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Muslim San Diego Residents Call For Halal School Lunches

Muslim San Diego Residents Call For Halal School Lunches

Above: School lunches are back in the spotlight this summer as districts try to comply with new nutrition rules. Meanwhile, Muslim residents in City Heights are calling for school cafeterias to offer foods that fit their religious guidelines.

Special Feature Speak City Heights

Speak City Heights is a media collaborative aimed at amplifying the voices of residents in one of San Diego’s most diverse neighborhoods. (Read more)

Audio

Aired 6/3/14

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has ruled the debate over school lunches since his 2010 campaign to overhaul American diets — starting with those on-camera confrontations with lunch ladies in his show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution."

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has ruled the debate over school lunches since his 2010 campaign to overhaul American diets — starting with those on-camera confrontations with lunch ladies in his show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution."

He sent a team of healthy food advocates on tour in a big rig equipped with a teaching kitchen. But the team got an unexpected lesson Saturday when it ended the tour with a cooking demonstration in San Diego.

The lesson came from a group of Muslim students and parents at Hoover High School in City Heights.

"I didn't even know what halal was or what their guidelines particularly pertain to," said chef Matt Harrison, who's traveled with the rig to eight cities since September. "When we got here we actually had a couple of ladies who came on board and they informed us what halal was and the guidelines they needed to follow."

Muslim members of the community's Food Justice Momentum Team told Oliver's chefs they wanted their diet restrictions considered in the San Diego workshops. And they were. Mothers and daughters in jewel-toned headscarves tied aprons over their floor-length dresses as they gathered in the rig's kitchen to cook breakfast.

The refugee group is hoping to replicate the win at a San Diego Unified School Board meeting this month. It wants the district to offer a halal option in school cafeterias.

The City Heights neighborhood is home to a large community of Muslim East Africans. Their religion requires them to eat halal foods, which are similar to kosher — no pork or pork products like gelatin and no meat slaughtered outside of the faith's strict guidelines.

"I want to see a change in the schools," Momentum team member Shukri Abdi said. "I want to see my son (offered) a different style of food than what I saw."

Abdi graduated from Crawford High School in 2007 and now has a son starting out in the district. She said she wasn't able to eat at school because the foods weren't halal. The hunger affected her studies.

Faduma Adam Haji goes to the Kearny High Educational Complex. She said packing a lunch always is an option, but it's a burden for low-income families. Many refugee children, including Haji, receive free and reduced meals at school.

"I feel like the free and reduced lunch is a waste, because you're providing me with resources to get lunch because of my low income but, at the same time, you're not providing me with the lunch that I'm supposed to be eating," Haji said.

Shukri Abdi said she remembers struggling to focus on classwork at Crawford High School because there was no halal food for her to eat on campus. Now she's working with community groups City Heights Hope and the Food Justice Momentum Team to bring halal options to local campuses. She says she doesn't want her son to face the same challenges.

If the district does offer a halal option, there's a good chance it will see some pushback, Adina Batnitzky said. She's a sociologist at the University of San Diego who studies health disparities related to acculturation.

Batnitzky went to bat for the local Muslim community in 2012 when it called for the YMCA to offer special swim hours for Muslim girls. Their faith also requires modesty, so they didn't feel comfortable swimming in front of men. The issue sparked a contentious conversation about Sharia law and assimilation.

Batnitsky said offering a halal option at schools has nothing to do with political Islam and everything to do with public health.

"If these children are not given the opportunity to eat foods that are congruent with their religion, then they're either going to not eat, which of course is not conducive to learning, or alternatively they're going to focus on eating only foods they're familiar with that follow their dietary restrictions, and that's often junk food that you can easily read the ingredients and say, 'OK, this would be all right,'" Batnitzky said. "But I don't think we want our children just to be eating potato chips all day."

San Diego Unified officials would not comment on the halal campaign but have met with the City Heights group.

The district already offers vegetarian options, which, by the way, aren't always halal thanks to processed salad dressings. And there already is a precedent for halal school lunches. Schools in Michigan, which has the nation's highest population of East African refugees, already offer them.

Muslim residents learned to make pancakes May 31, 2014 in a teaching kitchen brought to Hoover High School by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. To make the dish halal, participants substituted fruit salad for gelatinous artificial syrup and skipped the bacon.

Residents calling for the meals say it wouldn't require a drastic change in traditional school menus.

