Thursday, 17 May 2012

Halal and kosher meat - the controversy

In most civilised countries - although I use the word advisedly - it is now illegal to cause undue suffering to animals.  I say that is 'a good thing', to borrow the expression from Messrs Sellar and Yateman.

This humane approach applies to the treatment of domestic pets, animals used in sporting activities, farm animals, and to the slaughter of animals for food.  The aim of minimising suffering is not completely universal, but even those who favour blood sports generally don't wish to prolong the suffering of the animals that they hunt.

In a more-or-less secular culture we close our eyes to some of the things that are going on around us.  The laws are there to protect the animals, so the animals must be 'enjoying' their protection.

They must, mustn't they?

What?  You mean that the law of the country doesn't apply to everyone equally?  Well . . . it turns out that it does not.  In fact, for a tiny percentage of the population who have irrational beliefs in a special friend in the sky, but no evidence for those beliefs whatsoever, the law doesn't apply at all, and they can profit from it.

We all know, in the back of our minds at least, that Jewish 'kosher' meat and Islamic 'halal' meat are exempt from the legislation about cruelty to animals.  Imagine being one of those animals brought for slaughter, bound and powerless, having your throat cut and seeing your own blood pouring out as every fibre of your being is terrified in in excruciating pain.

Humane killing, the Islamic way.
Most people pretend not to know about this, but in all fairness they are simply turning a blind eye.  Of course it is easier to turn a blind eye in Semitic cultures where it is permissible to take an eye for an eye!  But UK is not supposed to be a Semitic culture.  It is supposed to be multi-cultural.

Even within Judaism and Islam I am sure that many people don't understand the implications fully.  They know that their food has to be ritually clean.  They might know what that implies for the animals involved, and their upbringing has probably conditioned them to believe that it is right and just. 

However, I say we should not be so selective in our view of the world around us.  We can't blame the people who follow these bronze age and iron age faiths for their upbringing, but I think we can require that they comply with the law.  Surely, if it is a bad thing to make animals suffer then it is one of the universal truths that should apply to everyone living in our country.  Belief in Yahweh or Allah should not exempt anyone from the standards of humanity that we expect.

And they say that atheists have no morals!

It gets worse than this though.  You might not realise it, but some of the meat that you eat could have been slaughtered in this same way.  The fact that the laws about slaughter have been neglected might also suggest that other laws do not apply.  For example, is the science of food hygiene understood by the barbarians who kill their meat in this way?  Or is the science of the Qu'ran or Torah applied to the way the meat is prepared too?  May the seventh heaven forbid!

You are probably saying to yourself that this doesn't apply to you.  You buy your food from reputable retailers and they must be ensuring that the required standards are being applied throughout the food chain.  Surely they must.  But this report from the British Humanist Association (by coincidence published this week) seems to suggest that it is not the case.  It says:

"Halal meat accounts for a quarter of the entire UK meat market, despite Muslims making up 3-4% of the population, and is routinely served in some schools, restaurants and hotels as well as sold unlabelled in supermarkets, so it is certain that many non-Muslims regularly eat Halal meat unknowingly."

Perhaps the standards are being applied.  But what would happen if you find yourself in hospital?  If you listen to the news and notice what is said in the background, you might hear stories that hospitals are aware of the halal problem.  Islamic patients have to be assured that their food is ritually clean.  (This would surely be difficult whatever the circumstances, as it is probably being prepared and served by infidels.  Islam allows compromises in a life and death situation though - as long as it is the Muslim's life or death.)  But at the very least, the meat must have been slaughtered INHUMANELY!  The patients complain if they find that this is not the case.  It is more expensive to have the appropriate systems in place to ensure that the halal meat is segregated from the humane meat, so it makes sense in these times of austerity to make the whole menu halal.  That simplifies things a lot.  It cuts costs (even if that halal meat costs more and comes from dubious sources).  It keeps the patients happier.  It makes profits too (for the immoral Islamic slaughter trade).

The other patients do not complain of course.  They probably don't even think about where their meat has come from.  As far as they are concerned it is food that has been produced in the same way as the food in the supermarket.  Little do they know about the torment that the animals suffered, and even if they did know they would probably cast it to the back of their minds because they are more concerned about their own health.  But that report that I mentioned above also says:

"The former Farm Animal Welfare Council and the EU-funded Dialrel Project similarly concluded that non-stun slaughter is extremely painful and distressing for animals."

and

“At the very least, we believe that animals that have been slaughtered without being stunned should be clearly labelled, as this will ensure that those who have no religious requirements and who object to consuming meat from an animal that has died in extreme pain can avoid it, which will undoubtedly significantly reduce the UK’s consumption of non-stunned meat.”But by stealth, without us realising it, another small aspect of Islam is creeping into our lives."

I say we should make halal and kosher meat completely illegal.  One law for all!

What do you say?  Search your heart.


19 comments:

Hilary said...

I totally agree actually. It's a dreadful thing. I actually hate the thought of any animal being killed for food, (though this is personal and I wouldn't want to impose vegetarianism on all, but definitely agree that at least a humane slaughter needs to be abided by).

Little Miss Joey said...

I agree. I agree on two accounts: 1. one law for all; this seems pretty obvious to me, the law MUST apply to all; and 2. my own personal opinion, which in matters of the law should not count much (there's my point 1. for that), but to me means that you cannot be cruel to other beings!

