2. Halal Hysteria

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I grew up eating Halal meat, at 19 I decided I no longer wanted to eat meat, since then I’ve been a pescatarian. I gave up eating meat for a number of reasons, the two main ones being, first I didn’t like to touch raw meat so how could I reason consuming cooked meat? It seemed like too much of a contradiction. The second reason was less personal and more a statement on the meat industry: put simply, I didn’t like the way meat was sourced.

Meat production is a nasty industry; to keep up with demand and keep prices competitive animals have been pumped with steroids, kept in cruel conditions and ground up bones and all. This is a universal reality for the twenty-first centuries’ carnivorous ways: I remember watching a BBC Panorama special on how meat was created (note ‘created’ not ‘farmed’) when I was nine and a half and I can still remember the images of the chicken factory. Let’s not pretend that Tesco’s £3.30 chicken thighs or McDonald’s £2.90 Big Macs are the better and more humane alternative to Halal meat. In fact, the moment I decided I wanted to eat Halal meat exclusively was when I was 7 in a McDonald’s queue about to order a chicken mayo burger – I turned to my mum and told her my decision, she approved but told me that because I’d made her wait in line I was getting the chicken mayo regardless.

Those who are actively trying to engage with the animal cruelty issue regarding Halal assess the question of pre-stunning animals before slaughter. There’s a wealth of debate and discourse with statistics flying around all over the place regarding ‘religious slaughter’ (ironically no one calls non-Halal/Kosher meat ‘secular/non-religious slaughter’) but all I’ll say is Halal is intended, according to doctrine, to be the most humane and clean way to eat meat. I’m not going to sit and breakdown the ethics behind the saga when we all know what this is about: Halal meat is the latest metaphor for xenophobia and Islamophobia (the former frequently coming to define the latter). This has about as much to do with meat ethics as Eurovision does with impartiality and class. The recent Muslim-terror sweeping Britain is not because Muslim (and Jewish) people are required to eat ‘different’ meat, it’s driven by ignorant, bigoted journalists and politicians and those foolish enough to adhere to what they have to say: the British population has been comfortably eating Halal meat for years in curries, at Nando’s and from supermarkets without the fuss.

This is just another chess move in the fight against multiculturalism, diversity and unity. If you really had a problem with animal cruelty, then your fight wouldn’t be against Halal meat but the meat industry as a whole, but seeing as that debate is frequently sidelined or worse yet, ridiculed, then it’s clear that Halal meat is nothing more than a catalyst which has exposed the narrow-mindedness and extremism of a growing number in today’s society. The Halal hysteria has little to do with Tesco mislabelling their drumsticks…it’s about the tyranny of the majority and another nail added to the coffin of multiculturalism. Brits, (or ‘Non-Muslims’ as the Daily Mail’s readers would have it) don’t be swayed by the bias that comes your way: if you have a problem with Halal meat on animal cruelty grounds then look at animal cruelty in all meat production before commenting. Otherwise recognise xenophobic propaganda for what it is and fight for the tolerance so valued in Britain.

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