to be very suprised at the school letter about Halal meat?

(436 Posts)
fromparistoberlin Sat 04-May-13 09:55:13

opended DS bag and read a letter with a voting slip basically saying

alot of parents have asked for Halal meat (fair enough)
The school dinner providers can only do Halal OR non-Halal (erm we are in London, slightly surpised)

so we either vote for ALL Halal, or non Halal

so basically an ethical dilemna!

Vote A, feel like a bigot

Vote B, feel slightly uncomfortable that something I dont really fully understand is being imposed

I am going to write and say this is a really unfair way to handle it and they should fucking change suppliers, we are in London FFS

nice little ethical mind fuck THANKS school!

HeySoulSister Sat 04-May-13 09:56:35

Bet the halal is more expensive!! So will prices go up? That would be my only dilemma!

CocacolaMum Sat 04-May-13 09:57:56

Wouldn't it purely be an issue of cost? If they provide a halal and a non-halal version of each meal they are effectively doubling their workload which would make it too costly to go with - I am sure you would object to the cost of school dinners being doubled, I know I would!

I suggest you read up on halal and make an informed vote.

KansasCityOctopus Sat 04-May-13 09:57:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

insancerre Sat 04-May-13 09:58:12

Nice swerve there by the school.
What do other schools do?

HollyBerryBush Sat 04-May-13 09:58:52

i thought all public services were halal now, hospitals, schools, council canteens.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 09:59:01

I am with you, I think they should be looking for someone who can cater for halal but still offer 'normal' meat for others.

KansasCityOctopus Sat 04-May-13 09:59:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DiscoDonkey Sat 04-May-13 09:59:34

I would imagine providing both would be very expensive, plus the risk of cross contamination etc.

Depends how you feel about halal meat itself?

CocacolaMum Sat 04-May-13 10:00:08

it would be cheaper to only offer a vegetarian menu. Probably healthier too surely?

TiredyCustards Sat 04-May-13 10:00:14

How awful. I'd vote no to halal meat. Animal welfare trumps superstition. But then i'm a veggie.

DiscoDonkey Sat 04-May-13 10:00:37

Although I think asking parents to vote without giving a full breakdown of info is shitty.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 04-May-13 10:01:02

at uni all chicken dishes are halal, other meat is not. Can't they do that?

squeakytoy Sat 04-May-13 10:01:13

I would have thought that providing two of the same dishes in different versions, ie Halal chicken burger or non-halal chicken burger would make things even more complicated.

HollyBerryBush Sat 04-May-13 10:01:40

I would point out - the meat is slaughtered halal - but the kitchen staff use the same pots and pans for everything. Which amuses me no end and makes the whole charade utterly pointless. We have one muslim pupil who eats bacon sandwiches every morning. I am also amused at that, inwardly. No one cares about the Jewish pupils.

fromparistoberlin Sat 04-May-13 10:01:47

I am feeling all yukky and daily mailish now

all I can find is racist blogs or muslim web pages!

Look if I go a curry/kebab I fully expect to eat Halal

its just the all or nothing-ness of it!

HazleNutt Sat 04-May-13 10:03:30

Google what halal killing means, then decide. I agree though that there must be another way - or would they also propose that as some students are vegan/vegetarian/kosher/allergic, there should now be vegan etc meals only for everybody?

squeakytoy Sat 04-May-13 10:03:42
jellybeans Sat 04-May-13 10:03:56

non Halal only for me. It's barbaric.

WilsonFrickett Sat 04-May-13 10:05:25

It's cross-contamination I think - too easy for the halal to get mixed up with the non-halal (although I take Holly's point that cross-contamination probably happens anyway).

But I agree, sucky choice to have to make.

JumpingJackSprat Sat 04-May-13 10:05:59

I would vote no halal meat and if it came in my child would not be eating anything consisting of meat at the school. I wish halal were better labelled. suggest the school goes veggie that caters for everyone.

HeySoulSister Sat 04-May-13 10:08:19

What's barbaric? I know nothing about this I now realise

Tobagostreet Sat 04-May-13 10:08:55

I understand the schools dilemma. They've probably been approached by students or patents who want the choice of Halal meat.

They will be buying in bulk, so splitting an order in 2 and having 2 suppliers to enable them to provide both, will result in them losing the bulk order discounts they will currently get.

It's down to budgets I'm afraid.

They're doing the right thing by canvassing the opinions of the parent body, then they should go with the majority.

If the vote is for Halal and you object to the meat for animal welfare reasons, your child would chose the vegetarian option.

If the vote is non-Halal, anyone who objects can also have their child choose the vegetarian option.

I'm afraid in circumstances like this, the school if often damned if they do, damned if they don't.

TerrysAllGold Sat 04-May-13 10:09:19

"suggest the school goes veggie that caters for everyone."


TheFallenNinja Sat 04-May-13 10:09:43

Going veggie doesn't cater for everyone though does it.

Vote for no halal, it is cruel

Veggie doesn't cater for everyone, and it passes me off when people say that. Large numbers of under 5s have relatively under developed bowel systems and can't cope with how high fibre a healthy veggie diet is. My DD is also allergic to dairy.

Poor decision by the school imo. Putting an all or nothing decision on the parents is likely to cause division

Anyway, I like hungry clocks' uni solution.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 04-May-13 10:12:14

Our school used to use halal meat (significant Muslim minority in intake) but it became too expensive - Muslim kids now have to take the veggie option. I can see the school's problem.

fromparistoberlin Sat 04-May-13 10:12:39


Thats a great idea! ie having only Halal chicken, I will suggest that I think thats a potential compromise

but I am going to say its not fair to make us choose, as there are so many other religions at his school

But I guess Muslim is majority

errgggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!! headfuck i dont need

squeakytoy Sat 04-May-13 10:13:20

Is taking a packed lunch not another option too?

no way would my children be eating halal meat. so it would be a no or a pack up, but the school do need to prvide a halal meal especially I would have thought in london. Does the halal meal need to be the same as the non halal meal though. I work in a hospital and we obviously provide halal food, but it isnt an alternative version of what is on the menu it is a seperate menu.

MortifiedAdams Sat 04-May-13 10:14:50

What difference does it make to your DCs to eat Halal meat? None.

And I am totally anti-religion.

I workin a Hotel chain, and all meat is Halal.

I wish people would actually do some research before they crow about how cruel Halal is (whilst ignoring Kosher meat completely and conveniently.) Even theRSPCA which dislikes Halal slaughter when the animal is not stunned beforehand, point out that the MAJORITY of Halal meat is stunned before having it's throat slit, which is NO different to how animals are normally slaughtered.

Halal does NOT automatically mean that every single animal has it's throat slit whilst it's fully conscious.

Yamyoid Sat 04-May-13 10:19:47

All meat is Halal at my ds's school. It's never even occurred to me to be bothered. Most animals bred for food have a shit life, I think Halal meat isn't any worse, there are still guidelines to adhere to to minimise suffering (afaik).

Yamyoid Sat 04-May-13 10:20:39

Here here Gruffalo.

fromparistoberlin Sat 04-May-13 10:20:50


true, very true

But for me its a principled thing as essentially in a very ethnically diverse school, its allowing a majority view to impose and its quite a big deal

what about Hindus, Sikks, CoE, RC, Buddhists, Jews etc????

thats what I mean aboiut at making me feel like a bigot as I am really looking into me reaction, its NOT a nice feeling

but yeh, its a chicken burger essentially!

purits Sat 04-May-13 10:21:39

I work in a Hotel chain, and all meat is Halal.

How do you do a full cooked breakfast - sausages, bacon etc - that is halal?

Vatta Sat 04-May-13 10:22:05

The methods used to kill animals for halal meat are much less humane than the methods used to kill animals in "mainstream" abattoirs. A lot of meat-eaters won't eat halal for ethical reasons, just like a lot of people won't eat battery eggs etc.

It would be fairer to go for a compromise as suggested up the thread, eg halal chicken for those that want it.

TerrysAllGold Sat 04-May-13 10:22:42

If you trust what the RSPCA says you're opening up a whole other can of worms, Gruffalo. Take a look at what they find acceptable as a "freedom food". Some of that is almost unbelievable!

There's plenty of research into the issue of halal and Kosher meat out there and plenty of non-promotional video evidence of the cruelty too, much of which is taken covertly and is the sort of stuff the promoters of a particular faith or of the meat trade don't want you to see. I wish people would actually look at that before they crow about how acceptable slaughter is.

tangstar Sat 04-May-13 10:23:24

I don't mind eating Halal and just as well as I live in a muslim country. There is no way I would expect them to provide non-halal for my dcs at school!

If I wanted my dcs to eat non-halal I would have to send them with a packed lunch (would have to be veggie or imported meat).

Surely it should work the other way around too?

Yamoyid Cheers.

I completely agree that Halal meat that is not stunned before slaughter needs to be labeled too, but I find that too often this anti-Halal backlash uses the animal rights issues as a cover for Islamophobia. I have yet to see anyone complain about Halal and Kosher slaughter, when they are the same bloody thing.

why re chickens always bottom of the pecking order (see what i did there) for welfare issues.

gordyslovesheep Sat 04-May-13 10:25:40

Tangstar you kids can eat halal meat though ...Muslim kids can't eat none halal meat

my kids dont eat kosher meat either.

tangstar Sat 04-May-13 10:28:06

But my point is that I do not expect to be catered for.

MamaMumra Sat 04-May-13 10:28:25

What gruffalo says.

TerryAllGold It's not just the RSPCA the FSA also record that the majority of Halal meat is pre-stunned as well, their more recent figures say it's 80% of all Halal meat. Here.

TheSecondComing Sat 04-May-13 10:29:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vatta Sat 04-May-13 10:29:54

Gruffalo, I agree with some of what you say, i don't think people generally pick up on kosher as much as halal food, but they're prepared in very similar ways.

Have to say though, personally I wouldn't eat halal or kosher food, and I'd guess the OP would have similar concerns if the school was suggesting an all-kosher menu.

MortifiedAdams Sat 04-May-13 10:29:56

purits Pork is off-limits so I suppose I should qualify it by saying all meat that can be Halal is.

Though we do have turkey bacon if requested and vegetarian sausages.

OP, you ask why Halal and what about those of.other religions - simple: other religions dont require food killed in a certain way so them eating Halal doesnt contravene their religion. Eating non-Halal food does contravene some peoples religion.

ConferencePear Sat 04-May-13 10:31:08

I would be voting no to halal food. I am very concerned about the way we treat animals anyway and this just seems to be a step in the wrong direction.
Chicken would not solve the problem for me because I eat hardly any chicken at all because I'm unhappy about the way it is produced and the young age at which it is killed.

sherazade Sat 04-May-13 10:31:20

Vatta I wouldn't eat meat that wasn't pre-stunned, this is why Halal and Kosher meat that is not stunned needs to be labeled. I have no issue with Kosher or Halal meat that is stunned, the religious aspect doesn't matter to me.

crescentmoon Sat 04-May-13 10:33:20

when the whole horsemeat scandal broke out a few months ago i felt relief i ate halal meat. that was until they did tests on halal meat provided by a huge catering company and found THAT had pork, not even horsemeat, but pork. this company supply food to hospitals schools etc as well as prisons so we might have eaten it. we decided to go vegetarian - with fish - not long after.

frogspoon Sat 04-May-13 10:36:25

Is the school primary or secondary, and is it large or small?

In a small primary school, with a small kitchen, it may be too complicated to offer both Halal and non-Halal meat, in addition to the vegetarian option. There may simply not be enough space. Also there is always the risk of mixing the meat up, which would lead to alot of upset and complaints

I have worked in schools that offer a Halal option alongside a non-Halal option, but these schools were large secondaries and had suitable kitchen facilities.

I don't think there is an easy answer. Either way, some people are going to be upset and some people are going to have to eat the vegetarian option or bring packed lunches. However I am impressed that the school bothered to consult the parents, rather than just change it without informing you.

TeddyBare Sat 04-May-13 10:36:43

I would contact the school and suggest they go veggie instead. That caters for everyone and it's healthier and cheaper too so they could either drop prices or spend the extra money on better quality food.

CocacolaMum Sat 04-May-13 10:37:02

TheSecondComing if anything the fact I want to eat it makes the way an animal lives/dies MORE important to me. Your comment seems bizarre to me? How is it hypocritical?

If the majority vote halal will all the kitchen pots, pans, chopping boards, knives etc be replaced prior to the hala meat starting? Will all pork products be taken off the menu altogether to avoid cross contamination?

The question they are asking isn't as simple as halal/non halal. The canteen will need to be halal accredited (something quite difficult to achieve I believe).

The school are swerving the whole thing by leaving it up to you, the parents, to decide. They really should be presenting how each option would be achieved, especially the halal option. And any cost implications that are essentially going to be passed on to you as the consumer.

You need more info ration from the school before you can make this decision IMHO. If they aren't willing to give it, then I would vote non halal personally. Even of I were a Muslim parent it would be easier just to avoid the canteen if I knew nothing was suitable for my beliefs rather than running the risk of cross contamination.

Madmum24 Sat 04-May-13 10:41:21

As a muslim I have been horrified at some of the covert videos of "halal" slaughter, islam gives the highest respect to animals and methods of slaughter must be specific in order for it to be "halal".

animal must be fed/watered beforehand (traditional slaughterhouses starve animals so that they are easier to clean/gut)

no animal should see another being slaughtered (as opposed to the queuing system used now)

the animal is not allowed to see the instrument it is being slaughtered with

I don't honestly know why people make such a big deal about the stunning, eh, I imagine being stunned would be very painful? When you cut the jugular vein you lose consciousness immediately and death happens usually within 7 seconds, blood is drained effectively out of the body meaning less toxins remain in the meat tissue itself.

Anyway, I can see the schools dilemma, but for fairness purposes I think a 50/50 compromise should be offered, halal burger, non halal sausages (obviously cooked separately so no cross contamination and a veggie dish for example.

tangstar Sat 04-May-13 10:41:23

There is no way they should be removing pork, sausages and bacon (which cannot be halal) from the menu though just because some kids cannot eat them. They should be available and people can choose whether to eat them or not.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 10:41:27

Exactly cocoa.

I don't think that meat eaters wanting to know how the meat has been sourced is a bad thing.

intheshed Sat 04-May-13 10:41:48

I would be suggesting they find an alternative meal provider. At our school there is a choice of meat, halal meat or vegetarian every single day. It costs £2.10.

The school are being v lazy by making the parents decide.

MamaMumra Sat 04-May-13 10:42:20

The kitchen won't need to be accredited, the suppliers are certified.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 04-May-13 10:47:03

I think it's not unreasonable to eat meat whilst still having some concern for animal welfare. I wouldn't touch foie gras for example (not that that's a everyday ethical dilemma grin, and have always been scrupulous about the eggs I buy, and will eat vegetarian from cheap takeaways where there's no statement about meat sourcing.

However, given the pricing constraints of school catering, the meat supplied is never going to have been treated well, and in practice may come from abattoirs with dubious standards. I think it is a bit hypocritical to single out halal meat as the one issue you make a stand on.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Sat 04-May-13 10:47:09

tobagostreet nailed it. You're never gonna please everyone.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 04-May-13 10:47:53

I would vote no.

The onus should be on those with the religious beliefs to make the choice to have the vegatarian option or a packed lunch, rather than being on those who have made no extra choice.

It is one thing to choose because you want to, it is another to be forced to make a choice because of someone else's religion.

crescentmoon Sat 04-May-13 10:51:09

thats where my doubt is mumra - the suppliers themselves. DH used to go to a farm that supplied meat to the muslim community where you could choose the animal then the slaughtermen would do it for you, you could see with your own eyes that they were doing it correctly. english farm run by non muslims but they provide a much needed service.

british muslims only make up 3% of the UK population but we consume collectively 27% of meat produced in the UK, which is why halal meat is a big market and more and more businesses are making food halal. but as madmum said its not just about the cutting but the conditions the animal is in beforehand, which i didnt reflect much on before but after many stories like this...

we said as a family we will just stop eating meat.

