go on. Everyone does die in the end but there should NOT be any meaningless suffering like this. The question is what can we do?

  • Stacy Andrews says:

    The recent spotlight on Hallmark Meat Packing Co. has been a real eye opener for me. It may just turn me in to a vegan after all. Does anyone know what the legal way to slaughter a cow is at these plants? Is it an injection or med of some sort? How is a cow ethically slaughtered?

  • Alex says:

    killing is killing GO VEGAN thats humane!

  • Bobbi Harris says:

    It’s a crime in itself that those who have committed that abuse to the cattle and probably other animals are considered to be human living beings. How our society tolerates such disgusting beings shows how ignorant we are. Each one who has committed or commits cruelty and torture on an animal or another human being should be handed their own death sentence. When will we lose our ignorance and punish those who deserve punishment. Peta has helped tremendously yet the rest of the world needs to wake up.

  • marjorie says:

    ANY HUMAN THAT DOES THIS BARBARIC HORROR TO AN INNOCENT CREATUREWAIT TILL YOU GET YOUR TURN IN HELL THE DEVIL HIMSELF IS GOING TO TORTURE THEM AND SKIN THEM ALIVE FOR ALL ETERNITY MARK MY WORDS GOD BLESS PETA AND ALL THE OTHERS ANIMAL ACTIVIST AND ALL THE VEGETARIANS

  • Maggy says:

    What I want to know is why did an investigation by the HSUS of downed cattle get so much coverage? Even a recall?! PETA exposes this all the time. Downed cows and pigs are routinely sent into the food chain. CNN had a USDA rep tell the public how rare this was. Pleeze! What is the matter with the media?

  • Brandon Becker says:

    Ana is right on. Help end the suffering and slaughter of innocent beings go vegan. Visit httpwww.goveg.com to begin the transition. It’s much easier than you think!

  • john says:

    you may disagree with what you perceive as cruelty to animals and what goes on in this particular plant may or may not be acceptable to you but as a religious jew I believe what the old testament and the rabbi’s interpretation is as far as the acceptability to eat and condone slaughtering animals. the concept of intolerance to that conjecture has no basis in american or moral law as it is merely peta’s agenda in which you choose to measure according to your moral standards. you can study and learn the acceptable methods for gd given laws to understand the will of gd as opposed to your standards that are merely man given. gd’s laws stand the test of time and come from an infinite creator that knows way better than you what is considered moral and just. in moral societies mankind exercises many acts that to the unwitting bystanders are considered cruel such as surgery war and incarceration. but the methods that are exercised are morally just considering the circumstances involved. i do agree that if alternative methods that can be done in a less painful method should be exercised where possible the alternative of all vegan is a personal choice made by and individual as opposed to your group moralizing to the masses..especially since there is rich enumeration and power that results in your positions…if you choose not to post this because it doesn’t further your cause it will be understood that you are blinded by your one sided positionbut you are free to post as you wish. i thank you for listening to an opposing position.

  • Patricia Teague says:

    This was terrible to watch and for that animal. Why can’t Jews be vegeritarians also rather than see these animals done like this. Since joining Peta I have gotten so that meat turns my stomach. It is inhuman what animals are going through for sake of people having meat

  • lynda downie says:

    It no longer surprises me to see otherwise compassionate religious people treat animals in such a callous cruel way.

  • Kelley says:

    The best way to practice nonviolence and lead a morally positive life is to take a long hard look at what is on your dinner plate. People are often uncomfortable eating meat around me. I NEVER say or do anything rude to them but they seem to think I am passing moral judgement on them by my silence. I am.

  • lauren says:

    All this in the name of religion. i feel ashamed to be human sometimes. I went vegetarian 3 years ago and will never eat meat agian …… NEVER !!!!!!

  • ANIMAL LIBERATION says:

    First of all i would like once more to thank the PETAundercover hero for his unlimited courage and mercy towards these poor helpless creatures! You are my hero and you have my heart! Second i would like to remind once more that kosher slaughter methods are the result of a restricted understanding of the Old Testament! Unfortunately spiritually and intellectually poor jews christians and muslims are indulging far toooo much in the Pentateuch and they are referring to Moses deeds! Hence Moses slaughtered Moses stroke Moses shattered Moses extinguished Moses sacrificed etc. on ‘God’s orders’ What Moses did was absolutely correct for his time but in the same time with this world also the Bible made it’s evolution! And there we find the book of the prophets who were unanimously AGAINST sacrifice and killing of animals! So i ask you would they have condoned to this no they would not! Iob would not Jeremiah would not Isaiah who announced the coming of the Messiah would not Daniel would not The Ecclesiastes would not The Song of Songs would not The Psalms would not So after seeing this horrendous video i have no more Song of Songs i had really to find my words for to respond to this here! These brainless folks should gather their brains and think why are there so many vegetarian jewish intellectuals and rabbis! They are all named in the Peta files on Ingrid’s list! and instead of insulting PETA on their hateful blogs they should start their evolution too! And please PETA put a special eye on South America this continent is an EL DORADO for animal torturers! Everyone who wants to torture animals officially or in hiding takes a trip there! The most lovely thing in this world would be the human spirit but for the moment it’s almost barren!

