The mark of just how civilised any people are is very much related to how they address notions of cruelty to those creatures over which they have domain. Frankly you would have to be living under a rock if you are not aware of the scandal about the methods of slaughter that are common in countries like Indonesia and the middle east.
On a personal level I have dabbled with the vegetarian faith but I eventually came to the conclusion that as long as each individual is prepared to take personal responsibility for the life that must be taken to put meat onto the table then cruelty can and will be minimised. But lets make no mistake there is no entirely cruelty free way to kill the animals that we eat. All that we can do is try with the greatest sincerity to make the necessary death swift and as lacking of suffering as we can. Now I have previously denounced the practices of Halal slaughter and I find the stories that have inspired this current scandal entirely unsurprising. If you add a general indifference to the suffering of lesser creatures (or unbelievers ) to very poor governance on matters secular (like the regulation of abattoirs) you have the conditions for a sort of perfect storm of cruelty.But I also see the industrialisation of meat as a pernicious factor in this scandal as well because it allows the slaughter to be distanced form polite society and in that distance there is no social oversight of the practice either.
Well on this issue I find myself pretty much in tune with those who insist that unless the cruelty can be stopped (or at least minimised ) then we have no ethical choice but to suspend the export of Australian cattle until the ending of cruel slaughter practices can be assured.