Soylent Halal is people!

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Snuckles
Soylent Halal is people!

Quote:
Few issues inspire the three main parties in Quebec’s National Assembly to rise above partisanship and speak as one. But the urgent need to label halal meat, it appears, is one.

On Thursday, Liberal Premier Jean Charest joined the chorus begun a day earlier by the Parti Québécois calling for stricter labelling to ensure Quebecers do not unwittingly consume meat slaughtered according to Islamic rite.

“I say to those who process [meat] today, if they are halal animals, do yourself a favour as a producer and at the same time for the consumers, and say so on your products’ labelling,” he told reporters. “That way consumers will know exactly what they are buying.”

François Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Quebec, insisted halal products need to be clearly labelled. “We are in Quebec and [halal slaughter] must be an exception,” he said. “It must not be the rule in Quebec. The consumer must be informed when there is halal meat.”

The sudden concern about animal slaughter practices was not prompted by any public-health scare or consumer outcry. Rather, the controversy began with an alarmist TV news report this week revealing that, for the past two years, a major Quebec poultry processing plant has been certified so that all its meat qualifies as halal, even if only a small percentage aimed at Muslim customers is labelled as such. “Does it bother you to buy halal meat without knowing it?” the program, hosted by former provincial politician Mario Dumont, asked. The front page of the tabloid Journal de Montréal had the screaming headline Thursday, “We are all eating halal.”

Read it [url=http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/16/graeme-hamilton-ignorance....

Mr.Tea

Why would anyone care if their meat is halal?

At the same time, I don't see a problem with labelling it. People should know what they're eating and where it comes from. But, typically, most foods that meet any sort of special standard (e.g. organic, nut free or whatever) are already clearly labelled. I keep a kosher kitchen at home and all of the kosher meat that we buy is clearly labelled as such. I don't know if people would mind inadvertently eating kosher meat. many people who aren't Jewish or religious actually prefer it and think it's of a higher standard. On the other hand, it's way more expensive.

Mr.Tea

Snuckles wrote:

“Does it bother you to buy halal meat without knowing it?” the program, hosted by former provincial politician Mario Dumont, asked. The front page of the tabloid Journal de Montréal had the screaming headline Thursday, “We are all eating halal.”

Do you know what else are halal? Apples, oranges, carrots and most of the other non-meat items you eat. So, yes, you are "all eating halal". And kosher. And a lot of other diets that you don't necessarily adhere. But so what?

Bärlüer

Amir Khadir had an excellent response on the subject:

Quote:
Amir Khadir, lui, juge la position du PQ «odieuse». «Je trouve déplorable que le PQ importe ce débat lancé en France par le Front National et mise sur les craintes de la population», se désole-t-il. Le parti de Marine Le Pen a introduit en campagne électorale ce sujet polarisant.

«Comme médecin, je n'ai jamais vu de problème de santé lié à la viande halal ou casher», dit-il.

Il juge aussi que la position du PQ est hypocrite. «Si c'est la souffrance animale qui les préoccupe, pourquoi ne parlent-ils pas des conditions d'élevage des poulets ou dans les porcheries? Et si c'est la liberté de choisir qui les motive, pourquoi n'ont-ils pas demandé aujourd'hui l'étiquetage obligatoire des OGM?»

Il ne se dit pas pour ou contre l'étiquetage obligatoire de ces viandes. «Qu'on poulet soit tourné vers la Mecque ou le Nord, je m'en fiche.»

There's also a good piece on this "halal hysteria" by the consistently excellent Rima Elkouri in La Presse.

 

Unionist

Où avez-vous trouvé les propos d'Amir Khadir?

 

Sineed

I live in an area with a high population of muslim folks, and  I used to buy halal chicken legs from a local butcher. He slaughtered the chickens himself so the meat was always fresh, and good quality and price.

Vegan foods are also halal (and kosher too, I think).

I'm puzzled - what are they afraid of, exactly?

Unionist

Sineed wrote:

I'm puzzled - what are they afraid of, exactly?

Nothing. Cruelty to animals. The "unknown". It's all nonsense, spread by some gangsters and picked up by a desperate PQ that has lost its way.