"I'm not saying they should stop giving meat or whatever to the other kids," said Creative, Performing and Media Arts Middle School student Noun Abdelaziz. "I just want healthier, better food."

If the school board OKs the meals, there's a good chance non-Muslim students won't really notice. On the menu back on Jamie Oliver's big rig: "All-American Pancakes."

The least American thing about it? No side of bacon.

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution tour and the Food Justice Momentum Team are supported by the California Endowment, which also funds Speak City Heights. Speak City Heights is an independent news collaborative.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | June 3, 2014 at 7:13 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

maybe tax payers need to say enough concessions .

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Avatar for user 'ThatwouldBTelling'

ThatwouldBTelling | June 3, 2014 at 7:45 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It seems, on the surface, like a nice, considerate and thoughtful idea for accommodating people with different beliefs. But where does the accommodation stop? If Muslims get halal food, than why can't Jews who follow their traditional dietary laws get kosher food? What about children being raised as vegetarians? Where's their accommodation?

The practical matter is, it's too expensive for school districts to feed all children the type of food their parents want them to eat. No system is perfect, and the free lunch system may only work for the great majority (90%+?) of the kids out there, and the others will just have to make do with food they bring from home.

I'm a vegetarian, but I won't take it personally. I realize it's just a practical matter in a world of limited resources that has to be dealt with.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | June 3, 2014 at 8:06 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

what happened to bringing your own lunch?

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Avatar for user 'JWK'

JWK | June 3, 2014 at 8:14 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

My suggestion is that they bring their lunch from home. Why should the non-halal taxpayers foot the bill for 'special' foods. Ridiculous!!

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Avatar for user 'JerryMclean'

JerryMclean | June 3, 2014 at 8:46 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It's not that we have to adapt. The immigrants have to adapt to the country they have chosen to live in and should be grateful to live here.
They don't like our food? Let them bring their own. PERIOD!!!

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 3, 2014 at 10:10 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Hmmm.. I wonder what the Pastafarians would demand in their special diets.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 3, 2014 at 10:46 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This comes down to numbers.

If you have a school with a singificant number of Muslim students, the meals should include Halal options.

I would say the same for Hindu, Vegan, Kosher, etc.

Obviously it's impractical to implement when only a handful of students have different dietary requirements, but when it becomes a sizeable minority population in a school/school system, then I think it's reasonable to do.

This story seems to straddle two different issues, though: students with special dietary requirement and the overall poor quality/unhealthy options presented at school lunches.

I think that vegetarianism is mainstream enough in our society that all schools should offer veg options for students, and more fresh fruit and vegetables should be standard in school lunches.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are pretty universal - I can't think of a regligion or diet that seeks to exclude fresh produce.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 3, 2014 at 10:48 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

JWK: "Why should the non-halal taxpayers foot the bill for 'special' foods. Ridiculous!!"

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What about the Halal tax-payers? Could they not make the same counter argument and say they pay taxes so why shouldn't their children be able to eat at the school lunch program?

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Avatar for user 'progressivebuthey'

progressivebuthey | June 3, 2014 at 10:56 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

more vegetarian options are cheaper and better for health and environment --- they have a lot to teach obese "American" kids.

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Avatar for user 'rajasree'

rajasree | June 3, 2014 at 12:50 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Only few Halal restaurants in the area ... like Indian Kitchen in Poway.

First lets get more of that ...there are so less options

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Avatar for user 'tosproutswego'

tosproutswego | June 3, 2014 at 5:11 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

NO thank you!!! The Christians are UNDER ATTACK in this country from mutiple groups but liberals seem to be bending over backwards for this "religion" that seems to produce dangerous extremists. When is America going to wake up. NO we do NOT do special lunches for Christians, Jews or any other "faith" and we certainly should NOT for them. ENOUGH already, melt INTO our melting POT or go back to your country. ENOUGH.

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Avatar for user 'Infidel'

Infidel | June 3, 2014 at 6:58 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This should be a matter for the ASPCA. The halal method of slaughtering an animal is cruel and barbaric. According to Sharia law, the animals neck is slit and it slowly bleeds to death, in abject fear and panic. The prescribed Western way stuns the animal into unconsciousness and it dies peacefully.

Here is why non-Muslims should care about the introduction of any halal food into the West, independent of animal cruelty or religious issues.

