This debate arose last year in Australia in particular when it was discovered that many of our cattle where being exported live to other countries where they were being brutally killed... because of religion. Here you have to legally stun a cow before killing it so it doesn't experience as much stress and pain as being killed while still fully conscious. Not every country has the same rules, and in many the animal has to be alive when it's throat is slit. I think it's kosher, or halal or something like that. I don't remember which one but it was due to religious reasons that the animal had to be alive. I don't think religion should ever be an excuse to cause suffering to anything, be it human or animal. Do you think cruelty towards animals is excusable in the name of religion?