Here's another good mocking column:

Quote:

Pour l'instant, il est difficile de ne pas constater l'étrange similitude entre la sortie du PQ sur la viande halal et la croisade mensongère que mène en France le Front national de Marine Le Pen. Récemment, la chef du parti d'extrême droite a même prétendu que toute la viande consommée dans la région parisienne était halal, ce qui est faux.

C'est donc ce genre de discours nauséabond qui inspire le PQ, le parti de René Lévesque?

S'il est vrai qu'on a la politique que l'on mérite, qu'avons-nous fait de si grave pour mériter cela?

On finit par avoir envie de s'exclamer, avec Luis Bunuel:

- Dieu merci, je suis athée.

From [url=http://www.cyberpresse.ca/le-soleil/opinions/chroniqueurs/201203/15/01-4... ayatollahs du salami[/url].

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Actually, I wish there was a lot more labelling of halal products - something along the lines of the "U in a circle" bug from the Orthodox Union indicating that the product is kosher. Roughly 10% of the members of my housing co-op are Muslim, and several of the households very strictly adhere to dietary laws -- since all of our social functions (and most of our meetings) involve sharing food, it would be a lot easier to coordinate purchasing refreshments if there were a commonly recognizable bug on the packaging of prepared foods indicating if they are, if fact, halal. Fortunately there is a lot of goodwill on the part of the Muslim households -- in conversation one of them quoted their local Imam who had observed that while his congregation should be vigilant in observing the dietary laws, that there was also an onus to accept hospitality in the spirit in which it was offered and that they did themselves no credit in subjecting non-Muslims to the "third degree" over every ingredient that might appear on their table... effectively allowing for the possibility of an honest mistake not being an impermissable transgression.

And yeah, I am quite aware that the motivations behind the discussion in the National Assembly had nothing to do with the interests of the Muslim community, or anyone who is trying to respect their dietary regulations.

Side note to Mr. Tea: sorry to hear you are having to pay a premium to access kosher meat. I guess we are fortunate here that we have access to quite a number of halal butcher shops who are priced very competitively with the meat counters at the local supermarkets -- we can do a Stampede barbeque with burgers for ALL the kids without having to take on any extra expense.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Sineed wrote:

[...]

I'm puzzled - what are they afraid of, exactly?

That their meat may have been exsanguinated rather than killed with a concussive blow to the back of the head. 'Cause everyone knows that the concussive blow (or 22 calibre bullet) kills cleanly, immediately and painlessly every single time. [Sineed, I think I have known you long enough to dispense with the sarcasm alert Wink] And let's not even get started on how foolproof electrocuting chickens is.

MegB

I'd like meats labeled halal or kosher because I like to know what I'm buying -- I prefer the quality of halal and kosher products. If some party is attempting to inject fear into consumers who may buy halal, it's bogus, bigoted and a smear campaign against Muslims.

A lot of BS.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Halal methods of slaughter cause severe suffering to animals, because the animals are required to bleed to death. This takes several minutes for a large animal, and the animal is deliberately kept conscious throughout, rather than being humanely stunned. And all this is for reasons of superstitious religious ritual.

It's disgusting and reprehensible.

I'm all in favour of consumers being made as aware as possible of how their meat has been slaughtered and prepared. If people knew more about it there would be public pressure to outlaw the inhumane treatment of food animals.

And we might even be allowed to have an animal welfare forum on babble.

Unionist

Exactly the same issue with kosher "shechita" laws, Spector.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Inhumane butchery is exactly that. As an omnivore, I want to know that the meat I consume was slaughtered in accordance with my own ethical standard. I don't consume products that are tested on animals, so why shouldn't I discriminate when it comes to my food choices?

WyldRage

Well, I was expecting a post sooner than this, with all the usual "Québec is racist" crap going on in the English media. Incidentally, there is a great blog post from Jean-François Lisée here: http://www2.lactualite.com/jean-francois-lisee/les-valeurs-quebecoises-s...

I'd like to make clear my own position: first, that knowledge is always better than ignorance, and second, that religion is not a trump card. The very least acceptable is that any meat that is butchered according to a religious rite should be clearly identified as such (both for the religious minority and the rest of us). Am I a racist for demanding this? Apparently I am.