Jinsei Sat 04-May-13 10:55:04

Seems odd to me. We live in a small town in the midlands and our medium-sized primary school provides a choice of "normal" meat, halal meat or veggie meals. DD takes a packed lunch because she is pescatarian grin

YANBU to think it shouldn't be a choice of one or the other!

Scholes34 Sat 04-May-13 10:56:05

I know that providing kosher food is a big deal in catering for the masses where not everyone requires a kosher meal, but what special arrangements need to be made for halal meat?

StuntGirl Sat 04-May-13 11:09:07

Crescentmoon you are pescetarian not vegetarian who eats fish.

I would vote no. Or I would contact the school and say you're unhappy with the choices and you want to discuss other options. Perhaps get other parents who feel the same involved and try and reach a compromise with the school.

fromparistoberlin Sat 04-May-13 11:12:32

I am going to say (a) its an unfair decision and (b) I am going to suggest a Halal only chicken option as a fair compromise

so thanks again for that idea!!

its a really nicely integrated school, and I think Halal only only will open a can of worms

given that those UKIP fucks won this week I think they need to tread very carefully and try and compromise TBH

crescentmoon Sat 04-May-13 11:12:34

looked that word up yes you are right stunt.

mum11970 Sat 04-May-13 11:13:10

Suppose it depends on amount of call there is for halal meat in your area. There is no choice of halal meat in schools in the area I live. My older children go to a large secondary of about 1000 pupils and there is no halal option but there are also no Muslim children in the school at all, so there is no call for it. There is a very small selection of halal meat in our local Asda and can't say I've seen any at all in the local tesco.

UrbaneLandlord Sat 04-May-13 11:22:07

No such thing as "Muslim children".

Just children with Muslim parents.

fromparistoberlin Sat 04-May-13 11:24:04


exactly! and I value your opinion on this, as I think its a but unfair on the Muslim parents to have such a stark choice

TidyDancer Sat 04-May-13 11:31:06

My DCs are vegetarian so it wouldn't be a personal issue for us, but I would be extremely unhappy about halal meat being offered up. The entire meat industry is riddled with cruelty, but putting the halal spin on it is another level. Cruelty wrapped up in a protective religious layer.

The school are being lazy and quite wrong to shift this onto the parents.

WhatKindofFool Sat 04-May-13 11:38:35

All slaughter of animals is barbaric in my view. I'm not convinced that Halal is any worse. Stunning animals looks pretty cruel to me too.

EuroShaggleton Sat 04-May-13 11:39:33

I'd vote no on an animal welfare basis.

WhatKindofFool Sat 04-May-13 11:42:58

I've been around an abattoir. It was truly sickening. It was not Halal.

mrsjay Sat 04-May-13 11:46:30

It would just be chicken and lamb wouldnt it I dont think halal meat eaters eat cow ? could they just not have the chicken halal TBh meat is meat unless you are veggie then I dont see halal an issue,

mrsjay Sat 04-May-13 11:47:10

I'd vote no on an animal welfare basis.

no you really think cows are hugged before their brain is fried with a stun gun confused

Andro Sat 04-May-13 11:53:21

Hmm, AFAIK there are other faiths for who's practitioners eating meat that has been prepared according to another faith's rituals would be inappropriate (I may be wrong though, it's a while since I studied this). To vote in favour would be to put the request of one faith group above other such I would personally vote against.

Sokmonsta Sat 04-May-13 11:58:46

I thought halal was about the blessing as well as method of slaughter, hence why kosher and halal are not the same?

Places like prisons manage halal/kosher/veggie relatively well so I fail to see how it is a problem for the school, unless they are buying in ready made meals and not storing produce to be cooked. Perhaps we need to go back to school kitchens being fully equipped to store and prepare food instead of reheating what gets sent round in the van!

Purple2012 Sat 04-May-13 12:00:04

Whatever happens you can't win.

Parents vote for halal - non halal voter contacts local paper saying his children are having another religions ideals forced on them.

Parents vote for non halal - halal voter contacts local paper saying majority of school is racist.

I think having a few options is the right thing to do,it is wrong to force one group to eat something they don't want or to make it impossible to be able to eat a school dinner. What about the kids who have free school meals. Taking a packed lunch would not be an option for them.

ChubbyKitty Sat 04-May-13 12:03:06

After seeing a video by accident of some pigs that I do not wish to describe further I would have to go with no halal.

If a family wants halal meat then that is their choice and they're welcome to eat it but I draw the line at being forced to eat it myself.

ChubbyKitty Sat 04-May-13 12:04:25

* I think they were pigs although couldn't actually be 100% sure. Does halal meat even include pigs?

Still. Replace any animal in the video and it would cause the same reaction for me.

HazleNutt Sat 04-May-13 12:12:12

No pigs are not halal, no matter how they are killed.

ophelia275 Sat 04-May-13 12:16:37

Why would you be a bigot if you vote A? Would those voting for halal be bigots if they vote for B?

ChubbyKitty Sat 04-May-13 12:30:10

Ah right okay. I've learnt something todayblush

OddBoots Sat 04-May-13 12:38:35

Interestingly around here it has been Halal meat in schools but they have just stopped that due to the recent contamination issues. They say there is nothing to indicate that meals supplied have been contaminated by pork or non-halal meat but as a precaution they do not any longer offer it as an option.

I'm not sure if they are worried about being sued or if the Muslim families don't trust it so aren't eating it anyway.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 04-May-13 12:40:19

I agree with a veggie only option as suggested up thread.

Vatta Sat 04-May-13 12:40:21

Gruffalo, you're right of course, I'm being a bit lazy referring to halal and kosher without distinguishing between Pre-stunned and not. There should definitely be labelling so people can make an informed choice

honeytea Sat 04-May-13 12:42:23

I think if you vote for no halal meat then you should also avoid places where they only serve halal meat like take away places run by Muslim people.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 04-May-13 12:45:13

Some time ago I read that KFC are fully Halal. This concerned me as I don't like the slaughter method. KFC state the animal is slaughtered in the usual way but a prayer is said over it which was a relief to read. Is this not that what most abattoirs do? Surely if not it goes against some kind of animal cruelty legislation otherwise????

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 04-May-13 12:46:37

I think if you vote for no halal meat then you should also avoid places where they only serve halal meat like take away places run by Muslim people.

Or perhaps all establishments should cater for everyone.

Anthracite Sat 04-May-13 12:48:53

My DD's school has halal chicken only. All other meat is non-halal.

Chickensarmpit Sat 04-May-13 12:52:10

I would vote no and i wouldn't care if i was called a bigot. Halal is not for me and many other people and we shouldn't have to explain ourselves nor fear that we would be called bigots.

I ate in a subway awhile back and i was annoyed when i found out i had eaten Halal meat, it should be labelled properly.

StuntGirl Sat 04-May-13 12:56:02

"I think if you vote for no halal meat then you should also avoid places where they only serve halal meat like take away places run by Muslim people."

Don't most people who are against halal do this anyway?

lljkk Sat 04-May-13 13:04:47

I think fish is usually halal? My Bengali neighbours ate massive quantities of fish.

firawla Sat 04-May-13 13:09:36

yes fish is all halal anyway

those people making outraged comments about my child will never eat halal meat - you do realise a massive amount of the meat for sale in the uk is actually halal. not always labelled as such. for eg if you eat new zealand lamb, its pretty much all halal slaughtered

TheRealFellatio Sat 04-May-13 13:10:41

I think most caterers who supply schools/hospitals/public sector workplaces in large citied with a significant Jewish or Muslim populace use halal/kosher by default now, to save any aggravation. It's impractical and costly to serve both and most non-Muslim/Jewish people don't care/know either way how their meat is slaughtered and are happy to eat either.

I know a few Muslims in the UK who call themselves vegetarian when out and about in order to make sure they avoid haram foods, but they eat halal meat when at home or with other Muslims.

I suppose it's all about the numbers in any given situation. the majority wins.

Jan49 Sat 04-May-13 13:12:16

I think they really ought to offer all 3 options: non-Halal meat, Halal meat and vegetarian. That covers all the choices. If it costs more then parents have to pay more if they want their children to have school dinners rather than packed lunches.

I'm vegetarian but wouldn't really expect the school to provide nothing but vegetarian options. I bet lots of parents would object. LOL at the person who posted that some under 5's aren't developed enough to eat a vegetarian diet. A vegetarian diet is fine from babyhood. Also in a primary school most children are 5 and over.

This is quite unfair on anyone at the school from the Sikh religion, as they are forbidden to eat halal meat because of the way the animals are slaughtered... Are Muslim children a majority at the school?

TheRealFellatio Sat 04-May-13 13:16:44

In this instance I would go with the majority need and anyone who had an ethical/religious issue with eating the food could opt for the vegetarian choice or bring a packed lunch. I think it's unreasonable to expect the caterer to cater for halal, kosher, non-halal meat and vegetarian, gluten free, lactose free, vegan or whatever else is the current need du jour - it's hard enough to make school lunches cost effective as it is.

cherryade8 Sat 04-May-13 13:18:54

Halal meat is very cruel and no way would my child eat it. I also boycott any restaurant serving halal meat. How it is allowed in this country where there are supposedlying minimum 'standards' for humanely slaughtering animals I don't know, I assume the government don't want to offend religious groups.

TheRealFellatio Sat 04-May-13 13:19:53

But cheese there may be no-one from the Sikr religion at that school, and even if there were, unless they made up a significant minority it would just not be feasible to cater specifically for them.

I would be tempted to say 'no halal here, if you don't like it eat veggie or bring your own' but if the vast majority in a school are muslim then that seems a bit daft, however much I might like the sound of the principle.

LouiseSmith Sat 04-May-13 13:23:49

I personally think that they should leave it as it is. and the parents who are unhappy with the choice of food at the school can provide a packed lunch.

I for one know my son wouldn't eat Halal meat, or a vegetarian option. I feel for the school but unfortunately there going to upset one or more ethnic group with this one.

williaminajetfighter Sat 04-May-13 13:25:29

Yuck. I find it pretty grim that British catering is increasingly moving to a less ethical way of killing animals to keep a minority of the population happy. Slicing their throat and hanging the animals til they bleed out. Lovely.

On the other hand you're eating meat so know what you're getting yourself into.

Frankly I'd encourage your kids to go veggie at lunch and serve nest for their dinner. We eat too much meat anyway so this is probably a healthier option and your DC can get to avoid the Halal meat at the same time.

williaminajetfighter Sat 04-May-13 13:26:20

...sorry I meant 'serve meat at dinner'

likeitorlumpit Sat 04-May-13 13:27:56

pander to this and you will get all sorts of other demands !

grimbletart Sat 04-May-13 13:29:33

All of this discussion just confirms my view that (all) religion is a total pain in the arse.

cherryade8 Sat 04-May-13 13:29:36
crescentmoon Sat 04-May-13 13:32:33

I'm curious to know what is in the public imagination when they hear halal meat? If it is that it is unstunned then the majority is stunned before slaughter in the UK. is it the prayer to a God you don't believe in? or the single sharp cut to the throat and draining the animal of blood before hand? Is it the stunning or Is it less offensive to gas, boil animals alive or more as is done in modern abattoirs? If its the same as objections to the industrialised process of slaughtering animals across UK abattoirs then I understand. But if the only thng that stops those processes from being cruel is the stunning then halal meat meets that at least anyway.

Spikeytree Sat 04-May-13 13:42:34

This is a big issue where I live at the moment as the Lancashire Council of Mosques is claiming that the Halal meat supplied to Lancashire schools is not Halal, because it has been stunned here

Personally I'm a vegetarian.

TheRealFellatio Sat 04-May-13 13:47:58

Unless the majority of non-muslims are prepared to educate themselves about the ethics of how animals are slaughtered for food, and are prepared to take a stand against halal/kosher meat (either on religious grounds or ethical principle), then halal food will pretty soon be the norm outside the home, and certainly in the public sector. If you say nothing then people will assume you do not care either way. It can always be argued that the majority should be catered for, so if you are in the religious majority at your school/place of work/hospital then you have to make sure that people know what you will accept and will not accept - apathy gets you nowhere, and the group making the biggest fuss will get their way.

I thought Halal meat was just blessed meat blush

I dont care. I get halal when order from take aways or go to restaurants. I dont see the issue as animals are killed to be eaten.

TheRealFellatio Sat 04-May-13 14:06:11

the method of slaughter is completely different and some would argue that it is much less humane/ethical. Then again, fans of halal and kidher would tell you you are wrong and that it is misunderstood.

You have to find out about it and make up your own mind, and campaign against if necessary, or just shut up and eat it. Halal is the way things are going in the UK whether you like it or not. Large takeaway chains will do whatever they think makes them the most money. If Muslim customers avoid them for having non-halal they will switch to halal, because at the moment most non-mulsims do not care or know either way. The only thing that would make them switch back were if a good proportion of their non-muslim customer base (which I will assume is still the majority in most areas of the UK ) started to boycott halal meat for ethical reasons.

TheRealFellatio Sat 04-May-13 14:06:44

kidher? confused That should say kosher

samandi Sat 04-May-13 14:09:05

Why on earth would choosing non-halal meat make anyone feel like a bigot? confused

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 14:13:45

I don't see how halal meat is an animal welfare concern at all, ridiculous.

samandi Sat 04-May-13 14:17:46

I don't see how halal meat is an animal welfare concern at all, ridiculous.

How on earth is it NOT an animal welfare concern?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 04-May-13 14:18:36

All of this discussion just confirms my view that (all) religion is a total pain in the arse

I think I'm beginning to feel like that myself.

hackmum Sat 04-May-13 14:19:12

Someone needs to inform the school that Sikhs are forbidden from eating halal meat. If they don't know that, they're going to find themselves in more of a pickle down the line.

internalship Sat 04-May-13 14:19:24

Non halel. Animal welfare trumps believing in fairies.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 04-May-13 14:19:45

Yuck. I find it pretty grim that British catering is increasingly moving to a less ethical way of killing animals to keep a minority of the population happy. Slicing their throat and hanging the animals til they bleed out. Lovely

Couldn't agree more.

DontmindifIdo Sat 04-May-13 14:23:48

I'd vote non-halel and state on the form it's for animal welfare reasons.

hackmum Sat 04-May-13 14:25:54

A lot of people are under the illusion that "stunning" is less cruel because it renders the animal unconscious. But all that stunning does is to paralyse the animal so it can't move or cry out in pain. It's more cruel, in my view, than not stunning.

dayshiftdoris Sat 04-May-13 14:26:03

'Pander to this and you will get all sorts of demands'
'My son wont eat Halal meat'


I dont see the difference... my experience of halal dishes comes from working in a large hospital where they have had halal dishes on the menu for years... a good majority have the halal dish because the meat quality was better!

I don;t know how they can't offer it... then again we get FSM and my son doesnt get a choice at all some days!

PickledLiver Sat 04-May-13 14:29:56

There's a very small image of a dead cow in this article I'm providing, but I don't think that should put you off reading it. It's very small, it's there once, and as soon as you've read the title you've passed it for good.

Yes, it is horrible. But so it our method of killing animals. For those that don't want to read the article, I'll summarise. We assume that the electric current given to animals in slaughterhouses renders them unconscious. It doesn't. There is proof that electricity paralyses, but not anaesthetises. In other words they, can still feel pain and are able to panic but they are frozen.

There is discussion that perhaps traditional killing methods in slaughterhouses are perhaps more cruel than Halal & Kosher; if an animal is distressed or aware of it's impending death, it cannot be classified Halal or Kosher. Not the case for traditionally slaughter meat.

FWIW I am not religious. But, I don't agree that because something is different and we aren't educated very much about it makes it more cruel.

ladymariner Sat 04-May-13 14:30:01

No to halal meat....purely on animal welfare grounds. I would withdraw from school meals if they knowingly served halal meat.

whatsleep Sat 04-May-13 14:33:12

I wouldn't imagine the chicken in school dinners comes from higher welfare birds, it will come from battery farms where the birds will have lived in squaller from the day they are born until they are slaughtered? Is the way other animals are slaughtered under halal beliefs, really in comparison, any worse? Packed lunches all the way in our house!

