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Halal/kosher meat

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Joined 30-01-2007
Posted on Thursday, 04 October, 2007 - 03:18 pm:   

[Moved from Babur Takeaway thread - Webmaster]
I recommend Honor Oak Tandoori for a cheaper alternative to the Babur Restaurant, always very polite and happy to change the menu to suit my palette - also one of the few Indians (actually Bangladeshi owned) that always does Halal meat only - if you have Muslim friends - this is a godsend..
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Saturday, 06 October, 2007 - 09:44 am:   

Sorry, but will never visit any establishment that serves meat produced under halal or kosher methods or indeed sells veal. Thanks for warning me about this place. Are people these days not aware of the cruelty of such painful methods involved in ending an animals life? I

I do hope Bar Equal obtains its meat from more humane sources. Please don't encourage barbaric practices by giving these places your custom. Only money will talk and lead to change.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Saturday, 06 October, 2007 - 11:38 am:   

Roz - I'm glad you raised that point. My partner is a vet (one of those rare ones that actually seems to have a genuine love and interest of animals and their welfare), and she (quite rightly) wont even let me as much as sniff at a halal takeaway!
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Saturday, 06 October, 2007 - 11:40 am:   

I am pleased to say that Sainsburys in Bell Green and Waitrose in Beckenham have a reasonably good supply of kosher produce for South London. Personally I only eat kosher meat and find it quite offensive when this is described as a barbaric practice.

There are a number of criticisms to be levelled at the methods used by most non-kosher/halal slaughterhouses, not to mention eating lobsters, mussels, oysters, fois gras and all these other haram/treif cooking/killing methods. My understanding from research done is that when carried out correctly kosher slaughter is as good at rapidly shutting down brain function as stun guns. Both methods are not 100% perfect or instant at ending life, but try to minimise the pain suffered by the animal.

If you want to be a vegetarian and object to eating all meat I can live with that, but to describe a method of slaughter that has taken account of animal welfare for thousands of years as barbaric demonstrates a lack of real knowledge of these religious practises.

Anyway, in a desperate attempt to return the thread to the topic it was meant to be discussing (whilst further discussion of the laws of Kashrut can continue in Beyond SE23), can I also recommend Yune on Dartmouth Road for their takeaway service. What is really nice is when I ordered a vegetarian meal they phoned me back to check if I wanted it without oyster sauce, this gives me a huge amount of confidence in a restaurant.
Joined 21-04-2006
Posted on Saturday, 06 October, 2007 - 12:25 pm:   

Yes, Yune is such a good place to have in Forest Hill. I don't know much about oriental food but I am always so happy to eat there. And they are very polite. I have been trying to suggest they do a sunday day time dim-sum menu. It would be perfect. Has anybody tried the eat at the well established Sapporo Itchiban in Catford ? I know it is outside se23 but it deserves a mention. It doesn't feel like much of a treat to go to that area of Catford for an evening meal but once you are inside and are served their food, you realise it is such good quality and you would have to pay so much more if this restaurant was in the west end. Quite surely you wouldn't received the same service.
Joined 21-04-2006
Posted on Saturday, 06 October, 2007 - 12:30 pm:   

I didn't realised they had received a good review in the Timeout...
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Saturday, 06 October, 2007 - 01:31 pm:
type in ' halal' and refer to June 2007 report on method of slaughter.
Joined 30-01-2007
Posted on Sunday, 07 October, 2007 - 11:20 pm:   

I am not muslim, but if I were I would be really offended at the dismissal of so many people's tradition and culture. Killing animals is barbaric, but whilst we eat little lambs and cows, we have to accept the killing. British slaughter houses are far from ideal, it's all well documented. Eating Halal is not everyone's cup of tea, but as we shut our eyes to the slaughter of any animal on our plate, I don't think we should be so precious about Halal practices, especially if it is likely to offend great swathes of the populace who already feel isolated by the current anti-Muslim climate. In anycase as Muslims are part of our community, they should be able to have a choice of places to dine, just like the rest of us.
Joined 12-12-2006
Posted on Monday, 08 October, 2007 - 01:49 am:   