The second debate is about the ritual itself, does it violate laws against animal cruelty? If so, then my position is that it should be banned, but apparently, in the Olymel plant at least, all they do is get an Imam to say prayers for the animal. So there's no real problem there.

Mr.Tea

ALL meat sold in Canada is done by suppliers following the policies set out by the ministry of agriculture and meet all of the requirements with regards to health, safety and avoidance of animal cruelty. This just seems like a red herring.

Unionist

WyldRage wrote:

Well, I was expecting a post sooner than this, with all the usual "Québec is racist" crap going on in the English media. Incidentally, there is a great blog post from Jean-François Lisée here: http://www2.lactualite.com/jean-francois-lisee/les-valeurs-quebecoises-s...

Poor choice, WyldRage. Jean-François Lisée is extremely intelligent, but he rarely opens his mouth or his keyboard without involuntarily showing his xenophobia. This long long indignant rant is an example. Every time he uses the word Québécois, or "grande majorité", or "religious minority", you have to check carefully which ethnic group he is talking about - even when he says things like this:

Lisée wrote:
Pas étonnant que ce discours soit rejeté par les Québécois, y compris une majorité de non-francophones, y compris beaucoup de religieux.

... you can see the separation, even though he tries to cover it up in a cloak of pseudo-inclusiveness.

Several years ago, he was a guest at one of our union conferences. He was talking about how different sections of Quebecers viewed some issue - and one of his metaphors was "la grande-mère juive de l'ouest de Montréal". I waited until he had finished, then got up and said (as politely as I could) that both my Jewish grandmothers were murdered by Nazis, and perhaps he could find a different way of expressing his point. Instead of apologizing, he made some sarcastic comment. I left the room.

Lisée hasn't had too many columns raging against the authorities for not divulging full information about how food is produced, processed, packaged. But suddenly, when it's halal or kosher, he raises his voice in favour of Quebecers "right to know - and in advance!!"

And he condemns Amir Khadir for telling the truth.

Amir Khadir is part of the solution. Jean-François Lisée is part of the problem.

ETA: Oh, and by the way, I support this comment which appeared after Lisée's column:

Quote:

Moi en tout cas les amis, je trouve que le lait qui manque de gout à cause de la super stérilisation (grâce aux lobbies forts des producteurs laitiers au Canada)heurte mes valeurs.
Pourquoi ? Autant qu’immigrant, j’aime le gout, savourer cet arrière gout de vache ou de chèvre…ce gout animal qui nous mène dans les champs et la nature…
Mes valeurs sont celle du bon gout, de l’animal…a la limite du barbare. Donc, basta les producteurs laitiers ! Arrêtez de super stériliser le lait !

Lâchez le halal ! Get a life ! Y a des choses bien plus importantes …1.40 le litre d’essence par exemple…

Karim (immigrant depuis 11 ans et aime le Québec )

Right on, brother!

 

theleftyinvestor

If people are concerned about halal slaughtering methods then why not just go with mandatory labelling of slaughtering methods? Every package of meat can have, in big bold letters: STUNNED, or SHOT, or EXSANGUINATED, etc.

But panic about halal meat in itself? People are worried that a prayer they don't agree with might have been recited while this animal was slaughtered?

Mr.Tea

I have no problem with labelling and am actuall surprised that halal isn't already labelled as such. I'd think the whole point of being certified halal would be to get the label so that you can reach Muslim consumers.

People eat kosher food all the time without realizing it and I can't imagine why anyone would care. I've got a Diet Coke in front of me right now. There's a little symbol on the side of a circle with the letters "MK" inside. That stands for "Montreal Kosher". If you look through the drinks, condiments, etc. that you've got in your fridge right now, you'll see little symbols like "COR" or "OU", which are called "heschers", basically indicating that the product was certified kosher by a certain organization. If you're not Jewish and you like Diet Coke or Heinz Ketchup or whatever, do you really care that a rabbi has pronounced it kosher?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Mr.Tea wrote:

ALL meat sold in Canada is done by suppliers following the policies set out by the ministry of agriculture and meet all of the requirements with regards to health, safety and avoidance of animal cruelty. This just seems like a red herring.