Just googled and found that in the UK around 90% of the animals slaughtered via halal methods are stunned before the throat is cut.

crescentmoon Sat 04-May-13 14:34:12

ok what are the ethical grounds? what are the animal welfare grounds?

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 14:38:18

If you think cuttiing an animal's throat is unethical, then what is shooting a bolt through its head? Animal welfare concerns are just an excuse when really the objection is about a minority culture "imposing".

RooneyMara Sat 04-May-13 14:38:40

'If there is absolutely no other food available, then a Muslim is allowed to eat non-halal food.[3] Surah 2:173 states:

If one is forced because there is no other choice, neither craving nor transgressing, there is no sin on him.'

from wiki

however reading that page makes me realise how bloody horrible meat production is in any case.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 04-May-13 15:21:56

I think the Sikh problem is a bit of a red herring. By definition the Sikh population of the school is a minority, presumably a very small one, and they retain the same choice as the Muslim majority currently have; have the veggie option or eat a packed lunch,

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 15:28:00

Industrial meat production is cruel, especially cheap meat production which is what schools will be serving. Focussing on the last 30 seconds and making it into a huge ethical concern is ridiculous. Just be honest about what your objection is - a cultural one.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 04-May-13 15:34:53

I'm pretty sure that animal welfare reasons actually mean "I'm under the misguided impression that other meat is killed nicely with no cruelty"

Moominsarehippos Sat 04-May-13 15:35:55

Our school has meat or veggie. No pork but ham (don't ask, I have no idea how that works). No-one has ever asked for halal and we have quite a few arab embassy kids there (they are pretty much 'when in Rome').

Moominsarehippos Sat 04-May-13 15:38:24

Our school has meat or veggie. No pork but ham (don't ask, I have no idea how that works). No-one has ever asked for halal and we have quite a few arab embassy kids there (they are pretty much 'when in Rome').

PessimisticMissPiggy Sat 04-May-13 15:45:01

Good point about Sikhs. My colleague ordered vegetarian food when we were eating out for years then I heard him asking about a new steak place in town.

I asked him about it later and he told me that he does not follow any other religious practices and to eat halal meat would be to do so. He loves his meat and usually contacts a venue beforehand to ask the source of their meat products. He also has a good relationship with a local farm shop.

The halal situation in our city with places serving halal irritates him immensely!


I would just go veggi to be honest. I don't know enough about any of it to make an informed decision so veggi would be a safer bet. Although one would have to sincerely hope that as vegetables would then be a far more important part of the meal that they would not be soggy mush.

Eliminates cross contamination, mistakes, mis labelling issues etc.

I would hope however tht the school would employ the services of someone who can ensure the nutritional quality of the meal. given that the restrictions of ingredients plus catering for allergies can make life difficult if kitchens aren't staffed by people who actually know about what it is they are making.

VinegarDrinker Sat 04-May-13 16:02:46

I love the "my child would refuse to eat the vegetarian option" posts. Presumably your children refuse macaroni cheese, pasta bake, jacket potato with beans, veg lasagne, chips etc etc?

The one about under 5s not having the gut maturity for a veggie diet is a new one on me too. DS's nursery is fully veggie.

GibberTheMonkey Sat 04-May-13 16:23:02

I thought people were trying move away from religion in schools...

I agree vinegar some (not all) would hear the words " vegetarian option" and immediately assume their kids woulnt eat it or that its lacking nutritional value because there's no meat. But when u think about it, when a kid has cereal and toast for breakfast , macaroni chese and veg for lunch and a peanut butter and jam sandwich crisps and carrot sticks for lunch just how much meat have they eaten? None , and they didn't even realise.

For tea not lunch blush

Patchouli Sat 04-May-13 16:39:15

I agree with cloverer and sockreturningpixie
and I don't think links to Peta help

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 16:42:55

PETA are against halal - that does not mean they are for standard slaughter grin

mrsjay Sat 04-May-13 17:24:02

I ate in a subway awhile back and i was annoyed when i found out i had eaten Halal meat, it should be labelled properly.

Why were you annoyed ?

mrsjay Sat 04-May-13 17:26:58

Industrial meat production is cruel, especially cheap meat production which is what schools will be serving. Focussing on the last 30 seconds and making it into a huge ethical concern is ridiculous. Just be honest about what your objection is - a cultural one.

^ ^ this I also wish people would be more honest slaughter is slaughter an animal is going to be in discomfort however it dies, and I can't imagine a hahal abatoir is any different from a non abotoir? all animals are slaughtered

mrsjay Sat 04-May-13 17:28:53

slitting the throat kills them stunning them then slitting their bellies open to drain blood kills them they are all dead just the same

PickledLiver Sat 04-May-13 17:33:52

Industrial meat production is cruel, especially cheap meat production which is what schools will be serving. Focussing on the last 30 seconds and making it into a huge ethical concern is ridiculous. Just be honest about what your objection is - a cultural one.

Agree completely with this.

School give a choice - outrage

School implement - outrage

School go veggi - outrage

School make halal /kosher/ anything being a packed lunch- outrage due to inclusion act or whatever.

Honestly think about it, can school win whatever they do??
It's gonna upset somebody . That's what happens when there are large groups of people together. We are a diverse country with people if all religions and beliefs etc. there is no way to keep everyone happy all the time. Ultimately they are there for the education. The scho doesn't actually have to provide hot dinners, many dont.

SoupDragon Sat 04-May-13 17:38:24

No pork but ham (don't ask, I have no idea how that works).

Probably turkey ham.

As an aside, often the bacon you get from your local pizza delivery place is turkey due to the whole pork thing. They just don't mention it (illegally as it happens). I found this out on one of those "fake Britain" type programmes.

Bit annoyed I got misquoted up thread, but it was pages ago now so will leave it at please read carefully instead of making assumptions.

Triumphoveradversity Sat 04-May-13 17:53:43

There must be dc of other religions at your dc school, maybe they won't like eating meat that has had specific prayers said over it.

Surely schools should provide both halal and kosher meat for the dc that need to have it but not enforce on others who have different religious beliefs.

LimitedEditionLady Sat 04-May-13 18:08:30

Halal meat is cheaper in my area.i will eat halal meat is just a different way of preparing shall we call it,its just meat at the end of the day.i think that its nicer to be all halal because then all the children can have the same food x

infamouspoo Sat 04-May-13 18:13:18

'I'm pretty sure that animal welfare reasons actually mean "I'm under the misguided impression that other meat is killed nicely with no cruelty"

That sums it up. Meat, especially cheap meat is cruel. Lets have some honesty here.

Your right there infamous most the animals meant for cheap meat are treated like shot. All this RSPCA freestone food sticker nonsense is just that, nonsense. The standards deemed acceptable are still incredibly low.

Unless you buy organic from local farms you can't garuntee anything. And schools cant afford that. Cheap meat tases like crap because the animals were treated like crap. And with recent developments , if I had a child who ate school meals I'd be more concerned about what meat and filler they were eating than whether it was halal or not.

megsmouse Sat 04-May-13 18:23:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Moominsarehippos Sat 04-May-13 18:25:18

But what about kosher, sikh, vegetarians? It's a minefield!

Most muslims I know would just go veggie for 2 reasons: they wouldn't risk eating meat that may have been prepared alongside non halal stuff, or they wouldn't want everyone else to have to accommodate their preferences, so will work around the 'norm'. This was never ever an issue when (muslim) DH or his siblings were at school and no-one ever thought to raise the issue.

Turkey meat ham, whatever next? It really does look like processed pork - all pinky and shiny. Yuk!

Pixel Sat 04-May-13 18:26:10

I make sure all our meat is british on the basis that our animal welfare laws are superior to elsewhere in the world. What's the bloody point when the rules can be 'bent' when it suits without even telling us? angry. (If that makes me a 'bigot' then I don't care).
Ds has recently started having school dinners. Now I'm going to have check what they are serving and possibly go back to packed lunches. And he's autistic so no he won't have the veggie option.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 04-May-13 18:27:10

They could, megsmouse, and in our school, which is minority Muslim, that's what they do. However I think the OP's school has a majority of Muslim parents, hence it might be more efficient to force the small minority of parents who feel strongly against halal meat to go veggie (or have packed lunches).

PickledLiver Sat 04-May-13 18:29:43

I make sure all our meat is british on the basis that our animal welfare laws are superior to elsewhere in the world.

Whether it's British or not makes no difference. You need to check that the stuff you are eating is free range & ethically farmed - not just from the UK.

FreyaSnow Sat 04-May-13 18:35:25

Whatever choice you make, not all the children will be able to eat it, because some won't be allowed to eat non halal meat and some won't be allowed to eat halal meat. It's a lose lose situation.

Pixel Sat 04-May-13 18:35:39

Well I do, ours comes from a proper butcher. I can't speak for the school (yet).

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 04-May-13 18:37:26

School lunch was never a principal part of my diet nor my children's. I see the sense in the lunches being either halal or non halal. I don't quite agree with the let there be veggie option because if the children aren't veggie at home they may fancy the meat option at school and that will raise issues around policing and disagreements when parents find out.

Go halal and those who don't like can opt for packed lunch; go non halal and the same applies. What then will the families with strong views whose children are entitled to free school meals do though? Could there be a voucher system where parents buy stuff for packed lunches?? In my experience though a good packed lunch costs more than a school dinner !

Moominsarehippos Sat 04-May-13 18:42:41

Nothing wrong with going veggie! My dads favourite meal was maccaroni cheese and he was definately a veg 'n two meat kind of guy.

infamouspoo Sat 04-May-13 18:43:48

'I make sure all our meat is british on the basis that our animal welfare laws are superior to elsewhere in the world.'

cos that totally works. Horse burger anyone?

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 04-May-13 19:15:02

Laughing at proper butcher meat being better.

Yes the animal tends to cared for better but that's as far as it goes its still killed in the same way.

The animals get sent away to be killed and the butchers buy the meat and butcher it.

VinegarDrinker Sat 04-May-13 19:16:54

I have an autistic brother but I've never come across the variant of ASD which means you eat anything with meat in and nothing that doesn't have meat in. Breakfast cereals must be tasty with added bacon.

MamaMumra Sat 04-May-13 19:50:27

Don't blame you crescent

Also very hmm about this thread.

MamaMumra Sat 04-May-13 19:51:19

grin with you sock

crescentmoon Sat 04-May-13 19:59:01

im glad i saw this thread today its been interesting. not as one sided as i expected either, and im grateful for that.

Spikeytree Sat 04-May-13 21:04:49

There are divisions within Islam about what is actually halal meat - stunned v. unstunned for example, so even if the school does make all its meat halal it may find that some Muslim students are still unable to eat it. I know that is the position in the school I work in.

SoupDragon Sun 05-May-13 07:41:58

Was the horse in British meat? I thought it came in from Romania or similar.

Moominsarehippos Sun 05-May-13 07:51:08

Was some Irish? Its all gone quiet about that so I assume we'll hear at some point.

Isn't most NZ lamb halal? Wasn't that in the papers not that long ago?

Roshbegosh Sun 05-May-13 07:55:42

Halal is cruel, I'm not a bigot. Also not a vegetarian and would not like that to be forced on DC.

Moominsarehippos Sun 05-May-13 08:13:53

I have asked muslims about fish - some say it can be halal, some say it doesn't matter, so I assume there is varying ideas (a bit like high and low CofE). Not sure if its cultural, sections within the faith, country of origin, converts... But I know two muslims who insists on halal - one with parents from Pakistan, and one white brit CofE convert (N african hubby) who according to DH has some odd ideas about their religion.

If they were to decide that one groups preferences were to be the 'norm' for everyone then would the school also get kosher food (closed plates which have been prepared in a kosher kitchen and blessed), foods that sikhs could eat (not sure of the implications beyond no beef), veggies/vegans, gluten free, low carb... I'm imagining every plate of food different.

I'm veggie and although it can be the 'safest' option when mass catering, I wouldn't want/expect the school to go that route. I'm veggie for animal welfare, health and part religious reasons (its not part of my religion but the whole 'cause no harm to gods creatures' rings true with me). Also the meat industry does not look good (ethics, cruelty, contamination...) And that's all parts of it.

Maybe they should just shove in Quorn and be done with it.

papooser Sun 05-May-13 08:20:40

Our school provides both a halal and non halal choice every day for 1.98 (as well as a third veggie option), so don't think it has to be more expensive. (Sometimes the halal choice is totally different; other days it's just the same but with halal meat.) Maybe ask why they can't offer both - it can definitely be done.

Moominsarehippos Sun 05-May-13 08:25:33

How many options do schools usually offer? DSs have meat or veggie option (as I've already said, lots of arab children attend). Some kids bring in lunch but they have doctors notes. His next school does about 4 choices (including gluten free). When I was at school I seem to remember it varied between 'take it or leave it' and two or three mains.

JassyRadlett Sun 05-May-13 08:28:06

I'd be happy with this as long as it was guaranteed that the meat was stunned before slaughter. That helps to deal with some of the ethical issues as well as helping to create the clear market for pre-stunned meat.

TheRealFellatio Sun 05-May-13 08:37:04

But then it wouldn't be halal Jassy. Islam forbids the stunning of animals before slaughter.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 09:16:21

Rosh - is non-halal not cruel then?

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 09:22:53

actually fellatio its kosher meat that absolutely cannot be stunned before slaughter. The majority of British Muslims take the opinion that stunning is allowed it is explained here very easily....

Incidentally that company do organic halal meat: a whole goat is 185 pounds, a whole lamb 175 pounds! And they stun beforehand too.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 09:24:27

(That's why 90per cent of UK halal meat is stunned).

Trazzletoes Sun 05-May-13 09:26:46

Some fish is halal, some isn't. It depends on the type of fish.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 09:36:14

In sunni islam all fish is 'halal' so it can be bought from anywhere eaten anywhere. Shia Muslims however have reservations about shellfish, and fish that doesn't have scales.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 05-May-13 09:37:11

Do some people have the idea that farm shops and posh butchers (via farmers) kill the animals themselves?

Because they don't there are laws that prevent this the animal gets sent to the slaughter house the farmer/farm shop pays the slaughter house or abittoir then the farmers collect the carcass who then butcher it ( or sell it to butchers)

Even small holdings do this and households where they rear animals for their own food.

These days you are not allowed to fire a bolt in the animals head yourself

Moominsarehippos Sun 05-May-13 09:37:52

Its all quite confusing then? Who will be responsible at the school to ensure no mishaps or cross-contamination? A hindu colleague will only eat in veggie restaurants 'in case' a spoon is used to stir meat then a veggie dish.

I don't know if eating halal is similar to kosher (what can be eaten with what) but if the school accepts responsibility for providing specialist meals, then they are open to legal action if, for example, pork gelatine is used in a desert made outside and bought in.

Its a can or worms.

TheRealFellatio Sun 05-May-13 09:39:01

Thanks for that crescent - I had no idea. I am not sure if stunning is routinely carried out on halal meat outside the UK though is it? I live in the middle east and I don't think it happens here.

Moominsarehippos Sun 05-May-13 09:43:41

I thought the animal was supposed to be conscious? So stunning isn't exactly 'right' is it? That's one problem - different interpretations within one religious 'wrapper'.

JenaiMorris Sun 05-May-13 09:47:48

Halal. Objectors can insist their children eat vegetarian lunches, or bring their own.

PETA are hardly paragons of virtue so I wouldn't bother there.

In theory, halal slaughter methods are less cruel than others - anyone who believes mainstream abattoirs are gentle places where animals are calmly helped into the next life, like Digitas for cows, is a little naive.

Trazzletoes Sun 05-May-13 09:47:49

How strange. The Sunnis I know are the ones that told me that not all fish is halal. They could definitely eat cod though.

littleducks Sun 05-May-13 09:54:19

There are several possible reasons behind the school doing this. I don't think the link between the pupil premium funding and FSM can be ignored. Our school is desperate to get anyone who qualifies for FSM to sign up even if they continue to bring packed lunches as it entitles the school to more money.

