Something that just crossed what passes for my mind about halal

Halal butchery and slaughter is very similar to kosher such. No stunning of the animal, must be drained of blood etc.

So, provided the right Rabbi or Imam has passed the facility as being kosher or halal, can the same facility produce both types of meat?

26 comments on “Something that just crossed what passes for my mind about halal

  1. Simple answer – No. Kosher means no connection with Halal methods at all. Would require a full disinfection and religious cleansing between religious shift changes and no common staff.

  2. Killing method aside, for halal the meat is payed over too. Mind you, most Muslims I know are happy to eat Kosher meat. Not sure it works the other way round (the Jewish bit of the family are kosher only)

  3. Many Muslims buy kosher as a matter of course with the confidence that it is halal because the kosher rules are stricter, and leaving aside the words said halal is a subset of kosher. (Us historical cynics might say, because the halal rules are copied from Judaism and got simplified on the way.)

  4. Quiet_Man – “No, muslims can eat kosher, but Jews have a problem with food offered to idols (which is how the strictly orthodox view allah)”

    You would have to be pretty darn orthodox to view Allah as an idol. Considering Maimonides specifically said he was the same God. Not so nice about Christians though.

    Muslims can eat virtually all Kosher food. Because the God mentioned by Jews when they kill animals is the same God mentioned by Muslims according to Muslims. But not all. Jews are allowed to consume some forms of alcohol. Muslims are not.

    But Jews are generally not allowed to consume Hallal food. Because the rules are slightly different. Muslims can eat camels. Jews can’t – no cloven hoof. Muslims can eat lobster. Jews can’t. But if it was a slaughter house for, say, cows only, and it had been processed appropriately by both a Rabbi and a Mullah of some sort, I doubt they would have a problem.

    See this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Islamic_and_Jewish_dietary_laws

  5. genuinely astonishes me there is any market for religious food in the comparatively less backward parts of the world.

    If you genuinely believe in a god (and conceptions of god now we have science understand the vastness of the universe etc have changed massively) how can you think he gives a flying fuck about weird food rituals.

  6. greg – “If you genuinely believe in a god (and conceptions of god now we have science understand the vastness of the universe etc have changed massively) how can you think he gives a flying fuck about weird food rituals.”

    It is pretty much only the West that does not have elaborate religious-based rules on what you can and cannot eat. It is strange that you cannot see past that.

    Food is important to people. Of course it is going to be bound up by ritual.

    And is not eating pork really any worse than not eating oranges from South Africa or Spain or the Occupied Territories?

  7. Muslims often use pre-stunning: Jews are not allowed to. So the same facility could not produce Halal and Kosher meat as the Muslims might want to pre-stun and find there wasn’t the equipment in a Kosher slaughter house.
    Presumably you could have a combo arrangement where stunning was available but not used .
    But lets face it, these two religions are not about to co-operate on anything.

  8. It’s a reckless notion to have Imams and Rabbis in the same building equipped with throat-cutting implements.

    Elf and Safety.

  9. Notice how this is a repeat of the horsemeat scandal, again with no-one complaining about the cost.
    From what I’ve seen on facebook and various forums there’s considerable anger about halal – about the practice itself, not the labelling.
    Perhaps a smart abbotoir will market itself as ‘non-halal’ to gain custom?

  10. Just about to pop a loin of pork into the oven. Not concerned about the slaughtering ritual of my dinner.

  11. “Not concerned about the slaughtering ritual of my dinner.”

    You ought to be: pigs react badly to stress and the consequences can be tasted in the meat.

  12. SMFS,

    “Food is important to people. Of course it is going to be bound up by ritual.”

    But why do they have a ritual that says lamb is OK but pigs aren’t? The most absurd example is that jews can’t eat guinea fowl (because it’s listed) but they can eat chicken and turkey (because it wasn’t).

    “And is not eating pork really any worse than not eating oranges from South Africa or Spain or the Occupied Territories?”

    Whether you agree with those people, at least they have a reason why they aren’t doing it that can be put into a moral context of trying to help others. What’s the moral or spiritual reason for not eating lobster?

  13. dearieme:
    we’re on the same page, you and I. The slaughtering is crucial to the quality of the carcass for all animal types and, you’re right, pigs are particularly prone to stress. The critical point is really the lairage where the separation of groups from one another is so important and it’s remarkable how unconcerned pigs can be by the caliper being applied to one of their bretheren.

    A lot can go wrong at the abattoir and a fine beast can be spoilt (the texture more than the taste). However, the absence of a prayer has no impact on eating quality as far as I can tell and that was what I was getting at in my clumsy way.

  14. ukliberty:
    It seems there a different levels of pre-stunning.
    The ‘traditional’ UK version knocks the animal out prior to its immediately being killed.
    According to the UK Halal Food Authority (see website’s FAQs), Halal pre-stunning uses a very low power shock that briefly knocks the animal out while its throat is cut. I think that means it regains consciousness as it bleeds out.

  15. “And is not eating pork really any worse than not eating oranges from South Africa or Spain or the Occupied Territories?”

    I wouldn’t eat oranges from South Africa. Imagine all those nasty black hands all over them.

  16. Dietary laws are a means of maintaining tribal distinctions, in particular, the “that lot over there eat meat full of blood proves they’re disgusting”; this was a major rhetorical thingy in classical Islam; to a Muslim, eaters of bloody meat were in about the same category as we put baby buggerers.

    So to get non-Muslims forcibly obeying this dietary law is a major psychological issue for devout tribalist Muzzies; it is a proof of subjugation of us uncivilised barbarians.