And we can all rest assured that the Harper government is busy at work protecting the health and safety of our food supply and ensuring against [url=http://rabble.ca/rabbletv/program-guide/2011/07/best-net/pigs-hot-and-de... cruelty[/url]. They'd never consider, for example, [url=http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/news/health/2012/02/26/3122.html]reducing the number of government inspectors[/url]. We're in [url=http://cetfa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=253%3Acfia... hands[/url]; nothing to worry about here, folks.

Unionist

Mr.Tea wrote:
... you'll see little symbols like "COR" or "OU", which are called "heschers" ...

You mean "hechsher". A little mistake like that and a bite of the wrong smoked meat can land you in gehinnom...

Quote:
This just seems like a red herring.

Nothing wrong with that - both kosher and halal.

 

theleftyinvestor

Ok, brilliant:

 

The backstabbed Pauline Marois is complaining about slaughtering methods. Bonus points for the chicken crying out "CAQ!"

Freedom 55

Mr.Tea wrote:

I've got a Diet Coke in front of me right now.

 

Confiscated from a patient? Tongue out

Rabble_Incognito

I like the halal chickens they don't have giblets and they seem priced for economy. This isn't news it feels like a prelude for needless changes to product labeling.

Unionist

Allah loves cheap chickens.

Yahweh too.

Marois, not so much. She's got big bucks.

Fidel

When I shop for meat I always begin by avoiding anything with a USDA inspected label on it. And ex-nay on the sandwich deli meats. Might as well take up smoking tobacco and talking on the cell phone for 1600 hours over ten years or more.

Tommy_Paine

I think when it comes to animal cruelty most-- overwhelmingly most-- people view it through a chauvanist lense.  What "we" do to animals is okay, but what others do to them is cruel.

That's why Spain, the home of torturing Bulls for entertainment purposes, and the U.K., which seems to think it's sporting (eh what?) to hunt a solitary fox down on horse back and submit it to be torn limb from limb by a pack of hounds-- again for entertainment-- gets all upset over some Inuit hunting seals.

France of course is leading the charge against Halal.  The nation that gives us force fed geese and made veal an artform by confining calves so their meat couldn't form connective tissues. 

These politicians are artfully aware of our bigoted assesments on the treatment of animals by other cultures but not our own.  And they are cynically using it to foment hatred against a group of people.

This is the worst form of politics imaginable.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

To me, the halal and kosher marks on meat are signals that the animals endured more than the "usual" amount of suffering that industrialized livestock production causes (which is in itself way too much). I would like to be informed before I buy a meat product whether animals suffered additionally as a result of the application of religious dogma, so that I can make what little choice remains to me as a consumer. 

Tommy_Paine

Well, you know me for religion, Spector, and how much esteem it holds in my mind.

But the way we treat animals, or rather our perceptions of how we treat animals is all down to dogma of one kind or another.

I hate to get all "Peta" on everyone, because I'm not that kind of person-- I eat meat and enjoy it as a matter of fact.  All kinds. Excpet eels, carp and catfish.

The dogma of aesthetics.

But, without getting anthropomorphic, we can reasonably guess that the emotions we feel-- and can attrtibute to fitness for survival-- are also of high survival utility to animals.  They, I think we can safely say, experience terror and fear etc. 

I think all animals suffer greatly when we kill them.  When you make a decision about whether this way or that way is better or worse, it's not a philisophical arguement over principle; it is an arguement of degrees.

You and I and billions others have crossed a certain Rubicon already.

And those degrees are difficult to determine outside the experiences of our cultures. 

We don't eat horses here.  But many westerners bemoan how all those starving people in India won't eat a cow.  And chaulk it up to reasons of crazy religious dogma.

When in reality, we are one with the Indian people, realizing that it's folly to kill your draft animal for short term food when you are going to need it to plow a field, later, to get you more food than what it's body could provide.  In the Indian case, the pragmatism came first, the religion was tacked on later, in an attmept to codify the wisdom in dogma.