We eat only halal and no processed meat whatsoever. I would love to say we buy organic but we simply can't afford it. We stick to packed lunches, the vegetarian options are pretty crappy and rely on Quorn which we don't eat either (preference not religion). I don't think we would switch to halal school dinners though as I expect it would be poor quality cheap rubbish with a clever marketing leaflet designed to make it look healthy. The Jamie Oliver thing didn't really catch on here!

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 10:12:14

trazzletoes i looked it up again after i read your thread and it seems an unequivocal opinion in sunni islam however maybe they follow a school that has reservations as well - although i couldnt find out which or what it was!

fellatio the origins of 'stunned meat is halal' are actually from the middle east: Yemen, Egypt, Saudi, as well as further beyond like Malaysia as
seen from that link. those majority muslim countries practise stunning too or in the case of the middle east buy meat from countries that stun e.g. new zealand, australia etc.

QOD Sun 05-May-13 10:22:32

Can you imagine the uproar if a mainly European/Christian school in a Muslim based country asked for all meat to be NON halal as there were more Christians than Muslims?

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 10:25:14

That's a different issue though, as Christians can eat Halal meat but Muslims can't eat non-Halal meat.

QOD Sun 05-May-13 10:25:51

But I don't like the way it's slaughtered, so ethically I don't agree with it.

JenaiMorris Sun 05-May-13 10:31:32

Why are people so certain that halal meat is more cruelly produced than any other meat?

How do they think bog standard meat reaches their table?

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 10:37:25

What do you feel the ethical difference is between halal and non-halal slaughter QOD?

brummiegirl1 Sun 05-May-13 10:38:24

Jenai- why can't the students who only eat Halal rat the vegetarian option?
I agree with QOD

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 10:41:56

I would NEVER vote for Halal on the basis that I feel it is animal cruelty.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 10:45:04

I do not understand how halal slaughter is cruel but non-halal slaughter isn't - Couthy can you explain?

But killing animals for meat is cruel. The dairy industry is cruel. Even free range eggs r not what you think. Animals die in transport due to cramped conditions or exposure. It is all bloody cruel whatever the slaughter process is.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 10:47:28

I disagree with Kosher slaughter too. It's all the same - not following the practices we would usually expect in an abbatoir, increasing the suffering of the animals.

Same reason I'd never eat foie gras etc.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 10:48:19

And those getting FSM's often DON'T have the option of providing a packed lunch. So therefore there should be a sensible option for them.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 10:48:46

In what way though Couthy - what practices do you feel increase suffering?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 10:51:49

Eating Halal food may not contravene my religious rights - but that would be difficult as I believe that ALL religion is a construct formed by humans before science was able to explain things that humans wanted answers for - but it does contravene my ethical stance.

Neither should be more important than the other.

Just because I don't follow some religion or other, it doesn't mean that my beliefs should be discounted.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 10:53:53

You haven't explained what the ethical issue is though, what are your beliefs?

MidniteScribbler Sun 05-May-13 10:57:05

Rather than going halal, why can't the school expand the vegetarian options? For example, two meat dishes, two vegetarian. Then everyone gets a choice.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 11:05:27

A Nursery or school being fully veggie and making up a large portion of the children's protein requirements from dairy products - lasagne = dairy, macaroni cheese = dairy, yoghurts = dairy... - would be a major issue with me, given that DS3 is anaphylactic to dairy AND will be on FSM's...

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 05-May-13 11:06:59

So far not one meat eating person has been able to explain what they think the differences are.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 11:07:58

Couthy - what is the ethical issue with halal?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 11:13:17

And my dairy allergic DS can't eat quorn either, as he's also allergic to soy.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 11:16:59

TRUE Halal food is that which hasn't been pre-stunned. As in this country there is no obligation to print on the packaging whether it is 'Halal' that has been stunned, or Halal that hasn't been stunned, I feel it IS an ethical consideration UNTIL either ALL 'Halal' meat is stunned, or until it is CLEAR on the packing that it hasn't been stunned.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 11:18:38

My objection is to the fact that TRUE Halal food hasn't been stunned.

couthy in your shoes I'd no way trust a kitchen to cater for my child. It's scary how little clue kitchen staff can have!

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 11:20:33

And why should one person's beliefs through religion be taken more seriously than another person's beliefs through their own ethics?

They are BOTH belief systems.

I can't understand why everyone else's beliefs are taken more seriously because they follow a religion than mine are because I don't.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 05-May-13 11:26:01

Stunning its self is considered cruel by people who understand how it works.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 11:26:35

90% of halal meat is stunned first. I would not be at all surprised if only 90% of non-halal meat is stunned correctly anyway.

Given how cruel the process of stunning animals (particularly chickens) is anyway - hanging them upside down and stunning them by dunking them in water - I don't see that slitting their throats quickly is more cruel.

As I've said before, industrial meat (and dairy and egg) production is cruel. Suddenly having "ethical concerns" about the last few seconds of the animals life is bordering on the ridiculous. Focussing on largely irrelevant details in order to obscure the real objection.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 11:27:32

That's chickens being hung and dunked btw, not sure my post was clear.

JenaiMorris Sun 05-May-13 11:29:27

There seems to be a fair bit of misinformation around - I do wonder where it's come from and what motivation lie behind it.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 05-May-13 11:31:31

TRUE Halal food is that which hasn't been pre-stunned. As in this country there is no obligation to print on the packaging whether it is 'Halal' that has been stunned, or Halal that hasn't been stunned, I feel it IS an ethical consideration UNTIL either ALL 'Halal' meat is stunned, or until it is CLEAR on the packing that it hasn't been stunned.

I totally agree. I don't think non stunned halal should be allowed if I'm honest. I think it undermines all the good work done in terms of animal welfare.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 11:35:31

What do yu mean 'true' halal food? The majority of halal meat n the UK - is stunned - the RsPca said 90 per cent. Many muslim majority countries also have absolutely no issue with stunning- i posted a link earlier with the religious reasons why in case it's thought it's a minority thing.

The unstunned halal meat is found in only a few butchers dotted around the UK- it's too expensive and wouldn't enter the processed meat/supermarket meat line, much less be the halal meat in schools, hospitals etc.

Do you know non halal chicken is also killed quite similar to halal meat? Except they are hooked upside down, stunned, then spun in the direction of most times a metal blade that cuts their throats, straight after that they are thrown in a vat of boiling water without checking if they are dead, to get rid of their feathers. The gassing method now is to just keep them in their crates as they arrive in the abattoir and then put the in a gas chamber until they are dead-they die slowly without even being stunned.

I read this RSPCA fact sheet about halal and non halal UK slaughter, honestly I wonder where the 'halal is less ethical' argument comes in.

Moominsarehippos Sun 05-May-13 11:37:56

I'm sure there will be variatione between countries/parts of the religion as to what constitutes 'proper' halal.

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 11:41:30

I'd be interested in why meat eaters think non halal abbatoirs are cruelty free. They arent. Stunning is pretty horrific if you've ever watched. Animals often come too when hung upside down (and as someone said, stunned animals are often paralysed but conscious) and blod rushes to the brain, so are kicked when their throats are slit - thats how all animals are killed. They slit their throats while they are hung upside down by one leg. Fucking agony if you are a large animal like a cow. Until that point they may have been reared in over crowded appalling conditions. Yes, in this country. Then transported miles, some die, some are injured or sick, chickens have amonia burns on their legs - you can see these on the finished carcass.
You want meat, its cruel. So bleating about halal is slightly hypocritical.
I do eat meat every 2 months or so. A friend rears chickens and they are killed on her land by having their heads removed (the cone method). I'm sure there's a micro second of pain but until that point they free roam around her large garden. I pick one, the deed is done, she plucks it and removes the innards and I take it home. Killing is killing if you want to eat meat but dont beat around the bush thats there's a gentle 'dignitas' way. There isnt. Slitting a throat is the fastest way. But if you want lots of meat because you eat the stuff daily then you're going to get mass produced factory farmed conveyer belt abbatoir methods where animals are treated like non sentient products and that is cruel.

WhatKindofFool Sun 05-May-13 14:09:27

Well said "infamous"!!!

UptheChimney Sun 05-May-13 14:22:23

its kosher meat that absolutely cannot be stunned before slaughter

So now it's all the fault of the Jews? They're the ones who insist on "cruelty"? Hmmm, anti-semitism is a nasty thing.

williaminajetfighter Sun 05-May-13 14:23:32

Agree Infamous. I always hope that debates like this encourage more people to go veggie permanently. Mass slaughtering doesn't really encompass humane killing. And at the end of the day you are eating animal flesh... (shudder)

lljkk Sun 05-May-13 14:33:43

I tend to agree with you infamous.

FreyaSnow Sun 05-May-13 14:36:34

Okay, I'm vegetarian, so I wouldn't claim to be an expert. But is it not the case that meat is tested for adrenaline, which is released if the animal is very stressed. And if the adrenaline levels are too high, the meat can't be sold. So they can't have animals that are conscious after stunning or the adrenaline levels would be too high?

I also thought non-halal cattle had a bolt through the head, not electric stunning. Hasn't stunning of chicken been largely replaced with gassing, which is more humane but not halal?

I don't know how humane different butchery methods are, but if people have a strong belief that they won't eat halal or non halal meat based on ethics, that is equivalent to people eating halal meat because they are Muslim or not eating it because they are Sikh. Equality law is meant to be about religion and belief, not just religious belief. Being religious does not make your beliefs somehow more protected or valid than other people's.

hackmum Sun 05-May-13 14:38:04

infamous is right. It's insane to pretend that ordinary abattoir slaughtered meat is more "humane" than halal slaughtered meat.

FreyaSnow Sun 05-May-13 14:41:48

It's not insane; it is an issue there are different opinions on. Even if it was irrational, that is irrelevant. Irrational beliefs are as protected as rational ones.

TheRealFellatio Sun 05-May-13 15:09:14

its kosher meat that absolutely cannot be stunned before slaughter

'So now it's all the fault of the Jews? They're the ones who insist on "cruelty"? Hmmm, anti-semitism is a nasty thing.'

Upthechimney that is the worst case of being professionally and completely unnecessarily offended I have ever seen on MN, and I've seen some daft shit in my time.

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 15:31:25

far as I know chickens are still stunned by having their heads dragged through electrified water. Many lift their heads though. Its a conveyor belt method with machines because we wants lots and lots of meat.
I'm not anti meat and I'm not sqeamish. I watch my meat killed but you want daily meat then you have to have mass methods of slaughter and thats cruel halal or non halal.
I suspect the old method of eating it as a treat so the family pig had its throat slit, while conscious, behind the house, was far less cruel than mass produced meat. That pig then lasted the year because it was eaten rarely. I've been in abbatoirs and seen animals slipping, kicked at and hit because its a production line and people are in a hurry. I've seen 'stunned' animals wake when their throats are cut. I've watched jewish slaughter (of chickens, I've not seen the big animals) and it was quick. I've been in Morocco and seen goats have their throats cut the halal method behind the house and I've seen my dinner killed. Out of all of it the abbatoir in the UK with its so-called humane method was by far the worst. Personally I dont give a crap about the religious side, I want the best method and for me that was eating meat rarely, having it be chicken and having its head chopped off. Everybody makes their own choices but IMO if you've gone for factory farmed mass produced meat you dont have a leg to stand on when complaining halal or kosher is cruel. Its all the same.

FreyaSnow Sun 05-May-13 15:44:27

IP, can you not understand that is YOUR opinion? Other people will have different opinions on what is and is not ethical. For some people this will be based on understanding of all the issues, for some people it will based on sentiment, for some it will be based on trust of informed authority (the UK has decided that non-halal meat must be stunned because those authorities believe it is more humane).

If you have a strong feeling that non stunning is more humane, you should campaign for the law to be changed in UK abattoirs. That is an entirely different matter to the one being discussed.

Whatever reason somebody has for holding an ethical position about slaughter methods, their beliefs are protected in law, just as those of the Sikhs not to eat halal meat for religious reasons are protected in law. There is no reason in terms of equality of people for making only halal meat available.

nailak Sun 05-May-13 15:56:57

Ok few things

crescent In hanafi madhab shellfish is Haram afaik

Stunned meat debate.

In the UK there are two halal authorisation bodies, HMC and HFA, HFA stun their meat, HMC don't. It is not rocket science to find out if the halal meat is stunned or not. Places which sell halal meat have to display their halal certificate which will be from HMC or HFA.

Some Muslims won't eat HFA meat. Majority do.

Kosher covers Halal, so Muslims can eat Kosher meat.

The kosher dietary requirements are stricter. Halal meat is about how the meat is killed, not about if the meat touched a pan that was previously used for something else and after been thoroughly washed is being used to cook halal meat.

Pure liquid removes impurities in Islam, so even if something has urine on it (say clothes) and you wash it then you can pray in it after it has been washed. This is the same.

Therefore the issue about utensils and stuff is not there. Staff will already have a system for making sure what is currently being used for vegi/chicken option is not used for meat/beef/pork option that some sections of communities dont eat.

My mums school has all halal meat. My dds school doesnt and she eats veg every day. I am not bothered.

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 16:12:37

I did say it was my opinion. My kids actually have packed lunches.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 17:07:29

just got home to see this

"So now it's all the fault of the Jews?"

upthechimney where on earth did you infer that from anything iv posted on this thread? is it anti semitism to explain a very salient point between kosher meat and halal meat? the issue of stunning is one of the reasons why muslims can eat kosher but jews who keep kosher might not eat halal
as naila also pointed out:

"The kosher dietary requirements are stricter. Halal meat is about how the meat is killed, not about if the meat touched a pan that was previously used for something else and after been thoroughly washed is being used to cook halal meat."

id like to ask anyone else if my comments came across as anti semitic, i absolutely cannot see it but please say so and report my comment.

chocoholic05 Sun 05-May-13 17:08:57

my dc school has 6 choices each day. They are 2 meat options non halal or one meat and one fish option. One halal option one vegetarian option one jacket potato option and a salad choice. And yes prices went up last year hmm

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 17:17:14

thanks naila i didnt know that about hanafis and shellfish - is that a link because Abu hanifah studied with Imam jafar Sadiq?

totally agree about daily meat and mass production IP. thats actually why i gave up on eating meat and chicken even if it is halal. its become a completely industrialised industry and i grew steadily more distrustful about whether it was truly halal in the first place. then the pork in halal meat stories earlier this year right after the horsemeat scandal just made me give up - but we as a family had been eating alot of kosher meat from our local tescos anyway.

Spikeytree Sun 05-May-13 17:32:38

As I said earlier, Lancashire Council of Mosques urge Muslim children in Lancashire to boycott the halal meat served in Lancashire schools because it is stunned. So even if the school goes 'halal' there is a chance there will still be an issue.

ivykaty44 Sun 05-May-13 17:36:05

Can I ask what will they do about bacon or pork?

ComposHat Sun 05-May-13 17:43:38

Don't eat meat, but find Halal butchery abhorrent on animal welfare grounds.

I would be voting No.

Startail Sun 05-May-13 17:52:37

Going vegi means doing packed lunches come rain or shine for DD2 and those are in veritably ham (oops) as the only vegi sandwich fillings she will eat are chocolate spread or jam.

Startail Sun 05-May-13 17:55:01

Also my Jewish DF is always a fish eating veggi except at her Dad's. She is quite happy to accept that special diets are not catered for in every corner of the country.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 17:59:20

"but find Halal butchery abhorrent on animal welfare grounds."

can you articulate why it is especially more abhorrent than the other reasons you gave up eating meat for hat?

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 18:05:12

Absolutely fucking ridiculous! We are a non religious family . It would be non halal for us as why should religion be constantly pushed down our fucking throats!

nailak Sun 05-May-13 18:08:25

hmm but startail in inner London special diets are normally catered for, , Hospitals, Care homes etc all cater for Halal/kosher/Hindu/veggie/vegan diets....

