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Quizzimodo

Secret Halal Meat

There's been a lot of publicity in the last week or so about companies serving Halal meat without publicising it

What do we think?

It's difficult to get to the truth with what appears to be a lot of islamophobia thrown into the mix.

I'd like to know more before I form an opinion
Shaker

Personally I'm opposed to religious/ritual slaughter as such, per se and in toto, purely on the grounds that they create unnecessary suffering, suffering which has no need to exist. (I'm opposed to the slaughter of all and any animals for food in general, come to that, but we're discussing the religious/ritual angle of halal/kosher slaughter here, not the ethics of carnivorism). Western nations have laws in place which mandate stunning, which is supposed to render an animal insensible for long enough for it to be killed without suffering, both physical and mental.

I say 'supposed' because I for one am far from alone in being convinced that this system actually does what it's intended to do, for a variety of reasons: the objectification and commodification of sentient animals leading to unconcern for suffering, the pressures of work and the demands of time leading to sloppy practice, etc. The WWW abounds with websites and videos showing exactly how 'humane' 'humane slaughter' is in practice.

Nevertheless, however much in actuality this is the most token of nods to animal welfare, that's the intention of the law - that non-human animals, if they're to be killed for their flesh at all, aren't supposed to be made to suffer unduly. If non-religious, non-ritual slaughter - 'ordinary' slaughter if you like - causes suffering (which it does, which is why vegetarians and vegans try to take themselves out of that particular loop as far as possible), religious/ritual slaughter knowingly causes worse suffering: numerically less, perhaps, but physiologically more.

That being the case, nobody has the right to absent themselves from this general consensus that animal suffering is bad and should be limited to its lowest possible extent. Some say that religious/ritual slaughter is a matter of religious freedom. I happen to think that in such a case there's too much religious freedom, and that self-interested religious lobbies have no right to try to circumvent the law of the land by claiming that they have a divine mandate to do so. (The too much religious freedom angle also applies to ritual genital mutilation of infants, amongst other issues).

Until such a day as religious/ritual slaughter is outlawed as it has been in other European nations (a day to which I look forward), if animals slaughtered in this manner are to enter the general foodchain as foodstuffs, the meat should and must be clearly identified so that consumers can make their own choice as to whether they want to buy it or not.

As sure as free-range organic eggs is eggs, people who oppose ritual slaughter as practised by minority religious populations such as Jews and Muslims will be accused of bigotry, their real opposition supposedly being to them there dirty foreigners and their funny religions. Or maybe that they're anti-religion in general (which, coincidentally, is certainly true in my own case). Perhaps for some this may be true, for all I know. I don't know this, as a matter of fact: I do know entirely what my opposition is based upon, and people of different ethnicities - or indeed people at all - it ain't.

Interest: predominantly vegan for 13 years, vegetarian for a decade before that.
Jim

Wot Shaker said.
I'd that, as long as the animal in question does not suffer unecessarily, they can spout whatever mumbo jumbo they wish over it - whether Christian, Moslem, Jew or Jedi.
It won't make a bit of difference to the animal or the eater.
As I asked elswehere:
Anyone for halal/Kosher pork?
Ketty

I would ask why does it need to be a secret?  It surely hasn't been a secret for those who demand religious slaughter otherwise why bother?  With all the requirements for correct food labelling and the like, why can't such meat come with a statement: "Religiously slaughtered according to the laws of Judaism, or Islam", or whatever?
cyberman

Ketty wrote:
I would ask why does it need to be a secret?  It surely hasn't been a secret for those who demand religious slaughter otherwise why bother?  With all the requirements for correct food labelling and the like, why can't such meat come with a statement: "Religiously slaughtered according to the laws of Judaism, or Islam", or whatever?