I'm not convinced, either, that bleeding to death is somehow worse than the slaughter house industrial process of being stunned first and then bled. 

It's a nasty-- if tasty-- business all around.

Erik Redburn

To put it bluntly, cutting their throats is probably as merciful as the usual industrial methods of killing, if we consider the whole process.  Far less chance for example of an animal being butchered while still alive, if someone falls asleep at the switch or management decides that 'efficiency' trumps humanity.  I believe that was the belief behind it as well, not so different than traditional 'Kosher' methods, 

Someone should send a polite but firm line to political leaders trying to use this race card against resident Muslims, or maybe a note to some regional rag carrying this nonsense. 

Hoodeet

No one seems to have brought up the danger of massive slaughterhouses, period.

I don't know whether producing halal meat has reached the scope of kosher meat, but we should remember the scandal of the inhumane processing facility in the US (sorry, can't remember the date or the state) a couple of years ago, a kosher slaughterhouse, where the same atrocities were being perpetrated against the chickens as at non-kosher facilities.

I wouldn't want my meat from an industrial slaughterhouse, whether someone says a prayer over the condemned creatures or not.

Hundreds of animals are made to suffer on their way into the slaughterhouse, as they become aware through sounds and smells, that death awaits them.  Not to mention the errors alluded to above, which probably cause many an animal to be cut up or skinned alive. 

The only solution if one wants to eat meat and be relatively humane (although there is a huge paradox in this), is to know the farmer and the slaughterhouse facility, something that's only possible in small towns and rural areas, IMO.  

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Hoodeet wrote:

The only solution if one wants to eat meat and be relatively humane (although there is a huge paradox in this), is to know the farmer and the slaughterhouse facility, something that's only possible in small towns and rural areas, IMO.

Or failing that, at least to know the religious dogma of the person who killed the animal.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Erik Redburn wrote:

To put it bluntly, cutting their throats is probably as merciful as the usual industrial methods of killing, if we consider the whole process.

All cattle have their throats cut in order to bleed the carcass. The question is whether they have to be fully conscious or whether they can be stunned into unconsciousness while they are bleeding to death. I know which one I'd choose if it was me.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:

But, without getting anthropomorphic, we can reasonably guess that the emotions we feel-- and can attrtibute to fitness for survival-- are also of high survival utility to animals.  They, I think we can safely say, experience terror and fear etc. 

I think all animals suffer greatly when we kill them.  When you make a decision about whether this way or that way is better or worse, it's not a philisophical arguement over principle; it is an arguement of degrees.

You and I and billions others have crossed a certain Rubicon already.

There are more humane and less humane methods of slaughtering animals. There are more fearful and less fearful ways of slaughtering animals. Temple Grandin and many animal behaviourists have devoted lifetimes of study to the development of more humane slaughter methods.

I refuse to throw up my hands and say "In for a penny, in for a pound - once I've decided to eat meat it doesn't matter how much the animal suffers before it dies." I know that in the wild, millions of animals every day suffer horrifying and painful deaths in the jaws of other animals. There's nothing I can do about that, much as it grieves me, but I like to think that humans can go out of their way to minimize the suffering of animals. The biggest obstacle to that is capitalism and the commodification of animals; the second-biggest is religious dogma.

Mr.Tea

Hoodeet wrote:

The only solution if one wants to eat meat and be relatively humane (although there is a huge paradox in this), is to know the farmer and the slaughterhouse facility, something that's only possible in small towns and rural areas, IMO.  

Correct. That used to be the case with kosher meat (I don't know about halal). Each community had its own ritual slaughterers and these were probably people you knew personally from the neighbourhood and from synagogue. It's since become a lot more "big business" and "industrial" style. As you alluded to, there was a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa (by far the biggest in North America) that got raided and found to be in violation of all sorts of policies with regards to safety, hiring illegal immigrants, etc. 

Erik Redburn

M. Spector wrote:

Erik Redburn wrote:

To put it bluntly, cutting their throats is probably as merciful as the usual industrial methods of killing, if we consider the whole process.