Also many KFCs Nandos etc are also halal in this area as halal diet is something that is normally catered for, I think in my borough my dds school is the only one which doesnt offer halal meat. The parents are bothered but not that bothered coz in our borough all kids get fsm anyway.

nailak Sun 05-May-13 18:09:00

what how is eating halal meat pushing religion down your throats?

No ones being forced to eat it and the kids won't have any idea. It's hardly pushing religion down throats? It is merely catering for dietary requirements.

A school offering the choice would be ideal but the quality of the meals when so many choices r offered would be my main concern.

crashdoll Sun 05-May-13 18:15:07

The hypocrisy of some of the posts on these thread!

TrinityRhino Sun 05-May-13 18:19:47

I haven't read all the posts

and I'm sure that someone has already said this
in slaughterhouses all animals are stunned and throats are slit whilst they are alive

halal or not

its just the way it is done

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 18:39:59

Nail because its inviting a blanket of religion for people who haven't asked for it. What if Jewish people turned round and said "we'll, hang on, we want kosher food if there can be halal." And then Rastafarians wanted there way of eating respected too, what if every kind of faith wanted the way they cooked and prepared food respecting the cost of school meals would go through the roof!

If they go to a specific religious school then fair enough, but to expect a school to take on ONE religious method then they're asking for trouble. Costs would go up and why is that fair for families that don't practice religion. So in essence it's forcing people to take on the responsibilities of a religion they don't even believe in.

I wish people would leave children alone to learn and be educated in community schools. Religion and other issues should be left at the school doors .

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 18:43:04

No ones being forced to eat it and the kids won't have any idea. It's hardly pushing religion down throats? It is merely catering for dietary requirements.

So basically , what they don't know what hurt...

It's not my children's dietary requirements...

If you put mince in with the vege mince the vegetarian and vegan children wouldn't know either. Doesn't make it right though does it.

think I may move my family to north Africa and demand that they start
catering for my childrens moral and religious requirements.
I wonder if that would be met with such diplomacy?
except that if I emigrated to a foreign country I would accept their food,culture,religion and language.
if I didn't like it I either wouldn't bloody move there or id send my kids with a packed lunch.simple.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 05-May-13 18:48:13

You do make a good point what however some religions cannot be left at the door because they are a way of life. Each and every part of their life revolves around their belief from eating to washing etc.

likeitorlumpit Sun 05-May-13 18:51:35

well said urtwistingmymelonman

Moominsarehippos Sun 05-May-13 18:55:22

Its a thorny one.

What if the religious mix of the school changes - fish on a friday for catholics, kosher for jewish kids, beef free for sikhs, vegetarian/vegas for whatever religion that may be (Jains?). Our schools biggest group is french - ok so not religious but - I'd have an issue with horse meat (fois gras, frogs legs and snails aside) being served to 'cater for' the french kids.

I don't think the pedigree if meat can be 100% these days anyway. Our local halal butchers was recently closed because the meat was poor/dodgy quality (well, that and the rats).

When business is involved, ethics often take a back seat
DMIL says it never would have crossed her mind to ask for halal meat when the kids were at school (as a muslim coming from a muslim country), as the british culture is not that of halal food/pork free. The majority of kids were jewish at their schools but ham was definately served. It wasn't at CofE/catholic school either. She says that anyone asking for pork on the menu in her country of origin would be shown the exit gate pretty darn fast, no hesitation.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 05-May-13 18:56:47

Ah but urtwisting the UK is multicultural now and we're expected to be tolerant to all faiths and what they entail.

Moominsarehippos Sun 05-May-13 18:58:43

Urt - its not all immigrants though! (Some of) my nieces and nephews are British muslims (who eat veggie at school).

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 19:00:09

Ho ho yes I agree, but in community schools there has to be a limit so children that attend the school feel the same amount on inclusion, rather that it be "it's a community school but specially caters for catholic or Muslims or Hindus or ect " that's not community. That religion slowly creeping in.
Like I said if its a religious school then of course, but if you send your child to a community school and they have a specific religious dietary requirement then their parents have to manage it. Not every body else's .

The notion that they won't even realise what they are eating is really quite concerning, but the same applies back on the other hand... But that would just be so abhorrent , wouldn't it ...

ComposHat Sun 05-May-13 19:01:18

crescent the whole ritualistic cutting and slow bleeding to death in pain bit.

All for the sake of some made up medieval mumbo-jumbo. I feel the same about Kosher meat too.

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 19:02:48

Ah but urtwisting the UK is multicultural now and we're expected to be tolerant to all faiths and what they entail.

And that's exactly why we can't let one faith dictate how our children eat there food .

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 05-May-13 19:03:23

Again, I agree what but who is willing to stand up and say 'we've done as much as we can to cater for your needs but we can't do any more' without one particular group kicking off about it. We'll never be able to please everyone.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 19:05:41

Compos - bleeding to death isn't slow. When your throat is cut you will lose consciousness within seconds.
90% of halal meat is stunned first anyway.

I would say the chickens who are strung up alive on a machine and dunked in electrified water to (probably) stun them suffer more.

hohoho. I would never expect anyone to give up there religion.
my point is that I would not move to another country and expect it to change to suit my requirements.
I know that if I moved to the majority of muslim countrys I would not be able to live my life the way I do now so I would simply have to adjust my lifestyle to suit or I wouldn't move there.
halal meat is widely available in this country and families can feed there children this at home all the time so why cant they just send children in with a packed lunch?
I don't understand why this is such an issue?

I just hope that all these feelings can be put aside when around the children. No ones going to change the way any of us feel about this, but like it or not these children are going to be out children's friends. It would be awful if they were never invited round eachothers houses to birthday parties for fear of halal or non halal meat being served. There r always vege options.

Options are that school provides choices. I personally would prefer a good quality vegetarian option than several poor quality meat options depending on what schools can afford to provide. It's 5 meals out of 21 a week and it won't hurt if they are vegetarian and the kids can eat whatever meat pork and bacon u want the rest of the time.

ComposHat Sun 05-May-13 19:11:47

It can take minutes to bleed to death, rather than seconds.

I don't doubt the chickens suffer, but then that doesn't make other forms of animal cruelty okay.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 19:13:17

Rspca website : please read how non halal meat is slaughtered- also cut across the throat and vital arteries. Except it is mostly mechanised without the quality control that a human being would apply to make sure the animal is properly dead before the next stages. which it has to be if 100s of millions of animals a year are to be slaughtered and supplied to the nations shops. Not all non halal Uk Chickens are even stunned, many - that's in the hundreds of millions- are now gassed to death while fully conscious - a very slow painful death compared to a fast cut with a sharp knife across the throat.

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 19:16:50

I know ho ho -- sarnies all round!!!!!!

My "d"sm gave me salmon spread sarnies for three years for pack lunch ... <<< shudders>>>

Moominsarehippos Sun 05-May-13 19:19:59

What - now that's child cruelty. My dads mum did the same with a 'jeely piece'. Years it went on.

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 19:20:31

Options are that school provides choices. I personally would prefer a good quality vegetarian option than several poor quality meat options depending on what schools can afford to provide. It's 5 meals out of 21 a week and it won't hurt if they are vegetarian and the kids can eat whatever meat pork and bacon u want the rest of the time. it's actually a bloody good idea. I for one wouldn't mind that.
May help toward childhood obesity.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 19:21:05

What are your standards of animal slaughter ethics melonman that you think you couldn't get outside the UK? You probably wouldnt find pork easily otherwise what are your principles. we are talking about halal meat not 'creeping sharia' as you would like to turn this discussion to. Otherwise Before we know it it will get to 'those uppity Muslims want to ban Christmas and call it winterval'.'

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 19:23:23

Moom sad I can still taste that fishy/boney texture! Urgh! What the hell is jeely piece ?? Sounds lush ha ha

I agree caffeine drip.
my son has a packed lunch and only has meat in it probably once a week(ham sandwich,sometimes prawn) and gets his daily protein via meat at home at evening meals anyway.
meat twice a day is just not needed and is probably quite unhealthy.

Might spark a bit of creativity to instead of relying on mince, sausages, breaded chicken etc vege food done well is bloody lovely and it doesn't all have to be heavy cheese sauce based.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 19:29:24

Which is another favourite daily mail myth alongside the stock 'halal meat = animal cruelty'. Which people say but without ever explaining what it is that differentiates or makes it worse than non halal slaughtered meat.

I agree also about high quality veg food- my dc have always eaten vegetarian school dinners anyway. They always give away any jelly sweets they're given that aren't vegetarian as well but when they were younge I was always comforted that their teachers understood and weren't going to feed them non veg just to spite their Muslim parents.

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 19:29:54

cresent unless I have missed a post by melonman I think your last post was either slightly ott/hysterical/goady.

I don't think it was suggesting what you said at all ???

I fear this thread is about to turn in to a religious battle ... I'm off!

nailak Sun 05-May-13 19:31:18


and here we go, with the if you dont like something dont bother trying to change it just go back to your own country! "if I didn't like it I either wouldn't bloody move there"

Well twisting it all comes down to moomins point, when her MIL came to this country she wouldnt have asked, however the parents who are now asking are not people who have came to this country they are people who were born, went to school and grew up here, this is the only home they know! it is not about moving anywhere.

It is about people who are inherently part of the society making a request. They don't feel the urge to blend in or conform as their parents did, as they are already part of the society and country, this is their home, they belong here.

I am sure back in the days there were no veggie meals, did people say if you dont like it go and live in a buddhist country?

This is a survey to see how all the parents feel, if the majority like the idea then it will go ahead, if they dont it wont go ahead, because we live in a democracy!

whatam I doubt the parents are asking for only halal meat, the school is saying this is what we can provide and cant compromise. The parents of rastafarians and Jain or whatever can request the same, and like what is happening now, the school will send out a survey and see what the majority of parents think. Nothing is stopping them.

I wish more people would practice their religious values and not leave them at home.

urtwisting many muslim countries do that already, Turkey, Egypt (sharm el Sheikh anyone) Indonesia, So I don't know what you are on about, and tbh I don't know what those countries have to do with people like me who are Muslim born and raised in Britain and never been to them in my life, I can't affect change in those countries, we have no influence or say over what happens over there, because we are not Morrocan or Egyptian or whatever we are British!

whatam so would you say same for veggies? parents have to manage it, shouldnt take their beliefs in to school?

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 19:33:23

I was always comforted that their teachers understood and weren't going to feed them non veg just to spite their Muslim parents.

Just wow! Why on earth would they do that!!!

nailak Sun 05-May-13 19:36:41

erm because they believed religion should be left at the door?

HamletsSister Sun 05-May-13 19:38:02

I am uneasy about a non-denominational school (I am assuming it is an ordinary school, not one affiliated to a religion) having catering arrangements put in place to suit any particular religion as anything other than an option. I don't mean halal shouldn't be an option but it shouldn't be the only option. I might not want my children to eat meat that has been "blessed" - stunned or otherwise, but I might want them to eat meat.

Schools should cater for needs where possible but all children should not have their choices restricted by the requirements of a particular religion.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 19:38:51

or because its their small way to protest at the 'irrationality of religious beliefs'.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 19:40:49

iv known that happen to some people, sadly. 'oh just give em a bacon sandwich'. thankfully most people respect other peoples traditions even if not the beliefs, and with my childrens friends families i feel comfortable that they would give my dc vegetarian food when they visit them, as i have respected dietary requirements their kids had.

I was just saying moon that I wouldn't expect muslim countrys schools to start providing non halal meat for my children.i wasn't 'picking'on muslims but the thread was about halal meat so I used that as an example.
I wouldn't expect to to visit ANY country and expect them to change ANYTHING to suit me.
why the hell should I?
if I did they would think me an arrogant English idiot and they would be right.
but god forbid I even mention the word muslim.
I expect im just a bigoted,racist Neanderthal eh?

nailak Sun 05-May-13 19:45:18

yes you havent seem to have gotten it in your head that we are not talking about VISITORS we are talking about children who were born here and there children born here,

We are not talking about VISITING a country and expecting THEM to change things to suit me

we are talking about people who are part of US, who were born here, their kids born here, some of them grandparents born here, who are requesting a change.

This is where your prejudice shows, as you have demonstrated you view Muslims as other, not part of this society, visitors etc, it hasnt crossed your mind that they could be anything else.

nailak Sun 05-May-13 19:45:33

their children

so nailak.are you saying that these countries would start serving non halal meat in their schools to cater for Christian kids?

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 19:48:25

Nail I still stand with what I said,
No faith should have the monopoly of how a community school eat, and if every single faith deemed it fit that their children should be wholly catered for then education would be effected as money would have to funnelled from some where. Kitchens would have to be extended , special areas designated , special pots and pans, specialist cooks ect .

It's far simpler to send the children to school with own specific requirement or stick to veggi option. It's the easier solution . The small amount of money designated for education be spent on education and don't forget the hundreds of thousands of children who don't pay for meals!

Education shouldn't have to mixed with religious beliefs . Our children should all be equal and no special treatment given.

ChelseaKnows1 Sun 05-May-13 19:48:38

I don't think you are being unreasonable about the way the letter has been written.
However in my opinion those parents who are saying that Halal meat is cruel and that the OP should vote NO purely on the animal cruelty issues need to get over the fact that no matter how the animal is killed - its still dead and used for meat. I'd rather my DD had Halal meat than a forced Vegetarian option that some parents have mentioned.

but nailak,this school is talking about serving either halal or not halal.
this is not catering for everyone is it?

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 05-May-13 19:52:26

if you talk about Muslims "visiting this country' then you do come across as arrogant and ignorant.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 05-May-13 19:54:10

It is also disingenuous to describe non Halal meat as catering for Christian kids. It's not a requisite of thir religion.

Nailak I hope the idiots you are encountering on here are not getting to you too much

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 19:54:35

Good bye ladies .... This is About to turn nasty

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 05-May-13 19:55:48

The school is at fault for not offering a variety of meat.

nailak Sun 05-May-13 19:57:07

I am saying that it doesnt matter what those countries do because Muslims like me who were born here have no connection to those countries, what has what some random countries decisions got to do with me living in my country asking my kids school to provide halal meat?

It is a nonsensical comparison.

If a catholic English person requests something would you turn around and say "oh would the catholic countries let protestants do that?" or whatever.

There is no connection between me or Crescent asking the school to provide halal meat (although neither of us have we both are happy with them eating veg) and anything in any other country. Can you understand that?

Because we are British, we are part of this society, we have as much right to request things as anyone else.

YOU are making us feel like we are not part of society by using words such as "visitor" and likening us to random countries that tbh we don't know that much about!

However, in American Military bases you can buy pork and alcohol in Muslim countries. Also a quick google search shows me this showing that in Dubai they sell pork in designated sections of supermarkets for non muslims. I also know in holiday resorts in turkey, sharm el sheikh indonesia etc they obviously serve what is not halal. Further then that I don't know because I have nothing to do with those countries. Ask me about my own country I will know.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 05-May-13 19:57:27

Already has turned nasty IMO

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 19:57:39

I love salmon paste me. Havent had any for years.

As for blessing...its just words. 10 minutes ago I blessed every farm animal in the UK in the name of Zeus. Does it taste funny? grin

nailak Sun 05-May-13 19:58:59

whatam did the community say they want solely halal or did the school?

is vegi not a specific requirement governed by beliefs? so why should that be provided then?

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 05-May-13 19:59:03

Well that's respectful

nailak Sun 05-May-13 20:02:12

it turned nasty when the go to your own country stuff came up ffs,

but anyway the school is sending out a survey, it is not implementing it. They had pressure to find out what could be done they are exploring options to find out if people will be happy or not, is that not catering for everyone? if they find out people are not happy they wont do it. So how is it not catering for everyone?

fanjo i am used to it from mumsnet.

ChelseaKnows1 Sun 05-May-13 20:03:55

ALL children should be allowed to eat meat and Halal caters for EVERYONE. Children don't know the difference. As long as meat is safe and good quality I don't see what parents have a problem with. Muslim children won't be able to eat non halal meats but other children can eat either so I don't think it's fair at all. Halal meet should be used.

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 20:06:37

Couldn't have put It better naila.