The first problem is an employment fairness issue. Halal slaughter requires that Muslims perform all halal rituals. The end result is that Muslims begin to “take over” food production jobs of a nation. The idea that Muslims – who wish to eliminate non-Muslims – control any aspect of non-Muslim food production is disturbing.

The second problem is a terrorist funding issue. All halal products require the monetary purchase of halal certification from a major Muslim entity – and some of that money inevitably supports terror efforts against the West.

The third problem is a Muslim immigration scam. Evidently, halal slaughter requires Western nations to import halal butchers from Muslim nations. The scam is that the halal butchers QUIT as soon as they receive their Western immigration status – requiring the constant importation of halal butchers from – you guessed it – Muslim nations.

Western apologists trying to appease the demands of Muslim supremacists will discover a bottomless pit of never-ending special treatments that other minorities wouldn't think of demanding. It's all part of creeping Sharia, bent on world domination and bringing down The Great Satan. US!

- See more at: http://www.theblogmocracy.com/2011/06/30/why-non-muslims-should-avoid-halal-food/#sthash.lvqvxBAk.dpuf

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Avatar for user 'wheninrome'

wheninrome | June 3, 2014 at 8:46 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

When people immigrate to our country, they should be willing to conform to our society in which religion is a personal preference, not a way of life that all citizens should be expected to conform to. For example, my sister is a vegetarian but she did not expect that school lunches would become vegetarian to please her personal preference. Therefore, if she wanted her children to eat a vegetarian lunch, she would fix it for them to take to school. If Moslem mothers want their children to eat halal food, they should prepare a lunch for their children to take to school, not expect that the school will change its menu to suit their religious preferences. This expectation seems outrageous to me. The immigrants are the ones who should change, not the citizens who were born here and grew up accustomed to a free society.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 3, 2014 at 8:50 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Infidel, the only one of your arguments that seems to have merit and isn't some xenophobic, islamophobic tinfoil hat conspiracy theory is the animal rights argument.

Is the halal method cruel? Perhaps, but so is the "western method", and for you to imply that U.S. Non-Mulsim slaughterhouses as "peaceful" means of kill is absolutely absurd.

Slitting and animals throat or cramming it through a crowded, dirty death-camp slaughterhouse where it's bludgeoned to death is quite frankly a toss-up, I don't care what medications you hive the animal.

BOTH methods have got to be terrifying for the animals.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 3, 2014 at 9:19 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

To sproutswego, infidel, wheninrome: each first-time commenters with similar islamophobic viewpoints.

Same person?? Possible I think.

Look, organized religion is something I am against strictly when it comes to government policy - and that includes both draconian Shiria law as well as draconian right-wing Christian law under the likes of shameful people like the late Jesse Helms.

While I don't believe in organized religion, I do favor freedom of religion. Freedom of people to practice any religion they wish as long as they are not trying to convert/indoctrinate vulnerable people or use it to make laws or public policy.

I'm not threatened by someone with a different diet than my own, and the comments by the 3 people (one person) mentioned above are simply written out of ignorance. I have Muslim friends and they are open-minded, gay friendly and peaceful good people. This incessant painting of all Muslims as terrorists or extremists or people who believe in Shiria law is ignorant.

There are far more moderate Muslims than there are extremists, especially when you look at Muslims who live in the U.S. and Europe.

The ironic thing is a lot of the paranoid people who think Muslims are trying to take over America are the very same people who want their religious myths - the Bible - to be used to make common law here.

We can have cultural sensitivity and diversity without using the Koran or the Bible to govern.

It's food, people. Food.

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Avatar for user 'RLA'

RLA | June 3, 2014 at 10:25 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Hand out the key to an old American custom - brown paper bags. Each speciality requirement can be met by filling the bags at home.

Schools are for education. If the kids' homes need extra support let the "safety net" organizations provide for them at home, and include the brown paper bags!

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Avatar for user 'Infidel'

Infidel | June 4, 2014 at 12:21 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago


Peking Duck: I think we could agree on one point. Religion poisons everything. Christopher Hitchins was right. But your naivete about Sharia is exemplified in your ad hominum tin-foil hat attack. To be Muslim, one must embrace Sharia law. No two ways about it, despite the takeya denial you hear from the people you mentioned.

