I am teaching this week at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. Access to the internet is limited, but discussion concerning Hechsher Tzedek is going full speed ahead. The classes and sessions I have been privileged to share in this week so far have convinced me that Hechsher Tzedek will be a powerful and positive addition to the kashrut industry. I will write more about this in the coming days.
My morning has been taken up with calls concerning the latest PETA video which was released concerning Agriprocessors. Their plant in Gordon, Nebraska has come under similar surveillance to the Agri plant in Postville circa 2004. In a video which states it was taped in May of 2007, terrible violations of humane treatment of animals following shehita are shown. What this video demonstrates is just how important it is for the Hechsher Tzedek to move forward as quickly as logistically possible. The need to address the following areas in an objective and verifiable way remains an important and necessary undertaking. The Conservative movement's foray into these areas will elevate the observance and meaning of kashrut. The six areas necessary to address are a) wages and benefits; b)health and safety; c)training; d)corporate transparency; e) environmental impact and f) animal welfare. The Peta video clearly demonstrates that unless this last area is considered part of the Hechsher Tzedek process abuse of animals will continue. And yet, unless the first three areas are considered, abuse of human beings could also continue.