This question is not for the squeamish. I was told that non-Kosher animals like pigs have a different anatomy in their neck compared to kosher animals like cows such that the Shechita method of religious slaughter (a very sharp knife held on the neck only by the weight of gravity rapidly going back and forth in a single cut that drains blood and results in an "instant" drop in blood pressure in the brain), while causing pain in the non-Kosher animals, doesn't cause pain in the Kosher animals. Is there such an anatomical difference and thus difference in pain?

(If this would be more on-topic at Skeptics.SE, let me know.)

  • $\begingroup$ This could be extended as well to other religions, such as Islamic dhabīḥah $\endgroup$
    – nico
    Aug 1, 2013 at 7:13
  • $\begingroup$ @nico Possibly. That's how I had an earlier version of this question before I edited it. But the original claim was in context of Kosher/shechita and I'm not familiar enough to know if there's a practical difference with the Islamic method. $\endgroup$
    – A L
    Aug 1, 2013 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


Difference between kosher and non-kosher animals

Rabbi Zamir Cohen, in his book The Coming Revolution - Science Discovers the Truths of the Bible, quotes modern day scientists that have made an incredible discovery of a major difference in the way the blood flows in the species that are kosher and those that are not. In non-kosher mammals, the vertebral arteries flow directly to the brain through the rete mirabile. However, in cloven-hoofed, cud-chewing mammals and permitted foul, the vertebral arteries drain into the carotid artery and do not have any direct flow to the brain. There will therefore be an immediate drop in blood pressure at the time of shechita that causes the animal to lose consciousness, thus feeling no pain.

  • $\begingroup$ It was my understanding that the vertebral arteries bring blood to the brain even in cattle, and are not severed, and keep them conscious far longer than any kosher bird. Do you have a source other than a rabbi? $\endgroup$
    – A L
    Nov 22, 2013 at 4:44
  • $\begingroup$ The technical details on this are a bit muddled. The wording "drains into" doesn't seem to fit with what an artery does. Could we get a more biologically precise description of what is alleged to be happening here? $\endgroup$
    – Caleb
    Feb 5, 2014 at 21:00

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