It's not about food.
It's about submission, people. Submission. That's what the word 'Islam' means.
And you, P. Duck, like a proper dhimmie, are carrying water for the most intolerant, the most violent social order on the face of this planet. You call it a religion. But it's more like a totalitarian fanatical brotherhood masquerading as a religion. And your attempts to hasten this submission to Sharia is tantamount to sedition. Call me Islamophobic if you will. It's true.Islam scares the crap out of me. But I hate that word. It's a neologism dredged up from the bowels of a CAIR think tank to beat over the heads of submissive westerners who abide by the principle of religious tolerance.There is no such tolerance in Islam. Well, I have no tolerance for intolerance. Here's a line in the sand. No halal food from the public teat.

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Avatar for user 'Ifti'

Ifti | June 4, 2014 at 4:42 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago


You guys can eat anything even pigs that roll in their own filth but you wont eat HALAL which is clean meat. You know, the bible also says you shouldn't eat pork as it is 'unclean'.....just saying for all of you stating this is a christian country. Bit of course it's nothing to do with the meat, it's just another excuse to have a pop at Muslims isn't it. I for one am proud to live in a multicultural society and am glad that my child is growing up in one. I would hate for her to grow up as a little Englander with a hateful, narrow view of the world and frightened of anything even remotely different to her.

British Muslims have every right to be catered for. They are as British as the rest. I think people are worried in case the ritual prayers are in fact spells which will turn them all into Muslims. This week's row has got nothing all to do with animal welfare. The fuss is about people's fears over the covert Islamification of society. You may or may not agree that concerns are realistic or even legitimate, but food suppliers and others concerned ought not to deny that it is an issue or answer criticisms honestly. I don't think eating halal meat actually turns you into a Muslim. This time it is aimed at Muslims. However assaults on ritual slaughter have a long history in terms of European anti-Semitism. This is just more of the same, prejudice dressed up as concern for animal welfare.

Taking lives, foods and shelters of others are cruelty, so, don't take meat, fish and vegetables for food because they have lives. Don't milk animals because they are their babies food. Don't take drinks because they are the abodes of so many living creatures. Don't let mothers do breast-feeding because it harms their beauty.....Just be the champion of saints of mankind! " - Do this words sounds funny? Hope, don't for those champions who are the modern advocates of "RIGHTS". Stunning is unethical. Stunning causes the animal SO much pain. Halal is HUMANE and CARING to the animal. Denmark is a country that SUPPORTS animal cruelty. Science has shown the Halal is peaceful. Science has shown that stunning causes animals PAIN and SUFFERING. Centuries ago people were more natural. Stop perverted GMO and perverted food practices. Islam is the best way of life.

Birmingham school says sorry for serving non-Halal meat to Muslim pupils. Council catering staff had wrongly dished up the non-Halal food to Muslim pupils on December 12, but details have only just come to light. On Monday parents received a letter from Craig Jansen, head of the 1,400-pupil secondary school and sixth form, in which he apologised unreservedly for the incident.

There are hundreds of state and church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies so that non-Muslim children could enjoy their own meals in their own schools.
IA
London School of Islamics Trust


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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | June 4, 2014 at 8:20 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Infidel/Ifti,

It's so nice to have you back. We've missed you since you left over 100+ messages on the comment board for the "Muslim Swimming Pool Sessions" story from last year. All I know is that I haven't been attacked by a Muslim today and I'm more frightened by people who text while driving.

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Avatar for user 'markavelli'

markavelli | June 4, 2014 at 9:46 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Dems don't believe in a 'majority rules' scenario so you can expect this to happen.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 4, 2014 at 10:20 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

lfti: "To be Muslim, one must embrace Sharia law. No two ways about it, despite the takeya denial you hear from the people you mentioned".

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I disagree.

Some people identify with one religion or another for cultural purposes only, and even with those who do practice, you have a wide range that includes people who don't want their religion being used for political/legal purposes.

I have a close friend who is Iranian American and that person has spent a great deal of time in Iran. There are a lot of Iranians who identify as Muslim but DON'T agree with the rule by religion that currently exists.

I just disagree with painting with a borad brush here.

Yes, I do agree that religion poisons politics and government, but I also think there are good people who are religious who don't have any intention or desire to interject their beliefs into government.

When I read this story and look at the images, I see young girls who are probably sturggling with trying to fit-in and worrying about the things young ladies worry about at that age - they don't look like they are trying to spread the word of Al Qaeda or blow anyone up.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 4, 2014 at 10:27 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

markavelli: Dems don't believe in a 'majority rules' scenario so you can expect this to happen.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

What "majority" do Republicans represent ?