And did you not find it suspicious that all the horse meat was found on non halal meat but only pork found in halal? If pork was so cheap why not filled into all processed meat halal and non halal? I thought there was also an element of 'ha ha' in that too- but shame on halal suppliers and caterers for not checking anyway.

If its about muslim and non muslim children do Christian kids need to eat non halal as Sikh kids would need? Are there any Christians that can't eat kosher or halal or animals slaughtered by mechanical means? Or are you asking about pork because muslims really only eat one less meat than christians? It would be very hard to find native pork produced in muslim countries though I imagine some do it- but schools offering it would be like asking Uk schools to provide dog meat on the menu.

BegoniaBampot Sun 05-May-13 20:07:49

it's just a different method of slaughter, I can't decide which way is more cruel as it is all cruel. As regards religion - is it really anything to do with religion dictating the Halal method or did people just slaughter their livestock in the way they felt was best and then that method was accepted as being the best method and then given a religious slant to ensure that people carried out a standard practice? anyone know?

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 05-May-13 20:14:56

Personally I would vote for non halal for two reasons. First I don't like the way the animals are slaughtered, just my opinion. Two: as far as im aware (please correct me if this is wrong, im not muslim) the muslim children would be permitted to eat the non halal food if there is nothing else available. It is one of the only times they would be allowed to eat non halal without it going against their religion. Also if the parents would rather their kids didn't have it anyway they could always send a pack lunch?

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 05-May-13 20:26:13

Can I ask a question about Halal certification? Our local school says its meat is Halal certified. My friend (Muslim) has a son who attends and isn't happy with the certification she school uses as it's not one she recognises. He eats veggie at school as a result. Is this a common problem or might the local school (academy) just using a cheapo option?

All our local schools are 100% Halal and have been for as long as I can remember.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 05-May-13 20:26:39

Sorry just to add, I personally don't agree with chelseaknows about halal catering for everyone. I am Christian and the idea of food I'm eating being killed in the name of another religions god and blessed as such makes me uncomfortable. I would not want to eat halal meat for this reason so halal does not cater for everyone in my opinion.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 05-May-13 20:28:24

I do know we are allowed to eat halal meat in the Christian religion but the idea doesn't sit well with me personally.

ChelseaKnows1 Sun 05-May-13 20:28:43

Heffalump, can't you bless the food yourself before you eat it?

ChelseaKnows1 Sun 05-May-13 20:30:56

Also this first I don't like the way the animals are slaughtered, just my opinion doesn't make sense if you are a meat eater anyway!

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 20:39:11

Heffalump, far as I'm aware, muslims worship the God of Abraham. So that would be the same God for Christians, jews and muslims right?

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 05-May-13 20:39:42

But it has been killed in the name of Allah, not my God or none? It's just my personal feeling, nothing against anyone else's opinion/beliefs. Fair enough, i just feel uncomfortable about an animal having its throat slit and hung to drain. I can't explain why it's worse because it's been done like that, it's just my gut feeling is to be a little repulsed to be honest.

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 20:40:38

and if you believe there's just the one god then surely none of the others exist and anyhing said to zeus or the spegetti monster is just words?

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 20:41:27

Allah is the Arabic word meaning god. Christian Arabs say Allah. Cos its arabic for god.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 05-May-13 20:41:31

Like i said I'm not muslim by the way and I'm no expert on religion! So sorry if I don't have all the facts straight!!

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 20:45:10

There was an excellent documentary on this very topic the other night. I'm usually as thick as a plank grin

BegoniaBampot Sun 05-May-13 20:47:32

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Also this first I don't like the way the animals are slaughtered, just my opinion doesn't make sense if you are a meat eater anyway!


Im sure halal was just fine when u went on holiday or stumbled out a pub drunk and went for a kebab or subway.

It just seems a bit late to be caring. Especially when cheap meat in schools and hospitals etc is about as unethical as you can get.

Hulababy Sun 05-May-13 20:48:30

Where I work children can chose between meat (non Halal), vegetarian or Halal - any child can chose any of the meals. Children chose on a day by day basis each morning. (Also a packed lunch option)
The catering company cater for most of the LEA schools round here - no idea if smae policy, I assume so?

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 21:00:04

which channel infamous.

christian arabs would have no problem that the name of God is mentioned during slaughter because they also call God 'Allah', its their language.

is there a quicker way to kill an animal than to cut through its jugular vein by the way? in the UK pigs, cows, sheep and until recently all chickens were also killed by cutting through the neck. halal by hand with a sharp knife non halal by lining up all the animals in a line and then putting a mechanised blade through their necks. and the blood is drained in both cases too i think. gory yes but where else would it be faster? the knees? the heart? the brain? even a human being could still survive extreme trauma to those other areas for awhile afterwards but it would be torturous.

or is it better to gas, electrocute, boil alive etc? as long as no blood is spilt is that the requirement?

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 05-May-13 21:04:26

So unless a person is fine to eat halal they are predjudiced? Seems a bit harsh. As far as I was aware it was my choice whether I want to eat it or not, and my personal choice is I would rather not. I don't understand why that is so bad. I'm not telling anyone else what they should or shouldn't do.

nailak Sun 05-May-13 21:05:05

missbetsy I explained that a little while ago, there are two halal certification bodies HFA and HMC, HMC doesnt stun meat HFA does so some people don't eat HFA meat.

Heffalump Allah means THE deity/God. Christians in Arab countries also call God Allah. Bismillah means in the name of The God.

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 21:06:26

one of the ones on sky that come after the music channels. Documentaries? It was about Jerusalem and how its important to all 3 faiths as they all sprung from Abraham.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 05-May-13 21:13:27

I think the reason I see the God of the Muslim religion and Christianity as separate is that the religions have a quite different set of beliefs as far as I'm aware so I find it hard to understand how it can be the same God if that makes sense? If it was the same God wouldn't we have the same beliefs as we would both be following that God's wishes? Please correct me if I'm wrong, like I said I'm no expert!!

ChelseaKnows1 Sun 05-May-13 21:17:00

Islam, Christianity and Judaism : They all believe in the same God despite what the fundamentalists in each faith tell you? I'm sure they all originate from the same place and have LOADS of similarities. Im no expert either Heffalump.

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 21:20:09

Same God, same Prophets, - muslims believe in the virgin birth and Jesus and his second coming, same stuff like the 10 comandments and being nice to people and stuff. Differences are they dont believe Jesus is god and you dont get saved by believing in him.
I've just been reading a little chart of similarities. And its the same God starting with Abraham, same stories like Jospeh and the coat thing and Egypt and the plagues and the Exodus and all the rest.

BegoniaBampot Sun 05-May-13 21:26:53

Heffalump - I just get the impression that your gut reaction is to be repulsed by Islam and anything to do with it like Halal even though you seem to know very little about it. i think that can fall under prejudice.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 05-May-13 21:33:09

Begonia - No I am a bit repulsed by an animal having their throat slit without being stunned first, not by Islam, that is a massive leap and completely unfair. As one of the more informed posters said earlier this only happens with one of the certificates not both, but how am I to know which way it has been killed?? .

crescentmoon Sun 05-May-13 21:38:24

islam is generally a religion of 'justification by works' though you'll get some 'salvation by faith' muslims whereas christianity is generally a religion of 'justification by faith' though catholics are 'man is justified by works not faith alone' types. unity not trinity, like the unitarian christians believe...same God same prophets. we follow more of the laws of Judaism than most Christians do.

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 22:56:41

And this is why religion has no place in schools. Children should be seen as children and be free to learn rather than their faith defining them as a person before the human being is seen .

I hate religion all it does is create segregation. How quickly did thus turn in to Muslim v Christian under tones on both sides.

I'm not a veggie far from it. I just think it would be a lot easier and healthier and wouldn't be a bad idea due to childhood obesity, like I all ready stated.

Religious schools ~ yes
Community schools ~ no.

Still can't believe people still think its acceptable to serve any kind of religiously prepared food to be given to non believers under the guise that they won't realise what they are eating!! Shocking!!

Every animal that gets eaten gets slaughtered. Full stop. Using the different ways as an excuse is ridiculous.

Littlehousesomewhere Sun 05-May-13 23:18:02

I thought London schools were halal already.

If I have the choice I would choose nonhalal as I'm not Muslim. I don't mind either way (killing animals is killing animals) but why would I vote for halal if I'm not Muslim? I agree that it is a silly decision for the school to leave up to the parents vote.

What I think schools should do is to decide according to costs of meat and go for the cheapest supplier regardless of whether they are halal or not. If the costs are the same and they have a large number of Muslim students then they should choose halal.

They should also ensure that fish is served often so Muslim children can choose this option if the meat is not halal.

They should also make sure that the vegetarian options are varied with balanced protein as all too often the veggie options are very dull and repetitive.

They should also tell the parents if the food is halal or not! I have worked in schools that served halal and lots of the Muslim kids always choose the veggie option anyway, not sure if the parents were aware it was halal or if they were all just veggie. But the schools weren't very good at communicating this info to the parents.

Forced vegetarian option is no different to a forced meat option. If you are looking at it from an ethical sense. Both are to an extent forcing parents' beliefs onto a child. Only difference is there's no argument by about how an animal was killed with the vege option.

This is school dinners we r talking about. Meat doesn't miraculously turn inedible slop into something amazing.

Less hidden nasties in vege options though....

HoHoHoNoYouDont Mon 06-May-13 00:47:50

There are so many people with the mindset that a meal isn't complete unless there is meat on the plate.
I agree with posters that say a better variety of vegetarian options would help towards tackling obesity.

WafflyVersatile Mon 06-May-13 01:27:50

The chances are the animals have been stunned first in the halal process.

If you don't object to eating meat and don't think someone saying a muslim prayer in the general area of the slaughter of the animals will result in your child becoming infected with islam or being poisoned, dying and going to hell for eating meat blessed by the wrong god then just vote for halal meat.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 01:38:35

Still can't believe people still think its acceptable to serve any kind of religiously prepared food to be given to non believers under the guise that they won't realise what they are eating!! Shocking!!

If you are a none beliver then you don't believe it to be religious

crescentmoon Mon 06-May-13 02:30:54

Tones on both sides? Is that about my last post? It wasnt a rivalry. There isn't a 'versus' explicit or implicit there. Just to explain the context of the 'outer differences' to someone of the abrahamic faiths unsure about islam's place among them. ' Catholics', ' Unitarian Christians', ' in Judaism'.

ChelseaKnows1 Mon 06-May-13 07:00:39

If you don't believe in any religion then it won't matter. Meat is part of a balanced healthy diet. Let's try getting rid of processed foods and absolute rubbish in schools before we get rid of a main food group?

JenaiMorris Mon 06-May-13 08:35:39

I say this as an atheist and an omnivore; judging by some of the ignorance displayed on this thread we need an awful lot more good quality RE in schools.

HoppinMad Mon 06-May-13 08:44:08

Those who claim stunned meat is 'more ethical' than a quick clean swipe to neck of animal, I would absolutely love to organise a MN educational trip to an abatoir.. perhaps ignorance really is bliss.

As for those who have now learnt that 90% of halal meat in this country is actually stunned meat yet still bleat halal meat is cruel and medieval, well I dont think anything will change your opinions as deep down you hate the fact this country makes special arrangements for muslims, in schools or otherwise. Just my opinion of course, which we are all entitled to right?

I would just like to add, my dc will be going to school with packed lunches for various reasons, especially if there is no Muslim cook in the school kitchen. In Islam if the halal meat is cooked by non-muslims it still has to be supervised by atleast one muslim.

sashh Mon 06-May-13 09:07:50

i thought all public services were halal now, hospitals, schools, council canteens.

I bloody well hope not. Sikhs can't eat meat that has been prayed over so no halal or kosher.

I like the suggestion of having just one meat halal. There should always be a vegi option.

The chances are the animals have been stunned first in the halal process.

Don't think it's halal if it is.

Could they do alternate terms? Halal one term non halal the other?

I worked at a college where all the meat was halal, it made sense as the vast majority of students, and many staff were Muslim, at Eid I had 5 classes and about as many students, seemed daft for the college to be open to be honest.

There were vegi options.

But the greasy spoon next to the entrance did a great bacon sandwich.

I think it depends on the makeup of the school, the size and the ages.

In an ideal world there would be:
meat - halal
meat-not halal
meat kosher

BramblyHedge Mon 06-May-13 09:13:26

That's interesting. Our school is 40% and offer a veggie option but no idea if the meat is halal. Would they have to tell us?

whatamardarse Mon 06-May-13 09:21:02

hmm ignorance is bliss has never worked for me Chelsea

sock I'm completely a non believer but that doesn't mean I should turn a blind eye to a specific religious requirement .. I sent dd to a community where there is a wonderful array of multi cultural influencesI which can only broaden our children's minds. But for me, to start installing one type of religious meal preparation, you have to be available to install all religious meal preparation . Which will cost a fortune and divert money away from much needed educational equipment .

This would have to run across the board too, if one school has it then every community school has to be made available to have it.

Children do not need any more divideds than they all ready have imposed on them by adults. Community schools are for community's not just a little bit more catholic, Jewish , Muslim or ect .. Leave that to the religious schools.

fromparistoberlin Mon 06-May-13 09:26:21

thanks to everyone who posted, reading the range of views has been v helpful

its also interesting that alot of the discussion has focussed on the method of killing, as that was not really the issue for me. V educational.

as someone said:I am uneasy about a non-denominational school (I am assuming it is an ordinary school, not one affiliated to a religion) having catering arrangements put in place to suit any particular religion

i will send a short/calm/measured response urgeing them to explore a less "black and white" stark choice

I am a christian, baptised etc but chose to not do the religious school option, for that reason this issue had upset me in a way that really suprised me

but at the end of the day....when I look at the suffering in the world, if my child ate a halal burger a couple of times a week, well its not the end of the world... neeed to NOT get emotional about it

whatamardarse Mon 06-May-13 09:29:49

fromparis I wonder how a Sikh would feel about that though?

ConferencePear Mon 06-May-13 09:35:53

From the point of view of a meat eater who cares about animal welfare I find it a bit depressing that so many want to choose the meat on price alone. If they had a vote of less meat but guaranteed humanely raised and slaughtered then I would vote for that.

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

mrsjay Mon 06-May-13 10:09:18

I agree with posters that say a better variety of vegetarian options would help towards tackling obesity.

meat doesn't make you fat processed shit and too much of it makes you fat

Jinsei Mon 06-May-13 10:11:54

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Apparently Sikhs or some of them anyway are prohibited from eating halal meat, but it's not important.

Jinsei Mon 06-May-13 10:25:51

But why is it their own fault and why do you say that they don't have a "proper" religion?

Moominsarehippos Mon 06-May-13 10:30:52

I'm on the fence here (splinters in my bum). I get that its a community school (and in London that can mean a hell of a lot of diversity), so shouldn't cater for one religion, however, if I had peope over for dinner, who I knew only ate halal, I'd do veggie or source halal. I do this, and have been told 'you don't need to do that, we'd eat what you offered (pork aside)'. Half of my family are muslim (some here, some there, some everywhere) but food is never an issue. Some take lunch to work - mainly to save money - and the kids eat school lunches or take packed (if they are picky eaters).

Most meat production is cruel. No one religion or sector of the community has the moral high ground here.

Crap/tainted/cheapo food is the main issue. We need to teach kids what good, healthy food is. Ok so school lunch isn't my kids main source of nutrition but for some kids it is. Its also their chance to try different foods, maybe even new foods. We should be giving them healthy and balanced meals - without processed rubbish. Its not ok to serve a child (or someone in prison, hospital...) a meal that costs pennies. How can it be good food?

Process of slaughter/prep be damned. My main concers is: what's in the 'meat', has it been handled hygenically and is it full of drugs and 'fillers'.

I'm veggie (have been for 25+ years) and have managed in a meat eaters world. I never have asked or expected anyone/anywhere to cater for me and my requirements. When younger I would more than likely have vomited if someone had slipped meat into my meal if I found out (oh the passion of youth) whereas now I know what to look out for but assume that somewhere along the line this must have happened. Its not 'religious conviction' beyond not being happy harming gods creatures) but it started as a very strong ethical belief that killing was wrong.