    Which is why we really should not be doing it. In an atmposphere of tribal conflict such as this, it is very important symbolically to demonstrable stuff one’s face with meat that’s absolutely dripping with blood, to show that one resolutely is not following the enemy’s cultural values.

    I appreciate that most people in the West do not consider themselves tribal, or at tribal war with Islam. But Islam does consider itself at war with us, and wars are things you often fight just because the other bugger wants one, not because you want one yourself.

    Ideally, we’d have a formal campaign of immodest totty with their tits out marching (or in fact, dancing) through muslim areas, handing out non-halal burgers and cans of beer, but one step at a time and all that.

  17. dearieme – “It’s a reckless notion to have Imams and Rabbis in the same building equipped with throat-cutting implements. Elf and Safety.”

    Or maybe the beginning of a workable Middle East peace plan?

    Martin – “Perhaps a smart abbotoir will market itself as ‘non-halal’ to gain custom?”

    The SWPL people who care also care about Waaacism. So you would have to label it some other way. Cruelty-free meat would work.

    ukliberty – “Given the vast majority of animals slaughtered for halal in the UK are stunned beforehand, it seems a manufactured controversy.”

    All that means is they have a headache when their throats are cut. Stunning looks to me to be entirely PR to make people happier about the slaughter

    The Meissen Bison – “Just about to pop a loin of pork into the oven. Not concerned about the slaughtering ritual of my dinner.”

    I think we can say with some confidence that there was no Kosher or Hallal slaughter ritual for your loin.

    dearieme – “You ought to be: pigs react badly to stress and the consequences can be tasted in the meat.”

    I am not sure it can. At least not for most people. It should. But people are remarkably un-picky about their meat. The fats are so delicious, I assume, that everything else is swamped.

    The Stigler – “But why do they have a ritual that says lamb is OK but pigs aren’t? The most absurd example is that jews can’t eat guinea fowl (because it’s listed) but they can eat chicken and turkey (because it wasn’t).”

    Hey, don’t ask me. I am still trying to find out if armadillo is kosher. I assume it is ethnic differentiation. The aim, or at least the end result, was to separate a nomadic ruling group that did not consume pork from a settled peasant population that did.

    “Whether you agree with those people, at least they have a reason why they aren’t doing it that can be put into a moral context of trying to help others. What’s the moral or spiritual reason for not eating lobster?”

    God doesn’t like it?

    Thomas Gibbon – “The ‘traditional’ UK version knocks the animal out prior to its immediately being killed.”

    The traditional British method is to hit them in the head with a blunt metal object fired from a captive bolt pistol. I am not sure that knocked them out. They use electricity these days. How well does that work when they want to kill people in the US?

    “According to the UK Halal Food Authority (see website’s FAQs), Halal pre-stunning uses a very low power shock that briefly knocks the animal out while its throat is cut. I think that means it regains consciousness as it bleeds out.”

    Once the throat is cut, the animal would have seconds of consciousness if it wasn’t already unconscious.

    The strange thing is that we have a simple and cheap way to kill animals – a bullet to the brain. But we don’t use it. It is actually illegal to do so in the UK I believe.

  18. Stigler, SMFS-

    But why do they have a ritual that says lamb is OK but pigs aren’t?

    The answer is mundane. The Jews were shepherds in the hills, the Canaanites of the plains kept pigs. It was simply a means of tribal identification- the same as haircuts, and clothes, and the plan of one’s dwelling, and so on.

    Part of the problem with understanding all this is that due to the triumph of the Jewish faith via Christianity (and Islam) a picture of the ancient Jews has grown up as a nation of intellectuals and scholars. The reality is that at the time that the taboos that became the Jewish law were developing, they were a primitive, marginalised, small community whose tribal identity (and that tribe’s shepherd god) was really all they had. They had no fine culture. No arts for instance, so they made that another taboo. Not “we dont’ know how to paint and sculpt like the Romans and other civilised people” but “we don’t paint and sculpt because um, that’s an abomination, kind of thing”.

    So, “we eat sheep and our tribal enemies eat pigs”. That’s it.

  19. Pigs eat shit; that may have something to do with it.
    ( Stayed in an old farm in France where the outdoor privy was built with straight drop into the pig pen. Must admit this made me think differently about French rural types.)

  20. Turkey Twizzlers are an Abomination unto Nuggan, but upon the Fish Finger and the Oven Chip His countenance smileth.

  21. ukliberty, SMFS
    Thought it was obvious that the lower the stun voltages the briefer the stun and massive wounds cause ongoing suffering.
    Anyway, FTAOD, here’s the the Organic Halal Meat folks (you can Google them):
    The stun used is a very low voltage that knocks the animal out for around 15-20 seconds. After 20 seconds it is potentially back to normal and during that 20 seconds it is alive and breathing. This means that when the animal is cut it still bleeds the animal properly.
    If any animal is stunned and as a consequence dies, it would be haram to eat. However the chances of this happening are extremely slim if not impossible. As we personally slaughter we are also able to see if signs of life still exist in the animal and that it has been bled properly.

    Hope that clears things up.

  22. Ian B – I think not. If the historic Jewish criterion for judging meat as unclean rested on the rejection of foods eaten by their tribal enemies, it would follow that the Jews must have had tribal enemies who ate bats, snakes, ostriches, bees, camels, etc, etc, as all of these, and many more, are considered just as unclean as pigs.

    For a historical explanation of the origins of these dietary restrictions I recommend “The Unauthorised Version” by Robin Lane Fox.

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