  • Marc Levy says:

    Let me just say as a devout religeous Jew and vegeterian I am appalled and disgusted by this footage. But at the same time I know through experience that this is an isolated experience. The laws of ritual slaughter in Judaism are thus to minimise suffering to the animal. I also know that in other slaughtering processes the pain to the animal is as excrutiating…but this is terrible…and the lesson learned and enforced is go vegetarian

  • alison Gavine says:

    Proud to be Vegan!!!

  • Carrie Daviduk says:

    That sickens me no human has the right to do something as horrific as that to an animal.

  • Old Spiderwoman says:

    I ask myself which putrified Mastermind is at the origin of such an inhumane slaughtermethod?!

  • Stacy P says:

    Have you guys seen “Sacred Duty” yet it is free on You Tube and addresses Judaism responsibility diet and climate.

  • sarah says:

    I didn’t want to watch the video but I feel I owe it to the animals to know what happens to them so that I may be more effective in trying to help them. The entire video was horrible but the most horrific part to me was the constant bawling screaming of the steer. It will haunt me as long as I live. As both a christian and an activist I struggle with this issue constantly. I do know that in Genesis 129 God gives instructions for “all” creatures to be vegetarians. So when people say to me that God gave the animals for us to eat I know that it was not His intention from the beginning. Sin separated us from God and death is associated with sin and that tells me that the act of killing is a negative thing.

  • Richard says:

    Makes me glad I’m a vegetarian

  • rojo says:

    The sad convergence of religion and third world conditions. Humane slaughter may well be an oxymoron for some but inhumane slaughter is much much worse. As Jack says please inform your religious leaders that these practices should not go on like this. Tradition is only an aversion to change. Ana if Christfor whom the Jewish and Islamic faiths have little respect at best left no directions then why shouldn’t His followers eat animals and use their skins? Easter is surely about death as much as life. A death of astounding barbarity and endurance. When we think of Jesus at Easter it is most likely in relation to the cross and his crown of thorns. A celebration of life and death entwined.

  • Nancy says:

    Excellent points Cheryl! Genesis is the perfect answer to Christians who try to attack vegetarianism with scripture. And you mentioned another one that comes up all too frequently the whole idea of humans being given “dominion” over animals. A religion scholar friend of mine once told me that the word “dominion” was a mistranslation of the original text… which actually translates to “stewardship”. Imagine if THAT had been the word that made it into the King James version! What never ceases to amaze me though is how many adults seem to have so little connection to their own consciences that they need to be toldby religious texts or laws or gurusthat abuse and torture and murder are wrong. But that might explain how people can commit such atrocities in the name of God. Not only do they need to be told… they need to have ears to hear.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Ana Animalfriend and Cheryl speak for me. I feel too ill to say anything else right now. Judith

  • cheryl snyder says:

    WTF? And these people think this is what their God had in mind when humans were given dominion over the animals? Funny isn’t it that meat eating biblically only started after humans were cast out of paradise. Think about it. animals were not kicked out only humans. If there is a god I am sure these people will pay for the way they have treated other creatures in the name of God. Jeez I am disgusted to be human sometimes most times.

  • animalfriend says:

    This is real horror on earth! Only looking at that picture makes me sick i can’t look the video… This shame is untolerable and has to stop immediately! How can a human soul live with this? This kosher holocaust is another unacceptable human stain remaining there in the cosmos the karma and in my mind until i die that day i shall say i’m happy to leave this cursed diabolic planet once and for all!!! because such a cruelty is simply not understandable even islamic hallal doesn’t go that far! by what kind of a rascal soul is a human being possessed for doing this awful crime to an animal and what kind of a bloodlicking religion is indulging in such horrific pain inflictions i only can compare this to the blasphemic sacrifices of the Durgacult in India! and don’t tell me now that i should better care about people bla bla bla…. i’m against abortion i’m helping amnesty international i’m donating for africa etc. etc. but this here is pure evil kingdom of hell!!!!!!!!

  • Ana says:

    The best way to end these abuses is to go vegan. Don’t eat or wear the other animals and no one gets hurt. Whether they get shackled and hoisted or not they will be ultimately slaughtered. Folks humane slaughter is an oxymoron. The only humane alternative is to not eat them. Whether it is halal or kosher slaughtering animals is violence and murder and does harm the other animals. Christ left no directions for Christians on how to slaughter the other animals yet they eat and wear them. Celebrating Easter a celebration of life with the cadavers of slaughtered gentle sheep lambs goats cows and intelligent pigs is not celebrating life nor showing love to their Creator.

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