They have isolated women, isolated minorities, isolated gays, isolated younger people, and isolated non-Christians.

What you have left is a true minority in America today and dwindling lower by the year: The 65+, white, grumpy, straight, Christian male chauvinist crank who fits the prime fox "news" demographic.

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Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | June 4, 2014 at 10:36 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This sliver of the population needs to accept the western diet and choose whether or not to adopt it. If you choose to shun it, by all means please do so at your own expense. Some of that food is quite tasty. Maybe by bringing some home cooked options and exposing the kids to it you might see a swing in demand from other parents. But to demand that accommodations be made under our current budget climate is not a reality.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 4, 2014 at 10:37 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Sorry, I just realized in my third post up that I attributed a quote to "lfti" when it is a quote made by "Infidel".

Apologies, my response was directed towards "Infidel" and not "Lfti".

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Avatar for user 'thompsonrichard'

thompsonrichard | June 4, 2014 at 12:50 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Sharia Law forbids compound interest; so the U.S.Treasury Department has a secret plan to create a "one world" currency.
Creationism is fact, global warming is a hoax, health care reform will send kids on "abortion field trips." Sharia Law is coming to middle America, so Michelle Obama wants to force all women to breast feed.
A paranoid isolationist, lowbrow conspiracy theorist, heavily tanned, shellacked, fundamentalist Christian zealot is waiting in the wings to run for the U.S. Presidency. We haven't been informed who he or she is yet but this Automaton, an anti-choice anti-gay throwback will be funded by the Koch brothers.
Easily the flat-out nuttiest candidate ever, he or she wants to lead Peking-Duck among others to salvation by proscribing Halal lunches at wait -- just one minute -- my old high school -- Crawford!

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Avatar for user 'ChinaDoll'

ChinaDoll | June 4, 2014 at 12:52 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Typical of groups like these. First they want to be treated like everybody else. Then they want Special Treatment. If you want a Theocracy, then go live in one. Otherwise learn to assimilate.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 4, 2014 at 2:48 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

"The district already offers vegetarian options, which, by the way, aren't always halal thanks to processed salad dressings."

===

Why not just declare the vegetarian menu as Halal? Skip the processed salad dressing, use only oil and vinegar, and be done with it?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 4, 2014 at 3:12 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

But then these "poor immigrants" probably demand meat. Unlike their countrymen who are starving to death and would be overjoyed with FREE vegetarian food.

The problem with Halal is that it is cruel to animals and discriminatory to people:

1. Animals must not be slaughtered in the name of anyone but Allah. Any food that has been dedicated to an idolatrous altar, saint, or person is prohibited.

2. Allah's name must be pronounced during slaughter.

3. The animal must be conscious.

4. The animal must be slit at the throat.

5. The animal must be hung upside down while still alive.

6. These steps must be accomplished by a Muslim.

Cruel, inhumane, and discriminatory! That is unacceptable in a Western society.

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Avatar for user 'Abdulameer'

Abdulameer | June 4, 2014 at 9:26 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Moslems will push the envelope wherever and whenever they can. They never adapt to the host country, but always expect the host country to adapt to them. This issue of halal food in schools is not about food, and the Moslems are lying when they say otherwise. It is about politics, about forcing the host country to adapt. The Moslem kids can eat everything except the meat. Big deal! They don't need meat at lunch in order to be healthy. The school cafeteria serves lots of food besides meat, and we are not talking about junk food like potato chips.Secular public schools have no business funding Moslem religious food.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 5, 2014 at 6:56 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

CA Defender,

I agree with you that the halal method of killing animals is inhumane.

But so is the western slaughterhouse method.

I think it's intellectually dishonest to make an argument that halal meals should not be included based on animal cruelty when millions of school lunches a day use beef made by cattle that are horrendously bludgeoned to death in "western" U.S. slaughterhouses.

As you point out, meals can be halal and vegetarian.

It seems discriminatory to say we'll allow this way of torturing and killing animals but not this way because it's simply a guise at Islamic discrimination.

Now, if you want to talk about the U.S. taking on a complete overhaul of the meat industry and making universal more humane approaches to slaughter that would render halal production AS WELL AS the nastier aspects of western slaughterhouse production illegal, then I am all for it!!