All cattle have their throats cut in order to bleed the carcass. The question is whether they have to be fully conscious or whether they can be stunned into unconsciousness while they are bleeding to death. I know which one I'd choose if it was me.

 

Not necessarily.  And doing it by hand, especially by an experienced butcher, should be more reliable for the essential killing part than mechanized methods, as I mentioned.  BUt then as others have noted, it depends on how the places are actually run now.

Tommy_Paine

The thing is we know that we can meet all our nutritional needs through flora and eschew fauna.  We also know that as far as efficiency goes, an acre of land given to plants can feed more people than an acre of land given to livestock production.

And, what is more, we know it is better for us.

And, no matter how you slice it, animals suffer when we kill them.

You and I, Spector, we eat meat because we are lazy. It's what our mom and dad's did, and it's what we know, and we go with it.

Dogma.

Erik Redburn

Oh I'm abit of hypocrite when it comes to eating flesh too, but hey, it's nothing personal.  They just taste so darned good, properly done....  

Meantime though, no reason we ominivores can't make their circumstances more humane, even before theyre carted off.  I won't eat veal for example or non-free range till we do.

Brachina

The thing that vegitarians don't think about is if everyone gave up meat, what do you do with all these animals now, the billions of cows, chickens,pigs, and other species? Who takes care of them? If you released them they'll either die horrible or unset the local ecosystems like in Australia and New Zealand. You know what happened during the mad cow scare in Alberta when no one wanted to eat the cows there? Many perfectly health cows got slaughtered, not even because they might be infected, but because the farmers couldn't afford to take care of them and this was more humane then setting them free.

That fact is we are all destined to die horrible death, death is a cruel misteress and a fucking asshole. So the best we can hope for is a quick death and a good life and that is as true for cows as people. I don't think the cow cares if you pray over it or not.

Michelle

test

Freedom 55

Brachina wrote:
The thing that vegitarians don't think about is if everyone gave up meat, what do you do with all these animals now, the billions of cows, chickens,pigs, and other species? Who takes care of them? If you released them they'll either die horrible or unset the local ecosystems like in Australia and New Zealand.

Your assumption that people haven't given this any thought is incorrect. First, I don't imagine there will ever be a day when everyone on the planet is vegetarian. But even if it were to somehow happen, it's not as if billions of people are going to spontaneously drop meat from their diets at the exact same time, leaving us with this dilemma of what to do with all of these farm animals. It would be a gradual process whereby meat consumption declines over time. Agribusiness would be forced to respond to the change in people's diets by inseminating fewer animals - it's not like the world's current population of livestock is unmanaged and natural.

And just so you know, being vegetarian don't necessarily mean you think everyone else should stop eating meat.

/thread drift

theleftyinvestor

I may as well plug a family publication. The author of this book is a rabbi, and the husband of my first cousin (whose twin sister herself is also a rabbi). All very progressive-minded people who are excellent at interfaith dialogue. If you'd like to get a bigger-picture feel for the nuances of dietary law in the Abrahamic religions, this is a great place to start. A lot of people have heard of what these laws are but not necessarily how they all came to pass.

http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520253216

Foreigners and Their Food
Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law
David M. Freidenreich (Author)

Foreigners and Their Food explores how Jews, Christians, and Muslims conceptualize “us” and “them” through rules about the preparation of food by adherents of other religions and the act of eating with such outsiders. David M. Freidenreich analyzes the significance of food to religious formation, elucidating the ways ancient and medieval scholars use food restrictions to think about the “other.” Freidenreich illuminates the subtly different ways Jews, Christians, and Muslims perceive themselves, and he demonstrates how these distinctive self-conceptions shape ideas about religious foreigners and communal boundaries. This work, the first to analyze change over time across the legal literatures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, makes pathbreaking contributions to the history of interreligious intolerance and to the comparative study of religion.

flight from kamakura

nothing to add that hasn't been said, except that, from my experience, halal and kacher are already amply labeled in quebec.  i can't even think of the logic that would see a halal meat unlabeled - as the target consumer is looking specifically for that labelling.  this is just a weird political ploy - quite apart from the fact that it's a stupid religious superstition.

