Andy Kastner

A Day Of ‘Conscious Kills’

On the eve of Thanksgiving, a local shochet provides a sharp contrast to the big slaughterhouses.

11/25/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

Walton, N.Y. — Andy Kastner rarely eats meat and wishes others would eat less, too.

So why, you might ask, was this man slaughtering kosher turkeys this week for Thanksgiving?
Kastner is a shochet, the fellow ordained to kill livestock according to Jewish law. But he also considers himself an educator. It’s his job, he explained, to remind the public about the cost of meat beyond the sticker price: in blood and emotion.

“It’s a profound experience that is generally written off as disgusting or brutal,” he said.

Compassionate cut: Shochet Andy Kastner with the tool of his trade. Ron Dicker
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