Thanks for that link Roz.
It is straight forward - the slaughter of animals without stunning adds to their stress and pain. We have a duty to minimise this, and no individual or group has a moral right to exemption.
It seems that the more enlightened members of the Jewish and Moslem faith are happy to compromise on this and it is only the strictest interpretations of their texts that demand a fully aware animal at the point of slaughter.
With the loop hole in the law closed, there would be every reason to think that halal/Kosher meat would then be the kinder option, the production driven by a religious imperative to stick to procedures rather than just driven by profit.

PS has anyone ever had a decent indian vegetarian take away here? One not based on a packet of frozen mixed veg: peas and carrots. I've tried good few over the years but have never been impressed.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 08 October, 2007 - 09:22 am:   

I think it is fair to say the vast majority of the mass-produce end of the meat industry is rather barbaric, all the way from animal rearing to slaughter. Most chickens have trouble walking as their feet and lower legs are a mass of open sores from standing in 'bedding' which is a mass of rotten dead chicks and animal waste. Many 'stunned' animals are far from stunned.

I do not follow any particular faith though I find many of the comments above stem from our current environment of minority bashing, From an animal welfare perspective, the entire food chain requires an overhaul, not just how we kill them.

I found the following a little more informative:
Joined 09-01-2007
Posted on Monday, 08 October, 2007 - 10:34 am:   

I am a committed meat eater, and fully understand that no matter how you dress it up, something has to die for me to do this. No death is painless. Cruelty depends to some extent on individual morality. These debates tend to be a bit of a waste of time since most people who contribute already have strongly entrenched positions. Outside of religion, discussions around meat eating, tends to be 1st world issue
Joined 24-03-2004
Posted on Monday, 08 October, 2007 - 11:39 pm:   

The question is surely not so much whether certain people might find offensive others describing their practices as barbaric, as whether or not it's true - whether in any absolute terms you are able to find or by reference to our cultural norms?

Personally I find it quite offensive that religion is so much used to give spurious legitimacy to all manner of things.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 09 October, 2007 - 10:58 am:   

Complete aside, yet still vaguely related to the topic, some pseudo intellectual friends and I were discussing religious eating habits in the pub last week (that is we were in a pub discussing eating habits, not religious people eating in pubs). Notice how Judaism and Islam both forbid the eating of pork, yet Christianity does not. All 3 books are part of the same monotheistic strand, so it is strange Christianity diverged. The concensus was this was due to Christianity as we inherited it having a northern / central European basis where it simply was not practical to avoid eating pork. Apparently middle east Christian communities (who have an older more direct Christian heritage) will not eat pork (as it is forbidden in the Bible).

Another aside, the shunning of pork comes from 2 reasons:

1) It is an animal which will eat its own kind. Sheep etc will not;
2) When prok goes off, it will not smell off immediately as other meats do. Hence there is a danger iffy meat will be consumed.

I find one especially interesting given the problems we have had with CJD and other diseases in rcent times. One theory is this is caused by feeding ground up bits of their cousins back to their bretherin.

Definitely beyond se23.
Joined 09-02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, 09 October, 2007 - 11:28 am:   

Christianity abandoned nearly all the 'lifestyle' rules that seem to go with Islam and Judaism, though, as well as other 'marks of membership' like male circumcism. The pork thing is interesting, though :) I agree with HTG - regardless of the halal/kosher issue, it's about looking at scientific fact and moving forward to a position based on that, regardless of religion. Forget about religious sensivity: the enlightenment did happen.
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 09 October, 2007 - 11:43 am:   

As the article from PVP points out there are serious issues with non-kosher/halal slaughter. 'Chickens are lifted by their legs when they are fully conscious. Their heads are immersed in water to make electrical contact, but some flutter and are not stunned. Chickens and pigs are subjected to scalding water to remove their feathers and hair [possibly prior to electrocution]. When stunning is not done properly or exsanguination has not progressed enough, a significant proportion of animals is burnt before going unconscious.'

