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Halal & Kosher Meat - Should Compulsory Labelling Be Enforced?


David

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Drawing on another thread, I thought this discussion merited its own thread. This article from 2010 makes interesting reading;

 

Halal and kosher meat will have to be labelled under new European Union rules.

 

Millions of cows, goats and chickens are slaughtered without stunning each year in the UK under Muslim and Jewish practices, which enjoy an exemption from animal welfare laws.

 

The RSPCA, other welfare organisations and the Government's veterinary experts say the practice is cruel and should be ended, but another concern is that the meat re-enters the general food chain where it is unwittingly consumed by the general population.

 

In a series of votes on food labelling this week, which also backed compulsory country-of-origin labelling on all meat, MEPs voted by 559 to 54 for compulsory labelling of the religious slaughter of meat without stunning. While kosher and halal meat is well labelled in specialist butchers and food outlets, the regulation would alert general consumers to supplies entering the mainstream food system.

 

EU member states will have to approve the legislation and it is likely to return to the European Parliament for a second reading. Once adopted, food business will have three years to adapt to the rules. Smaller operators, with fewer than 100 employees and an annual turnover under

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Why not just label all meat with the method it was killed by? Seems easy enough and has no bias in it. Might force people to think a bit when buying meat as well.

 

sikhs are forbidden from eating meat ritually slaughtered in the islamic tradition so simple labels of kosher, halal, non sky fairy would be clearer

 

this has been done to death in other threads though don't see the need for a specific thread

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Personally I don't care if meat is halal or not so it makes no odds to me. However, for me the important question is why do you want it labelled? For many, it is to do with the way the animal is slaughtered. As I said in the Politics thread, I'm a meat eater so I can't take any stance on animal cruelty matters as, and this is my opinion and my opinion only, you can't really be bothered about the slaughter methods if you eat meat.

 

There is an underlying sentiment that the reason a lot of people want it to be labelled is because they don't want to eat "Muslim/Jewish" meat and they use the slaughter argument as a smokescreen. Surely if they were that concerned, they would want to determine the conditions of the individual slaughterhouses and butchers where the meat was prepared before making an informed decision about which meat to eat. After all, the quality and cleanliness of slaughterhouses and butchers are on an individual basis and not determined by religion.

 

Of course, there is a health issue attached to labelling food for allergies and suchlike but I do not believe that this applies to meat. I was on a works night out and a guy had a few drinks, loosened his tongue and a fair bit of casually anti muslim talk came out. He was on about halal and how he didn't like it. After he finished his curry I asked him how it was.

 

If you are preparing the food yourself then yes, you should know and be told where your ingredients come from. If you want a halal free diet, then the onus is on you to find out if your food is halal free (as in fried chicken, Nando's etc).

 

Saying all that, I have yet to hear a sound argument as to why someone will not eat halal or kosher food that doesn't involve bigotry. I'm sure some will disagree with me about meat eaters not being in a position to take a moral high ground.

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Of course it isn't, it's exactly the same principle as people who don't wear sweaters that were produced by child labour in a third world country, but I suppose since they still wear clothes then they are hypocrites, right? :rolleyes:

Only if those clothes were produced by child labour in a third world country. :rolleyes:

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I don't think that Halal or Kosher meat should be allowed. It's cruel and all rather very silly. Now I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm not one of those that has to eat meat everyday, far from it. The animals should be given as decent a life as possible and be killed in the most humane way possible. Speaking in tongues before slashing the throat of some creature and letting it die slowly is very unneccessary. And my opinion is not based on bigotry. It's based on common sense.

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So how are the meat eaters who complain about it hypocrites if they eat meat that was killed humanely?

Some would argue that no meat is killed humanely. By eating meat, they (and me) contribute to the death and slaughter of animals on a daily basis. As I said, I think meat eaters have an untenable position when complaining about animal slaughter regarding which method of death is better. To use a crude analogy, it would be like saying death by hanging for a murderer is inhumane but lethal injection is ok. It still results in death.

 

EDIT - To clarify, I'm not saying anyone who disagrees with that is anti muslim.

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Also I don't believe it'd be bigoted or racist to not want to eat a meat that has been slaughtered and prepared in a specific way, it's a choice like anything else.

 

If you're against it due to animal cruelty, that's a fair point, if it's "I'm not eating meat that's been prayed over by a muslim, wouldn't have that filth in my body,"then it''s clearly a bigoted approach. Can't really be anything else.

Personally I'd go further than labelling it, if it falls below the standards for animal welfare this country requires of its meat industry, I'd say the law still applies it can't be done here and that's that. Not like it stops people eating, just means they'll have to eat imported meat or stick to vegetarians.

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