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 5, 2014 at 7:24 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

PDSD "if you want to talk about the U.S. taking on a complete overhaul of the meat industry and making universal more humane approaches to slaughter that would render halal production AS WELL AS the nastier aspects of western slaughterhouse production illegal, then I am all for it!!"

What do you propose?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 5, 2014 at 8:05 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Benz, it's a tough issue and one that involves the costs of mass production.

Obviously there is no way to kill an animal and be 100% humane, that's simply impossible.

But one thing I think we should look into is on-farm slaughter. Much of the trauma for the animals is what leads up to the kill, not just the kill itself.

Animals are subject to having their tails cut off, being debeaked, dehorned, castrated and their ears notched without anesthesia.

They aren’t kept in crowded conditions without sunlight or fresh air, and they have their offspring painfully taken away from them.

In transport they are often thrown into crowded transport containers where they are injured, and then forced to watch other animals be killed right in front of them.

I'm not going to be a hypocrite or naive here - I eat meat. Granted, I think I eat it a lot less than most Americans (about 2-3 times per week for chicken and seafood and about once per month for beef or pork) and I also realize there will be some suffering involved when any animal is killed.

But I think we can do better, and try to address some of what I mentioned above - not to eliminate the suffering but to at least lessen it.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 5, 2014 at 8:07 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

*Correction, they ARE kept in crowded conditions .....

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 5, 2014 at 10:10 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

A few questions about the particulars of a 'slaughter at the farm' paradigm...

Do you envision this being better or worse from a training / expertise perspective? E.g. If someone slaughters infrequently will it impact the animals to be slaughtered?

Once farm animals are exposed to routine slaughter where they live will some of the same concerns not recur? ("forced to watch other animals be killed right in front of them"). Will this cause more or less trauma if it occurs on their home farm?

Logistically, how do you envision distributed slaughter affecting food safety?

Thanks for the ideas.

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Avatar for user 'Infidel'

Infidel | June 5, 2014 at 11:49 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

P. Duck: To draw your attention back to a previous topic, and what some Muslims were saying on Memorial day...

http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/cair-officials-memorial-day-do-us-troops-merit-honor

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 5, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Duck,

I agree. The western (particularly US) meat industry is also inhumane and cruel.

But if you have to pick between western practices which include stunning/making them unconscious before slaughter to Halal which requires them to be awake and alert during a long and painful bleed-out while being hung upside down, the western practice is FAR better. Halal is barbaric.

I would prefer the entire meat industry be shut down, but I know that is impossible. Perhaps it could be limited to only small independent butchers who take care of their livestock and the slaughter process.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 5, 2014 at 12:40 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Benz,

There is lots of research out there about how to minimize fear and suffering of animals in factory slaughterhouses.

The problem is cost. The slaughterhouses want massive profits, lobby politicians to ignore the problem, and the slobs eating at McDonalds want ridiculously cheap hamburgers. So nothing is done.

When it comes to meat, you never want cheap. It is bad for you, the animal, the environment, the economy, the country, and the world.

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Avatar for user 'al'

al | June 5, 2014 at 12:46 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Wow this is great. I hope there campaign is successful. All schools should accommodate. Plus if we can spend money setting up military bases in their country then we can spend money accommodating all refugees, asylees, and other immigrant groups.

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Avatar for user 'jf'

jf | June 5, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Its worth noting that a vegetarian option with no eggs would be kosher, halal, and suitable for Buddhists and Hindus (some of whom don't eat eggs). Leaving out dairy would also work for vegans but tricky with USDA requiring schools to offer milk. For the ultraOrthodox this can get tricky if the kitchen is not closed for the Sabbath but for most schools this should be fine. I've seen hospital dietary services make this work very effectively.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 6, 2014 at 10:42 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

JERRY MCLEAN, they don't have to "adapt" squat. Mmmaybe we stop invading other countries, destroying their infrastructure and generating refugees, huh???

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 6, 2014 at 11:04 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Incebecile, huh???

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 6, 2014 at 11:09 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Wheninrome, yeah, the Somalis can become atheists or fundamentalists! LOL

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 6, 2014 at 11:59 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I guess CA OFFENDER, missed this in North Carolina, but then again he would be NC OFFENDER, not CA OFFENDER!!!