The stunning itself can often lead to significant suffering of the animal. Is this moral or barbaric? If you want to be morally correct then don't eat meat rather than trying to give spurious legitimacy to murdering animals for food - they will always suffer in slaughter, live transportation, and intensive farming methods. But some people wish to assuage their guilt by asserting that somebody else is being even more barbaric than they are.

There is an additional argument that suggests that the reason for the prohibition on pork is related to the environment. Pigs and wild boar naturally live in forests, which are spread widely across Europe, India, China, but are not found in the Middle East. In the Middle East the best form of farming is herding animals - particularly sheep, goats, and cows.
The diet of pigs is much more similar to humans, therefore farming pigs is a direct conflict with people in areas without significant forests. This has been argued to be the reason for eating animals that only chew the kud, they have to be grazers.

I also think there is a strong argument that says that eating animals that eat other animals is more likely to cause problems in the food chain and lead to diseases. This has most recently been witnessed with BSE / CJD. The longer the food chain, the more likely diseases will develop.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 10 October, 2007 - 03:56 pm:   

Good point Michael,

The conversation I referred to above was between me (nominally Christian), a Jewish friends, a muslim friend, and some Catholic friends. The muslim also referred to how the more tribal cultures in the middle east often live almost with their cattle, and most of their wealth is tied up with the cattle (no DEFRA to fall back on). Hence they really care if the flock are unhealthy or not.

I should also point out we were in the pub and the evening ended up with bacon sandwiches all round at my place. Being Christian is wonderful, so many fewer rules to follow!
Joined 27-11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 10 October, 2007 - 11:22 pm:   

Good debate. Buying meat from animals that have been raised to be processed as a cheap commodity must raise qualms in all but the least self-aware. Perhaps the litmus test will be whether this discussion has changed anybody's eating habits. Anyone volunteering? And will any takeaway, restaurant or shop in the area post to offer guarantees about the sourcing of the meat they offer the public?
Joined 30-01-2007
Posted on Thursday, 11 October, 2007 - 01:25 am:   

Has anyone noticed the number of missing cats being advertised in Honor Oak Park lately? We might be onto something here....only kidding!
Joined 02-01-2007
Posted on Thursday, 11 October, 2007 - 08:01 am:   

Ana, I kept meaning to post something about the number of missing cats in HOP. Every week new posters go up. Worrying. I wonder if they do get back to their owners.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 11 October, 2007 - 09:55 am:   

Missing cats - when I was a teenager in the wilds of Buckinghamshire, one of the family cats went missing. Mother dutifully sent me off with lots of posters for said missing moggy. Funnily enough, I learnt along my journey, lots of kitties had disappeared recently. 2 weeks later the local kebab van owner was arrested for selling pet meat in his kebabs. No joke. Suffice to say I never ate at the kebab van again.

Eating habits - I have recently began to buy free range meat when possible, plus eat more fish instead of beef.
Joined 24-03-2004
Posted on Thursday, 11 October, 2007 - 10:05 am:   

Well, as long as the moggies met a Halal end, eh?

I suppose one good thing about unreeasonably cheap meat is the reduced temptation to make kebabs and curries out of cats, pigeons, ornamental waterfowl etc.
Joined 08-05-2007
Posted on Thursday, 11 October, 2007 - 04:16 pm:   

My experience suggests that Tiddles will remain faithful to you so long as you feed and pamper him more than the owner of the garden down the road that he regularly uses as his toilet...
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 12 October, 2007 - 10:06 am:   

When I was at uni in York, one of the chinese students decided it would be a good idea to catch and cook one of the ducks from the lake. The cleaner was most surprised to find a pair of feet and a duck bill in the bin. The last laugh was on the uni as the lake was full of chemicals from a lab fire several years ago.