Because consumers who have no knowledge of those religious laws will be non the wiser. For consumer awareness purposes, it would have to say "Not stunned prior to slaughter" or something.
cymrudynnion

There are countries in this world that permit the slaughter of animals in methods not permitted in the U.K. As long as I am not required to eat such meat fair enough it is up to that country. Similarly foods especially meat products if imported from countries permitting such slaughter such meat should be labelled as meat being produced as a result of slaughter not permitted in the U.K.
This seems akin to other topics we have discussed where if the activity is illegal in this country but legal in the country of origin etc., etc.
Quizzimodo

cymrudynnion wrote:
There are countries in this world that permit the slaughter of animals in methods not permitted in the U.K. As long as I am not required to eat such meat fair enough it is up to that country. Similarly foods especially meat products if imported from countries permitting such slaughter such meat should be labelled as meat being produced as a result of slaughter not permitted in the U.K.
This seems akin to other topics we have discussed where if the activity is illegal in this country but legal in the country of origin etc., etc.


Are you trying to link this subject to your child porn defence?
Ketty

cyberman wrote:
Because consumers who have no knowledge of those religious laws will be non the wiser. For consumer awareness purposes, it would have to say "Not stunned prior to slaughter" or something.


I wonder how many meat-eating consumers ever give any real thought to how the animal ends up on their plate?  I doubt if even the 'not stunned prior to slaughter' would make a great deal of difference to most.   I speak as an omnivore, but one who is edging ever closer to that not being the case.
IvyOwl

Ketty wrote:


I wonder how many meat-eating consumers ever give any real thought to how the animal ends up on their plate?  I doubt if even the 'not stunned prior to slaughter' would make a great deal of difference to most.   I speak as an omnivore, but one who is edging ever closer to that not being the case.


I'm sure you are right there! I eat very little meat but haven't given it up entirely. I read labels very carefully!
Shaker

Ketty wrote:
I wonder how many meat-eating consumers ever give any real thought to how the animal ends up on their plate?  I doubt if even the 'not stunned prior to slaughter' would make a great deal of difference to most.   I speak as an omnivore, but one who is edging ever closer to that not being the case.

Do the right thing  
Ketty

Shaker wrote:

Do the right thing  


 but can I finish my roast chicken with all the trimmings dinner tonight first?  

We're slowly emptying our freezer and once that's done the decision will be one step closer.
Shaker

Baby steps, then  
cyberman

Shaker wrote:

Do the right thing  


I have tried to be a vegetarian in the past, and utterly failed.

I do not have a problem per se with the idea that we, as animals, reply upon the deaths of other animals for nutrition. I do have a problem with the commodification of animals and the way agriculture on our culture is now like an industry. I am concerned that animal welfare should be taken care of when animals are being reared for food. I am also concerned by the sheer volume of meat being produced, and the affect that is having on the economy of the world, and also its ecology, where so much land is being used for accommodating the animals and for growing their fodder. I think that, like our ancestors, we should eat less meat than we do now.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
I have tried to be a vegetarian in the past, and utterly failed.

You have to not eat meat and fish, you know  
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
I have tried to be a vegetarian in the past, and utterly failed.

You have to not eat meat and fish, you know  


I know! Even though in the Catholic world a fish is a vegetable, I realise that doesn't count in real life.

This is a big part of the reason for my failure - I do love fish. And lamb. And ham. And sausages. And steak pie. OK, I was the worst vegetarian ever.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
This is a big part of the reason for my failure - I do love fish. And lamb. And ham. And sausages. And steak pie.


A bacon sandwich, so it's always said, is/has been the downfall of many a vegetarian, not just the idea of eating one but the smell of it cooking - it's a common trope but I don't know how true it is. It doesn't affect me: after twenty-plus years even the smell of meat cooking is distinctly

I remember hearing once that apparently if you've been vegetarian for a long time (and I mean a long time - years and years and years) your digestive system loses the enzymes needed to digest meat properly, so that if you do happen to eat meat for one reason or another you're liable to end up with all sorts of trouble - terrible indigestion, heartburn, terrible wind, bloating, agonising cramps and even diarrhoea and whatnot. I've never followed this up with anybody medically trained so, again, I've no idea if this is total bobbins or not, although personal experience suggests that there might well be something to it.

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