24 Hour Restaurant said...

i agree on the two things
Halal Meat

24 Hour Restaurant said...

I totally agree actually. It's a dreadful thing. I actually hate the thought of any animal being killed for food, (though this is personal and I wouldn't want to impose vegetarianism on all, but definitely agree that at least a humane slaughter needs to be abided by).
Halal Meat Philadelphia

Falafel sandwich said...

Halal Meat Philadelphia
Very interesting article

anurag taneja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anurag taneja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anurag taneja said...

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that non-vegetarianism is one of the biggest moral dilemmas facing the human race.

There can be no logical justification to kill a living creature to tingle one's taste buds (let alone find the optimal method to intensify its suffering).

The arguments that MOST people would give in favour of non vegetarianism are - Natural Order/Food Chain/Superiority of the Human species. Well in that case Im sure such people wont mind their relatives being eaten for dinner by a species superior to ours (If we ever encounter one, and it shares our moral values. And heaven forbid if it has an inclination towards ceremonial slaughter)

And for those who believe that Humans are the superior most species in the Universe - Thank god that Im an Atheist.

Also Im sure that as our species evolves, it will find the thought of their ancestors being carnivores abhorrent (as depicted by the noted author H G Wells in one of his books)

halal meat Philadelphia said...

Makkah Market is one among the most trusted suppliers of Halal Meat Philadelphia, with an assurance of following strict guidelines while offering Halal Food to the customers.
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Halal Meat Philadelphia said...

I totally agree actually. It's a dreadful thing. I actually hate the thought of any animal being killed for food, (though this is personal and I wouldn't want to impose vegetarianism on all, but definitely agree that at least a humane slaughter needs to be abided by).
Halal Meat Philadelphia

halal food Philadelphia said...

Makkah Market is one among the most trusted suppliers of Halal Meat Philadelphia, with an assurance of following strict guidelines while offering Halal Food to the customers.

Plasma Engineer said...

Isn't it amazing, and indeed ironically amusing, that the suppliers of halal meat seem to think that this is a good place to advertise their products. They obviously don't recognise that this blog post was ABOUT THE CRIME of halal, not about how good it is.

halal meat Philadelphia said...

Makkah Market is one among the most trusted suppliers of Halal Meat Philadelphia, with an assurance of following strict guidelines while offering Halal Food to the customers.
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Derby Sceptic said...

Halal Meat Philadelphia does not seem to read comments on the blog either. If it were not for the captcha for comments I would suggest it was a bot

halal meat Philadelphia said...

Makkah Market is one among the most trusted suppliers of Halal Meat Philadelphia, with an assurance of following strict guidelines while offering Halal Food to the customers.
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halal food Philadelphia said...

Hilary said...

I totally agree actually. It's a dreadful thing. I actually hate the thought of any animal being killed for food, (though this is personal and I wouldn't want to impose vegetarianism on all, but definitely agree that at least a humane slaughter needs to be abided by).
Halal Food Philadelphia

LesleyV said...

If you researched kosher slaughter, you would see that the brainwashed publicity is ignorant of the reality. Kosher slaughter is designed to provide healthy meat, while minimising mental and physical distress to the animal.

There are a lot of strict regulations, starting with respect for the animal, which must always be dealt with individually, not strung up by its feet on conveyor belts as chickens are: and then the sharpness, flawlessness and even the length of the blade. The first cut will result in unconsciousness, usually within a second, rarely two, so the idea of the creature writhing in agony, and watching its own blood flow out, is just emotive, hysterical nonsense.

The idea that stunning is somehow more humane is a triumph of hope over observation. A cow needing three bolts in its head to be stunned won't die in agony? A chicken that manages to hold its head out of the way of the electrical stunner followed by the circular saw, will be alive when it's thrown into a vat of boiling water for plucking. Humane or what?

Before slaughter, the animal is rejected if it shows signs of illness. Finally, the carcass is examined for signs of disease. If there any such signs, the carcass will not be sold as kosher.

(I am not familiar with halal slaughter methods, except to know that they are different. The halal meat shop in Philadelphia can answer your questions about dhabihah.)

Fair Ladi said...

Hey, Muslims do consider kosher as halal. That means kosher supports terrorism. Ban kosher b/c it's halal. Support haram foods and Jesus Christ by free will. It's better safe than to be semetically slaughtered. Even if you have inclined that there is a way to detect kosher from terrorism, I would like to drop the Lehi terrorism from WW2. If you still persist in the alliance, good luck, there would be a wroth of historical angst coming for you.

Anonymous said...

Its quite clear you and the man in that picture are uncertain about Islamic laws of killing animals. Yes they do have to be killed by someone who believes in monotheistic faith. But the main point is to make the animal's suffering as little as possible. Part of the rules are not kill an animal that is vehemently resisting like that poor cow. There is a method of slaughtering that is a lot more effective and less painful. It also includes keeping the place clean, ensuring that no other animal watches another die and many others. Unfortunately due to the demands of meat these days many don't follow the guidelines and just do it to get it over and done with. I should also mention that the majority of meat in western countries both halal and not are stunned before slaughtering. The only difference with halal is that a Muslim or someone with a monotheistic faith does the slaughter. In addition selling halal brings expands customer base and brings more money to the economy. Do your country a favour and buy halal