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When animal cruelty runs afoul of Judaism

[New Jersey Jewish News]

Judaism may have a rich tradition of kindness to animals, but Paul Shapiro sees a disconnect between biblical and talmudic imperatives and the current status quo on factory farms, where 95 percent of all animal products are produced, including kosher meat.

"Animals on factory farms are treated as if they are not God's creatures but units of production on an assembly line," said Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection at the Humane Society of the United States. "Most people don't think about where their food comes from, and if they do, they envision Old MacDonald's Farm, where cows are grazing in a pasture and chickens run around.

"But the vast majority of farm animals are subjected to extreme cruelty that few of us would want to bear witness to."

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