I was being sarcastic, because the whole hallal for everyone idea is based on the principle that the beliefs of those who want it are more important than those who don't.

The fairest and probably cheapest option is to provide healthy clean food for all and let those who want special arrangements make the special arrangements themselves.

whatamardarse Mon 06-May-13 10:45:05

back I see your point.

Jinsei Mon 06-May-13 10:50:07

OK, I get what you mean too now. I don't agree with the halal meat for all approach either, but have no problem with it being provided as an option, as it is at our school.

Sal77 Mon 06-May-13 10:50:35

I would certainly be voting AGAINST Halal for animal welfare reasons! It's absolutely bloody awful (excuse pun) what these people are pushing for in the name of religion. Animal abuse basically.

I'm a meat eater but always go for organic/ethically sourced meat where possible. You need to find out more about Halal before you vote!

Sal77 Mon 06-May-13 10:51:14

And yes, I think it is ridiculous to cater for the minority here. They should make their own arrangements or opt for the vegetarian option.

Chipstick10 Mon 06-May-13 10:52:48

Non halal meat. Makes my fuckin blood boil.

mrsjay Mon 06-May-13 10:53:50

but your meat is squashed into a truck and taken to an abitoir (sp) and killed stunned with a tazer and the other cows see this they panic and they have to do it quickly as adrenalin can take over, this is for all animals including lovely organic cows , sal

Jinsei Mon 06-May-13 10:54:07

Out of interest, if Muslim children were the majority in the school, would you consider it ridiculous to provide non-halal meat to cater for the non-Muslim minority?

mrsjay Mon 06-May-13 10:55:57

I would imagine in a London or any big city school they majority would be non christian children so Halal would be the majority, maybe they should just provide Halal and those non catered for should go for the veggie option

Schools want as many children as possible to take school meals, for reasons of costs apart from anything else. If they have very low take up from Muslims (the majority of their intake) then of course they'll want to fix that. It's about providing a service that will attract the maximum number of customers at the minimum of cost. In St Ives that may mean that the lone Muslim in the school is out of luck, in Tower Hamlets then the Sikhs or highly selective animal rights enthusiasts get the short straw (the short straw being the choice between vegetarian option or packed lunch).

crescentmoon Mon 06-May-13 11:02:02

here we go again....

"for animal welfare reasons"

and how is your organic/ethically sourced meat slaughtered? what makes it different to the way halal organic/ethically sourced meat is slaughtered? or killed? how do you believe animals should be killed sal? if you dont think a sharp cut through the vital arteries in the neck is the quickest way, what is quicker then? or should an animal have a longer protracted death to save human squeamishness?

Moominsarehippos Mon 06-May-13 11:02:29

Non christian isn't just muslim though. We have a range of religions and none at our school. Most is probably catholic.

mrsjay Mon 06-May-13 11:08:07

yes I know moomin but I think if they are suggesting halal at a school then they probably have a minority of Halal meat eaters

JenaiMorris Mon 06-May-13 11:14:35

So most of the non-Christians are Catholic? Please tell me I misread that!

whatamardarse Mon 06-May-13 11:15:39

Just about to say give same moom there all ways seems to be Christian or Muslim presumption, nothing in between.

It frustrates me so much! Religion causes wars or rather men hiding behind religion causes wars, it needs to stay out our community schools.

mrsjay Mon 06-May-13 11:16:29

Oh yes RC is christian I am confused

crescentmoon Mon 06-May-13 11:17:13

excerpt from the RSPCAs webpage on how UK animals are slaughtered in abbatoirs - organic or not:

"In the case of mammals, once an animal has been stunned it is shackled by a hind leg and hoisted above the ground. The slaughterman sticks the animal (cuts its throat), using a very sharp knife, severing the major blood vessels in its neck/chest that supply the brain, ensuring rapid blood loss. Once enough blood has left the body, the heart stops beating and the animal is dead."

now the halal method is not hanging 1000lb cows or other mammals by one leg into the air but both the muslim or non muslim slaughterman cuts the animal through the throat, severing the vital arteries there to get a quick death. in 2013 thats still the basic method - do you believe there is something more expedient for animal welfare?

sashh Mon 06-May-13 11:17:23

crescent and Sal

There are both good and bad abattoirs.

Strangely enough when I was at school a friend's father actually designed and built them.

The ones he built had a lot of measures built in to stop the animals being scared. Things like piping the smell away from holding pens/fields.

Animals entering one at a time.

I have heard both sides of the debate on Halal vs stunning. Personally I think stunning is better, but it has to be stunning that works, with a bolt not a tazer as someone has suggested. If the bolt does not work then a knife to the jugular is probably better.

Does anyone know why animals can't be shot in an abattoir? Surely a bullet in the brain would be the quickest?

Some abattoir have viewing galleries so that if a farmer takes their own animals to slaughter they can watch.

Maybe the school should only serve vegi and fish.

Moominsarehippos Mon 06-May-13 11:23:54

I meant that most kids are our school are catholic! (I do work for the church blush).

JenaiMorris Mon 06-May-13 11:25:36

grin Moomins. Ok.

crescentmoon Mon 06-May-13 11:26:32

9 times out of 10 my dear sashh halal meat is stunned anyway, so its not halal vs stunning. if that is what peoples objections are about.

if it is about the slaughter method itself then vast majority of non halal meat is killed the same way as halal - severing the arteries in the neck. some people dont realise that and think it is only halal meat that is slaughtered that way.

i would sincerely like to know what other way is better to kill animals for food is. i.e is wringing a chickens neck/ gassing a pig/ shooting a cow through the head - is that better and if it is why? what are the factors in a cruel versus non cruel killing since the meat is stunned in halal as with non halal too.

that sounds pretty good about piping the smell away from holding pens sashh. i think the sheer volume of animals slaughtered every year in the UK: "30 million cattle, calves, sheep, pigs and around 900 million poultry" from the page i linked to above, has made animal welfare take a back seat to economic considerations.

infamouspoo Mon 06-May-13 11:50:10

I thought I sorted the religious isue yesterday by Zeusifying all the animals?

I'm sure many abattoirs could be improved and we should work on that until it is as fast and painless as possible. But if we accept that everyone must eat halal then we can never improve it. Not now and not ever. In a thousand years we must still do it the same way.

crescentmoon Mon 06-May-13 12:01:01

what should be the 21st century way then of killing animals backonly. what are your thoughts?

ljny Mon 06-May-13 12:09:05

I have yet to see anyone complain about Halal and Kosher slaughter, when they are the same bloody thing.

Gruffalo, I'm Jewish. I'm not very religious, I certainly don't keep kosher. But I have heard this complaint.

Occasionally people, hearing my religion/background, find it necessary to tell me how they abhor kosher meat.

It comes out of nowhere and it's uncomfortable.

whatamardarse Mon 06-May-13 12:10:44

Killing is killing no matter how you dress it up.

crescentmoon I'm not a vet. I'm pretty sure that any animal can be killed really fast by say a bolt gun. Perhaps we will find a better method still. The point is that any method that takes longer is therefore unnecessary cruelty. Why would anyone want to kill an animal slower?

What are your thoughts?

btw many Muslims will object to animals being stunned at all on the grounds that it isn't proper halal. If we're saying it has to be acceptable to all Muslims then we must not do anything to them before we start to cut.

Rulesgirl Mon 06-May-13 12:46:01

Wow.....I'm so glad that things like that are not an issue where I live.

Fluer Mon 06-May-13 13:31:27

The Australian Prime Minister got it right in her speech ! This country has gone to the bloody dogs and its way too late to do anything about it.

crescentmoon Mon 06-May-13 13:40:00

im not even on this thread about halal meat in schools. im on because halal slaughter has been often described as against animal welfare or ethical concerns and i wanted to ask what people thought halal constituted, what they thought normal slaughter constituted, and what they considered humane or cruel methods of killing animals.

addressing the issue of stunning - people who say they cant eat halal because its not stunned. well, the majority of muslims take stunning of animals to be halal and that is reflected in the fact 90% of UK halal meat is stunned. this is not an issue of minority opinions, big religious bodies across the muslim world have also stated stunning is compatible with halal...

secondly that 'oh i dont agree with cutting an animal through its neck to kill it and leaving the blood to bleed out'. well actually, thats the practise across all UK abbatoirs for meat and poultry. perhaps many people are unaware how meat, all meat, comes to be slaughtered and end up on their plate.

what are good ethics in killing animals for food once people have decided that its ok to eat animals? you said backonly that an animal could be killed really fast by a bolt gun. by that you mean captive bolt gun? to have the biggest chance of success would require such guns to be penetrating, so that brain matter can be destroyed. but then destroying brain matter by force also raises chances that it enters the blood stream and penetrative bolt stunners were banned in the UK because this factor raised risks of BSE contamination.

as for stunning or killing by electrical current. on humans electrical stimulation is used as torture in parts of the world - taser guns on humans cause incapacitation but also extreme pain even when it is an extremely high voltage. it causes pain why should it be less on other mammals? as for killing by electricity: in the USA the widespread use of elecric chair for capital punishment has been phased out because it was seen as a 'cruel and unusual punishment' because some humans because of physiology did not die after the first shock requiring more. what then about heavier larger mammals? there have also been cases of electrocution going wrong, people not dying quickly, being set on fire - imagine having to kill 30 million cows sheep pigs etc a year and meeting the stringent conditions that death by electrocution would require and having to check each animal after hte first/ second/ third shock to make sure it is dead. compare the voltage for a 200 pound human being with a 1000 pound cow. to me it would be very resource and labour intensive for a cruel method of slaughter anyway. would it also not change the taste of the meat? not sure.

ok chickens are stunned, some killed, by electric waterbath - i consider that very cruel - some do not even go through cardiac arrest so survive till the next stage where they are boiled in hot water to get rid of their feathers. but hey - it doesnt involve blood does making it less bloody make it less cruel?

gassing pigs in the UK. iv got no love for the animals but would we consider gassing humans to kill them as a humane death? why intelligent animals like pigs - and how long does gassing take compared to the 'swift sharp cut through the neck'?

you can use lethal injection or a pill to kill but that would change the taste of the meat and also render it uncommsummable - so that might be pain free but useless for us and a waste of life for the animal.

i dont know about shooting through the head but in the UK it is not allowed by law perhaps because of the same danger of brain matter passing into the blood stream and on into other tissues in the body and the increase in risks of BSE?

crescentmoon Mon 06-May-13 13:42:47

(and i dont even eat meat anymore!)

nailak Mon 06-May-13 14:04:46

mrsjay and sal you would be wrong, in my dds school majority would be Muslim.

Rulesgirl Mon 06-May-13 14:09:42

I to agree with what you have said crescent. At the end of the day killing animals is just that.....killing animals. No matter how you dress it up or make yourself feel better about it. No matter what religion you are or what blessing you give it.....its still an animal being killed. People happily drink milk knowing that it is actually meant for a baby calf not a human and calves are removed from their mother at birth so that humans can have their milk. We don't need milk. But I digress....that is another story. But all this talk about halal or kosher or whatever. Its still the same meat without the fancy name. What has this country come to.

infamouspoo Mon 06-May-13 14:53:37

seems to me likes there's 2 issues.
The religious aspect. Some people object to someone muttering some religious words over an animal before its killed. How do you know someone hasnt blessed a field of sheep? Druids driving about dedicating them to the moon or something?
The Humane aspect. Is there a truly humane way to kill a large animal? I'd say not. Killing is killing. You want meat, it has to die and there will be some suffering. You want lots of meat and you get appalling suffering. Even the RSPCA doesnt think stunning is cruelty free.

salsmum Mon 06-May-13 15:42:29

When Halal cattle are slaughtered it is said that they have to hear a certain passage from the Koran whilst 'bleeding out' they can only do this whilst conscious. I personally would not eat halal or Kosher meat. My late hubbs was a butcher and as part of his training had to attend an abattoir
to see how different animals are slaughtered.... he had a very strong stomach but after seeing animals slaughtered by having their throats cut for kosher/halal meat, cows being turned upside down in a restraining cage before being 'bled out' he said it was the most cruel and sickening sight he's EVER seen...I would not touch halal/kosher meat....maybe if the children concerned are old enough they should know the facts themselves and then THEY can choose what the eat.

crescentmoon Mon 06-May-13 15:47:16

Tbh Ive never read that description of halal but most definitely of non halal meat- cows being held up by one leg and their necks cut or subjected to 'sticking' and then bled out that way is standard across abattoirs across the Uk according to the RSPCA. (Again I refer to the RSPCA page on UK slaughter methods). How did your husband carry it out then?

salsmum Mon 06-May-13 15:51:48

cresentmoon, my husband did not slaughter animals, he worked for a large,well known supermarket as a meat manager but as part of his training it was compulsory that he went to a slaughterhouse to witness different types of slaughter.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 16:24:08


You are correct that is the standard way of killing none halal meat.

I don't see how we can dismiss the Muslims who object to stunning just because they are a minority. The Muslims who want halal are also a minority in the country. Should we dismiss them too?

If religion trumps everything else then everyone's religion must. We must make a list of all beliefs and ensure that everything we do fits in with all of them. This is going to be tricky because some contradict each other. Like the meat eating Sikhs who can't eat halal.

crescentmoon just saw your comment to me. I don't know a better way, but we should be using the best one we have available and keep looking for better ways as time goes by.

SlowlorisIncognito Mon 06-May-13 20:15:09

I don't think stunning is always the ethical way, and if people were more aware of how farm animals were produced or how they were transported the last minutes of an animal's life would be the least of their concerns.

I have seen horses killed (for the purposes of euthanasia) by both bolt gun and lethal injection, both of these seemed relatively peaceful ways to go, given the circumstances, and the animals were not stunned beforehand. However, both these meathods can cause suffering if they go wrong, so I wouldn't necessarily say they were more humane.

Even organic meat may have to travel a long way to slaughter, usually in poor conditions. A lecturer I know who studies this sort of thing found the average distance travelled by sheep to slaughter was 700 miles, which is a lot more suffering- heat related, fighting due to confined space, injuries due to difficulties balancing, poor ventialation and so on, than having their throat slit. Animals regularly die in transit due to such problems.

If you're going to eat meat- espescially the cheap meat in school dinners, you can't claim to care about animal welfare when it comes to the slaughter house. I think if most people on this thread saw how non-halal meat was slaughtered or even produced, they would think again about eating meat at all- I know I did.

For the record though, I do think the school should provide a choice if some people are uncomfortable with eating halal meat for religious reasons.

Chipstick10 Mon 06-May-13 20:43:34

Ita an outrage that we have to eat halal meat.

But you don't have to eat it.

Pixel Tue 07-May-13 00:01:25

We do if we want to eat meat because we aren't being told if it's halal or not, so unless we turn veggie we are being made to eat it by stealth and lies. I can't understand how people think this is ok. I now can't buy a takeaway meal for my family because I've been told it's probably halal, so that's our options limited in favour of someone's else's supposedly more important beliefs. A poster suggested that it was ok for non-muslim kids to eat Halal because they won't know! Would it be ok to tell the muslim kids that the meat is halal even if it's not? After all they won't know either will they. But apparently that's not the same hmm.

Jinsei Tue 07-May-13 00:27:05

There's so much false outrage on this thread - islamophobia dressed up as concern about animal welfare. hmm

I have seen how halal meat is killed, and it turned my stomach. Awful. However, it was seeing how normal meat is produced that made me decide not to eat it any more. Very, very distressing. sad

I accept entirely that some people do have valid and genuine concerns, and that's absolutely fair enough if they are very careful only to eat meat that is ethically sourced. But some of the comments on here are ludicrous. I simply don't believe that anyone who would buy meat from a bloody takeaway is that bothered about the rights of the animals in their burgers. hmm

If you genuinely care about the welfare of the animals that you're eating, then you will take care to source your meat from a reliable ethical supplier, and then there won't be any danger of you eating halal meat against your wishes. If, however, you buy your meat without researching its source, then you clearly aren't that bothered about animal welfare after all, and I can only presume that you might have another agenda going on with regard to the halal issue.

nailak Tue 07-May-13 00:29:51

pixel with the take aways, that is a business decision, nothing to do with religion, KFC, Nando's etc provide halal meat as Business decision.