A Mercy For Animals undercover investigation takes you behind the closed doors of one of the country's largest poultry slaughterhouses – House of Raeford Farms, Inc. in Raeford, North Carolina. In January and February of 2007 an MFA investigator worked in the "live-hang" area of the plant (where live birds are snapped into shackles on the slaughter line), secretly filming egregious acts of animal cruelty with a hidden camera. Shocking abuses he witnessed include:
•Turkeys with broken wings and legs, bloody open wounds, tumors and other untreated injuries being slaughtered for human consumption
•A worker violently punching live, shackled turkeys for "fun"
•Employees forcefully shoving their hands into the cloacae (vaginal cavities) of live chickens
•Turkeys and chickens being thrown across the facility and up into the air
•Workers ripping the heads off live turkeys
•Birds being crushed to death under the wheels of trucks
•Conscious turkeys having their throats slit

House of Raeford Slaughterhouse Investigation

www.mercyforanimals.org/hor/

Mercy for Animals

... slaughterhouses – House of Raeford Farms, Inc. in Raeford, North Carolina. ... (vaginal cavities) of live chickens; Turkeys and chickens being thrown across the facitility and up in the air.

Yeah IFTI and CA Offender, our wonderful "Western ways."

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | June 6, 2014 at 3:45 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Give them all a ticket home.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 6, 2014 at 10:22 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Out of your tax money, _uckkka poop1???

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 6, 2014 at 10:22 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Imbecel, Chris Hitchens is right dead.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | June 7, 2014 at 12:58 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I guess they are too lazy to pack their own lunch. LOL

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Avatar for user 'tbsdca'

tbsdca | June 8, 2014 at 6:44 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I grew up in San Diego in grade school and high school with NO cafeterias. We brought food from home. Schools are a place to educate. They are not hotels and day spas. Put the money in education. Parents: learn how to pack a lunch for your kids. And feed them breakfast at home around a table talking with each other.
It's a matter of priorities. Please don't expect me to be happy that my taxes are being used to fund school restaurants.
Choices people. Choices. Make better choices.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 9, 2014 at 11:14 a.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

LOL Imbicel, your Clarion Project link is nothing but another Nativist webiste! Yeah, they've shown their propaganda films at the right wing Heritage Foundation and Faux News!!! LOL And they have good old seasonsed "Muslim expert" Dan Pipes, who tows the the usual Zionist line.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | June 9, 2014 at 2:49 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I am starting a special fund for BBQ pork sandwiches for the lunch menu. Eat up.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 10, 2014 at 1:42 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

tbsdca,

VERY WELL SAID!

Missionfailed,

I agree with you and would like to see the entire meat industry overhauled. While there is absolutely no ethical way to eat meat, there are at least standards and norms in the West that are designed to minimize animal suffering.

That is why we call the cases you quoted "egregious acts of animal cruelty". For Halal meat butchers, "egregious acts of animal cruelty" are not only the norm, but commanded by their god.

Must we not only accept but accommodate such violent inhumane cruelty?

NO!

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 10, 2014 at 9:55 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

CD "there is absolutely no ethical way to eat meat"
I have to disagree with that statement. We can discuss it if you like, but I find it to be incorrect.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 11, 2014 at 9:59 a.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I eat meat ethically. I take a bite, chew it up, enjoy the flavor, and swallow it. Meat is good. If you think animals are as important as humans, then don't eat them. But don't force other people to agree with your ridiculous opinions.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 11, 2014 at 11:36 a.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

CA OFF, I jusr read your other post and we actually see eye-to-eye! I'm going to look outside in a minute because the sky must be green!

I would LOVE to see it shut down because it would be something that could be practically enforced (of course, some peole would be raising their own poultry out in the boonies), but there is too much money involved here. What's more, as an anti-spending person, I'm sure you would like to see Federal government subsedies to the meat industry cut altogether. I read in Robbins' DIET FOR A NEW AMERCIA that it takes apporx 30 gallons of water to produce just ONE pound of beef!!! That is beyond unbelievable! I also believe this "free-range" hen stuff is a hypocritical joke!

The USA is # 1 or # 2 in the world ranking for diabetes! And Mexico is right there with us because of the geographically-close market and bad spill-over eating habits! We still need to be more health-conscious and continue to promote humane treatment of all animals. It isn't ONE ocean predator with the name of Shamu, that I care about, it's all thouse hundreds of thousands of mammals haning from our hooks! There are also some envirnomental issues here. It is NOT a partisan issue, not should it become one.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 11, 2014 at 12:05 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Benz and JM,

The ethics of meat production is a long and technical debate which involves land usage, aquifer depletion, waste run-off, soil contamination/erosion, nitrogen cycle, air pollution, grain production/usage, GMO crops, government subsidies, political lobbying, antibiotics, hormones, public health, socialized medicine, and of course animal welfare.