Mr.Tea

flight from kamakura wrote:

nothing to add that hasn't been said, except that, from my experience, halal and kacher are already amply labeled in quebec. 

Partly true, at least in Ontario. It was so nice here in Toronto yesterday that we decided to get out and barbecue so i went to the grocery store and picked up some kosher chicken. Right next to it, there was halal chicken, clearly marked at such.

Obviously, if you adhere to religious dietary laws, you need to know that the meat conforms to them. 

However, I know when it comes to kosher that only certain cuts (of beef anyway) qualify as kosher. So what usually happens, is the cow is slaughtered according to Jewish law, the cuts of meat acceptable to Orthodox Jews are labelled kosher and the other cuts are just sold as standard beef, even though the cows they came from were slaughtered according to kosher standards.

Unionist

I belong to the rump group that'll eat any cut.

Hoodeet

My forebears, who were an absolute rarity as Jews were they lived, did not give up meat in the absence of a ritual slaughterer.  They did what they thought best, by draining all the blood of any beef or chicken, soaking it in water for hours.  That took care of the blood aspect, anyway.

As for the cruelty of ritual slaughter, I would think that the animal loses consciousness very very quickly once the jugular and the carotid are cut.  And --just a random rumination (mine, not the cow's) -- the prayer over the animal  IF it is recited slowly and properly and over individual animals, would, I imagine, have the effect of calming it even though it  smells the blood of the animals who had preceded it.

 

 

flight from kamakura

as an aside, when i was on canada world youth with a gang of egyptians in an area where they couldn't get halal meat, their imam dude actually gave them specific prayers they could utter that would halal-ify their meals (or maybe just absolve them of damnation or whatever happens when you don't have superstitiously butchered animal flesh).  still, though, some didn't go for it, one of them giving me all sorts of scientific explanations about the release of fear endorphins that flow our with the blood and that.

Mr.Tea

Actually, I was talking to a kosher butcher who says that some of his best customers are Muslims. If halal meat is difficult to find, they'll go for kosher.

theleftyinvestor

Mr.Tea wrote:

However, I know when it comes to kosher that only certain cuts (of beef anyway) qualify as kosher. So what usually happens, is the cow is slaughtered according to Jewish law, the cuts of meat acceptable to Orthodox Jews are labelled kosher and the other cuts are just sold as standard beef, even though the cows they came from were slaughtered according to kosher standards.

Pretty much any part of the animal *can* be kosher - for example in Israel you will see lots of kosher beef hearts, spleen, etc. But apparently there is a very particular way to deal with the sciatica when butchering a cow, and when not dealt with correctly the Orthodox crew won't consider it kosher. The kosher powers-that-be in Canada and most of the US too, I think, decided that they would just dispense with it and declare that they would not certify as kosher any organ meats that required a proper removal of the sciatica. So in North America what you say is certainly true.

Everywhere in this country where a sizeable Jewish population exists, there are also other cultural groups who have plenty of uses for organ meats. I don't know if tripe falls into this category but never in Canada have I heard of kosher tripe. But the Chinese and Vietnamese communities (first ones that come to mind, certainly not the only ones) in Toronto and Montreal could easily be a sufficiently large market to consume the tripe of every kosher-slaughtered cow in the country.

flight from kamakura wrote:

as an aside, when i was on canada world youth with a gang of egyptians in an area where they couldn't get halal meat, their imam dude actually gave them specific prayers they could utter that would halal-ify their meals (or maybe just absolve them of damnation or whatever happens when you don't have superstitiously butchered animal flesh).  still, though, some didn't go for it, one of them giving me all sorts of scientific explanations about the release of fear endorphins that flow our with the blood and that.

Mr.Tea wrote:

Actually, I was talking to a kosher butcher who says that some of his best customers are Muslims. If halal meat is difficult to find, they'll go for kosher.

Don't quote me on this but I seem to remember that Islam has a concept of "people of the book" where, regardless of halal rules, it is acceptable to eat what the Jews and Christians consider lawful. However Islam is not one monolithic religion, and as such the interpretation depends on the community - there is also a group whose interpretation of halal is more restrictive and would not accept kosher meat as sufficient.