Meat is meat. If you are willing it eat it whether its blessed or not shouldn't matter as it has been killed which isn't nice for the animal anyway.

That cow would rather be chilling in a field and sitting in the rain then be a steak on someone's plate so either way its not a happy ending.

I eat meat. I will eat from take aways even if says halal and I eat non halal meat. I have no religious beliefs.

If you are already allowing your child to eat the cheap, intensively farmed, worse life imaginable horrendously treated meat at school then there's no point in even worrying if its halal or not. That animal
Had a shit life and a shit death.

Those suggesting the Muslim kids go veggi or take a packed lunch, well u shouldn't suggest alternatives that u yourself wouldn't be willing to take. That just makes you sound like you view these children as second rate citizens. It's a vege meal, what's the problem??? It's perfectly fine.

Those who say their kids wouldn't eat the vege option? Well if some lump of mystery meat is the only edible part of the meal then why on earth have you not complained? Because meat and vege meals served at school should be of equal standard!

And more importantly they are at school for their education. The fact that you are able to get them fed a hot meal while they are there makes you very lucky. You are also bloody lucky if they are any good.Given that many aren't able to provide that. Plenty of schools have packed lunches only. And plenty of schools have poor quality food.

plinkyplonks Tue 07-May-13 07:19:20

Family is muslim, but very strongly disagree with Halal meat. Animals often slaughtered in absolutely appalling conditions, even worse than they are for non Halal meat. I'd be voting no frankly. They should do what my dad does, eat veggie when eating out.

HoppinMad Tue 07-May-13 09:51:42

I am guessing you have witnessed the slaughter with your very own eyes then plinky? I only ask because I have read of a few posters on here who having actually been to an abattoir say different (their comments kinda contradict what you are saying).
Dont have time to go through the 17 pages to prove my point

bubblesinthesky Tue 07-May-13 09:59:38

I would vote against it because DD has sikh friends who although they eat meat are not allowed to eat halal. If there are any sikhs at the school and they introduce halal they are being discriminated against just as much as muslims who won't eat halal.

Very dificult the only answer is what you suggest in the OP

plinkyplonks Tue 07-May-13 10:11:23

HoppinMad I did read the previous 17 pages and the OP's intro, and after all that well I'm kinda still going to have to disagree with them because I have seen animals slaughtered the 'halal' way and non Halal way indeed with my 'very own eyes'. And although there is no doubt that the majority of mass meat production is in itself morally questionable, in case of Halal it's even more disgusting and cruel.

It's not just the method of killing the animal I disagree with (slitting the animals throat), I know people who run 'Halal' shops where meat is bought from dubious sources and kept in unhygienic conditions sad I won't use my money to support it, but it's individual moral / financial decision and I don't expect anyone else to agree with me.

fromparistoberlin Tue 07-May-13 10:55:37

Halal or the usul way that they kills them, its always going to pretty shit isnt it? I am just not sure 17 pages in if Halal is any worse, or better in how they kill them to be honest

like I said my main issue is around having a majority religious view potentially imposed in an essentially non religious school

I think its a hot potato! lovely vege non religious potato

however I shall write, and lets hope they can agree a compromise

I would rather go 100% vege to be honest

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 07-May-13 11:03:10

Do keep us updated OP smile

thermalsinapril Tue 07-May-13 11:16:34

I would never eat Halal meat, because 20 per cent of the time, the animal won't have been unconscious when its throat was slit. This means that on one day of every 5-day school week, that's what will be on the school dinner menu - meat that was prepared in this cruel way.

ATJabberwocky Tue 07-May-13 11:24:58

I view Halal as marginally more cruel than 'normal', I do think the decision should reflect the pupil's needs, what about the Jewish or Sikh children?

Also, if pork is being prepared in the same kitchen doesn't this undermine the Halal meat being used?

infamouspoo Tue 07-May-13 11:52:39

'like I said my main issue is around having a majority religious view potentially imposed in an essentially non religious school'

Cos that doesnt happen with Christianity. Oh wait....

fromparistoberlin Tue 07-May-13 13:30:14

I chose to not attend a CofE school for that very reason infamouspoo
and I am christian!

no need to throw that one at me .... hmm

Moominsarehippos Tue 07-May-13 14:32:36

So the school is non-dom? So there shouldn't be any religious concessions then.

I guess that parents choose to send their children becasue is is not religious or because its not christian, or because its a good/better school. Do the kids ever pray (before meals, at school services or ceremonies)? If I was a very religious type, I'd go for a faith school, failing that a non-dom and expect children to all eat the same, wear the same uniform, attend the same lessons, etc.

I suppose people are concerned about the 'thin end of the wedge' - will other groups (not neccesarily religous) also ask for changes in the way the school operates? Will parents ask for female teachers to cover their legs, button up their blouses and cover their hair? Will they ask for segregated casses of boys and girls?

Where I grew up it was Catholic schools and Protestant schools. It was shit. We didn't all come out good christians, just suspicious and ignorant of the 'other lot'. This is why I don't approve of faith schools.

What are we teaching our kids - who do we obey? The Queen, the Country, God, Our God not Yours?

ophelia275 Tue 07-May-13 14:35:20

I think that the way the meat is prepared is not really an issue because at the end of the day, if you are a meat eater you are aware that you are eating something that has been killed and there isn't really a "nice" way to kill an animal, they all die at the end of the day and most of them are killed in a conveyor belt system of some sort. Therefore, although there may be a slight difference in the amount of pain the animal goes through (which I am not convinced about), I think it is a bit rich of any meat eater to be high and mighty about not eating halal or kosher meat because of the way the animal has been killed when ALL meat means that an animal has been killed and will be in some element of pain.

However, I don't think it would be fair to the non-Muslim children if it means they can no longer eat things like pork or bacon and I wonder why one religious preference trumps another (for example Sikh childrens dietary needs or Jewish childrens dietary needs, both of whom would not be able to eat halal meat if they are religious). I think it would perhaps be better to maintain the status quo and have those families, whether they are Muslims or vegetarians (or any groups that require a special diet) to bring in a packed lunch rather than expecting everyone else to adapt around them. For example, presumably at the moment, any orthodox Jewish children would be required to bring in a packed lunch box if they want to keep kosher as they wouldn't be able to eat food cooked in the main canteen that has non-kosher utensils/ingredients.

Peachy Tue 07-May-13 14:42:24

Our school ( a CofW) manages to provide Halal, Non Halal (the majority) Veggie, and a further option (jacket potato / salad). We are a city with a decent sized Muslim population, and it has never been an issue. How bizarre it should become so for your LEA.. indeed, my son's ((admittedly small) village school manages to turn out a dairy free option as well each day just for him.

Peachy Tue 07-May-13 14:44:36

(and whilst I'd love a secular school as Moomin says, it's simply not available to us as a catchment school and the other one in our small town is over subscribed in it's own catchment, let alone taking out of area applications! I am a Christian, but a minor branch and I believe in a secular educational system and Government)

infamouspoo Tue 07-May-13 16:32:20

My kids school is non-dom/secular yet they have assemblies, sing hymns, do Easter/Christmas. You have Christianity coming out of your ears. I find it very intrusive.
I'm all for a secular education and thats before we get to the dining room!

If you genuinely care about the welfare of the animals that you're eating, then you will take care to source your meat from a reliable ethical supplier, and then there won't be any danger of you eating halal meat against your wishes.

Someone's obviously not been paying attention.

Also I see people saying that we have no right to care what meat we eat but that muslims etc do have a right to care. Can't the posters taking that position see how hypocritical that is?

The other argument I take issue with is that because animals are treated poorly it's ok for them to be treated worse to please god.

Try saying it out loud in the privacy of your own homes and listen to what you are saying.

Jinsei Tue 07-May-13 23:26:38

I know exactly what I'm saying thanks, don't need to say it out loud.

Everyone has a right to care what meat they eat, regardless of their religion. However, I think it's absurd to argue against halal meat on the grounds of animal welfare if you're not equally concerned about the welfare of animals slaughtered in a non-halal way. Have you ever seen what a "normal" abattoir is like?

If you are Muslim, then it's likely that you'll want to buy halal meat. If you're Jewish, you'll probably want kosher meat. If you care about animal welfare, you will probably buy your meat from a known ethical supplier, or else you just won't eat it. I can't see why anyone who did care about animal welfare would buy any old cheap meat from s takeaway chain, whether that was halal or not.

infamouspoo Wed 08-May-13 11:10:38

I think with all the horse meat found in school dinners there's a lot more to worry about. I bet those horses werent treated very ethically.

thermalsinapril Wed 08-May-13 11:18:05

Spot on "BackOnlyBriefly*.

yearoftherat Wed 08-May-13 11:49:27

I would definitely vote against it because I don't like having my life run by a few people who try to change systems to suit themselves. It's good to have a vote though as the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

You probably won't believe this but at my school (not in the UK), a european international school a number of parents from a small minority lobbied the Principal to ban dating in the 6th form as it is against their religion.

I kid you not.

crescentmoon Wed 08-May-13 12:03:01

"The other argument I take issue with is that because animals are treated poorly it's ok for them to be treated worse to please god"

why treated worse? i asked you before backonly, iv asked others repeatedly as well not just you, is there a better way to slaughter an animal than cutting through its neck with a sharp knife to make death happen within a few seconds?

this is not just the halal method this is the widespread method across all UK abbatoirs. whether its for organic meat or non organic meat!

the issue is about slaughter not about how the animal lived - whether a cow was kept indoors all year round or allowed to roam freely over a large farm and eat grass instead of feed - both cows are still slaughtered the same way.

do you think electrocution is better?


shooting it through the head?

boiling it alive?

wringing its neck?

what are the criteria? should death for the animal be fast? or bloodless? or efficient? does it matter the condition of the blade IE sharp or blunt?

remember the UK consumes 900 million poultry a year, 30 million cows, sheep and pigs. what if money and time were no object - how would we slaughter those animals then?

Jinsei, it's not a matter of choosing where to get your meat from since in many cases there is no choice. In schools for example. That's kinda what we were talking about.

If I had my way schools would have to get meat from ethical suppliers right now, but we never will be able to if we have to appease religious groups.

crescentmoon You asked and I answered.

If we have agreed that religious sensibilities trump everything else then we must have all meat killed the proper halal way. That means not stunning it at all. Which is clearly less humane.

Some Muslims have decided that stunning isn't a deal breaker and some here are suggesting ignoring those muslims who want it done as Allah told them. If you'd going to put religion first then I don't see how you can morally dismiss the requirements of the more devout Muslims.

In any case we have established that some religious people are forbidden to eat halal meat. So if we say that we must respect religion that puts us in an impossible position. You have to choose to ignore one religion or the other. Which one? Shall we have a vote now?

In addition to this as I said before an agreement that religion must decide means that we cannot look for even more humane ways. Next year - or in a thousand years - we may find a method that's really good, but we will not be allowed to use it because Islam doesn't like it.

crescentmoon Wed 08-May-13 15:05:59

so back to stunning

"Some Muslims have decided that stunning isn't a deal breaker"

the MAJORITY of muslims, not just in the UK, but in many countries in the Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia, consider stunning as compatible with halal.

to repeat, though iv said it over and over that if one's objection to halal meat is stunning then the majority of UK halal meat - 9 times out of 10 - is stunned.

"then I don't see how you can morally dismiss the requirements of the more devout Muslims."

not just here because its the UK, muslims eat stunned meat even in fundamentalist saudi arabia too (a big market for New Zealand meat where it is well known that it is stunned) and many other religious bodies have issued notices explaining the permissibility of stunning.

when i say permissibility that means, that it is not a requirement of halal slaughter but if stunning is involved then it the meat is still halal.

(link, fatwas on stunning)

"If I had my way schools would have to get meat from ethical suppliers right now, but we never will be able to if we have to appease religious groups. "

what do you mean ethical suppliers? some here think 'oh halal cant be organic' but just as with the rest of the population organic halal meat is very expensive. but its there. i mentioned Abraham natural produce an organic halal farm in Somerset. there is another organic halal farm in Oxford that sells halal meat. both farms stun their animals and provide organic halal meat to UK muslims. but its very expensive - the same reason why normal organic meat is not sold in schools.

(iv volunteered there and taken my children there too!)

but backonly - whether organic or not those animals are all still slaughtered the same way. and thats what i keep going back to and asking.

the UK uses the sticking method not because of Kosher or halal religious requirements but that it is found to be the best way. halal method is close to sticking except with the prayer. and its not mechanised it involves a human being checking the status of each animal not just running a machine blade through a line of animals strung up and hoisted together.

as for Sikhs yes if they are forbidden to - and its not just halal meat but meat blessed by any other religion - then it is unjust to force them to eat halal. but the school of the OP are asking parents to decide, and the OP herself will write her own objections in as well as voting.

crescentmoon Wed 08-May-13 15:09:36

and they already use other methods - chickens are gassed, or stunned unconscious and then boiled alive. pigs are also gassed. do you think those new modern methods are better? to me even 'how sharp is the blade' is an issue let alone to talk of actual methods.

Forget the 'ethical suppliers'. That's a red herring really. Mostly about me not being entitled to an opinion because I don't use ethical suppliers anyway.

the MAJORITY of muslims, not just in the UK, but in many countries in the Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia, consider stunning as compatible with halal. and the rest don't matter?

You keep saying the 'majority' as though that means something. We're talking about appeasing those who want hallal who are not the majority either so why dismiss the muslims who consider stunned meat to be haram just because they are outnumbered?

It's no good trying to deny that they exist either. Crescent are you a muslim? if so is this like the Roman Catholics versus Protestants thing?

My point then is that if you say we must do what people's religion requires then we must kill animals without even stunning them first. While still awake.

I don't know the best way to kill them, but I doubt that cutting them while still conscious is it. So we're going to have to ignore the beliefs of some people aren't we. In fact we already.

I want an ongoing search for better methods and as we find them I want them used. This agreement would mean the method could never be changed.

as for Sikhs yes if they are forbidden to - and its not just halal meat but meat blessed by any other religion - then it is unjust to force them to eat halal. but the school of the OP are asking parents to decide, and the OP herself will write her own objections in as well as voting.

So if it is decided to go all hallal then any Sikh children can just bugger off back where they came from?

Is this a state school? not sure it was ever made clear.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Fri 10-May-13 10:53:09

This thread is working wonders for me in reinforcing my decision to not eat meat. Keep up the good work MNers.

Blu Fri 10-May-13 11:03:09

I think by setting up a vote like this the school are handling it very badly.

Most schools consider catering to religious sensibilities is important to equal opportunities, inclusion, diversity and social cohesion.

And yes, catering companies in London should be able to offer more than 'all or nothing'.

Fish dishes / veggie / halal chicken / non halal lasagne, for e.g.

I would give feedback on the bad consultation process.

But for myself, I think mass produced meat animal welfare is already so bad that demurring over stunned halal lamb or chicken is a bit hair splitting.

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 11:05:34

How odd, ds's school has just started using Halal meat but only for those that want it and it's kept in a separate fridge apparently.

ubik Fri 10-May-13 11:10:36

All our school/nursery meat is halal.

Sausages are veggie.

No one seems to mind.

fromparistoberlin Sun 12-May-13 08:00:56

YES its a state school

haved written, no answer back! we shall see eh

MrsRickyMartin Sun 12-May-13 12:17:55

Halal, kosher, 'regular' way of killing animals, they are all the same to me, you end up with a dead animal.

Disclaimer: I married into a vegeterian family.

edam Sun 12-May-13 12:30:46

I agree with blu, very divisive way to handle it. I am veggie, ds is not. I would object to the only meat option being halal on animal welfare grounds- I don't see why one belief, religious, trumps equally firm beliefs against cruelly.

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