Once you examine these topics, there is no way to justify meat consumption.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 11, 2014 at 2:25 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Mission,

We actually agree on something! I guess there is common ground for everyone.

But you're way off on one number. It takes 1,799 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. I know, it is shocking!

Plus 6.6 pounds of corn and soy that could have gone to feeding the hungry.

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/embedded-water/

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 11, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

For anyone who is for reducing government spending and taxation (looking particularly at you Benz and JM), consider this:

2/3rds of agricultural subsidies are used to support the meat industry, making cattle one of the most subsidized products in the US.

That burger is nothing but a government burger.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 11, 2014 at 2:36 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

California - I don't care about animals. The "ethics" of animal treatment is laughable to me. Now, government subsidies? No thank you. Let the free market work.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 12, 2014 at 9:32 a.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

CA Off, I was quoting the book, DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA, published in the 80s. That figure by NG seems very excessive. I don't know where NG got their figure nor how reliable it is, (NG network tends to be a little sensationalistc, if you watch), but either author John Robbins was way off. it is the result of inflation, or the process has changed and instead of technology making it most cost effective, has made it more expensive. One also has to wonder whether the figure seems realistic in the face of other countries that have experienced droughts in parts of their geography: Australia, Mexico . . . either way, though, it's beacoup water whose waste the planet cannot afford.

Since John Markkk cares not about ethics for animals and favors cuts to government subsides(to the meat industry in this case), is he EQUALLY willing to pay $12 for a simple hamburger???

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 12, 2014 at 10:14 a.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Mission - yes, I am. I would gladly pay extra for my products. I am paying anyway, when my taxes go to corn subsidies. I am a firm believer in the free market.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 12, 2014 at 11:28 a.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Mission,

I agree, sometimes NG can sensationalize things, but in this case, they are citing a 2010 UNESCO research paper: http://www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Report-48-WaterFootprint-AnimalProducts-Vol1.pdf

I would tend to believe a UN paper that is backed up by hard data from a major university.

But let's revel in the fact we agree on this topic!

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 12, 2014 at 3:17 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

JeanMarc:

California - I don't care about animals. The "ethics" of animal treatment is laughable to me. Now, government subsidies? No thank you. Let the free market work.

-------------------------------------------------------

You missed the point of CAOffender's post.

We are all well aware of your anti-animal positions.

The point was that the meat industr, in addition to being cruel and inhumane, is heavily government subsidized.

It is anything but "free market".

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 12, 2014 at 3:39 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, I said I don't care about the animals, but I do not like that it is subsidized. End farm subsidies! (and green energy b.s. subsidies)

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Avatar for user 'Eddie89'

Eddie89 | June 13, 2014 at 7:39 a.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, I think that offering the halal lunches will open Pandora's box to every other religious group to also request their own dietary guidelines be followed for their adherent students.

If the parents of these kids are so concerned about their children keeping the faith at school by the foods they eat, then they should either pack their lunch for them or have the various churches/temples/mosques/etc do so as a congregation and have people in their religious community help each other out and make lunches for the kids.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 13, 2014 at 10:04 a.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Eddie89 the real goal of Islam is to convert the whole earth, or slay the infidels. This is just another subtle encroachment of Islam. They will never conform or assimilate, their goal is to spread and convert or kill infidels.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 13, 2014 at 12:25 p.m. ― 2 months, 2 weeks ago

JOHN MARKKK, I want to suggest to you a book. It is written by one Matthew Scully, a former reporter for the Buckely's NATIONAL REVIEW and a former speechwriter for Bush I. In other words, he is a man of the political Right. His book, however, is a strong argument against anaimal abuse here. No Right-Left politics here as you would expect, just an ethical view toward animals. You would be doing yourself a great service.

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Avatar for user 'Infidel'

Infidel | July 1, 2014 at 12:41 a.m. ― 1 month, 3 weeks ago


Here is the traditional halal method to slaughter a cow:

http://nickvanriel.wix.com/torture-pain#!halal-horror/c1beg

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