Halal Meat in Australia – What’s the big deal?

There has been a lot of talk in Australia for a while now about Halal Certified meat. I for one have paid little to no attention to it. I was at the pub last Sunday afternoon and some hick was in there wearing a blatantly racist shirt, something something, Muslim, Halal… So, i decided that i would take a look into the ‘issue’ of Halal Certification in Australia.

To be honest, i didn’t really know what Halal was/is. So i decided to start with a definition. What makes meat Halal meat?

Halal
Every religion has its own characteristics and rules. Many faiths also have their own dietary or consumables restrictions. The word Halal is derived from the Arabic language and means ‘acceptable’ or ‘permissible’, relating to the source of the produce or ingredients, the cleanliness of premises, preparation methods and the final product. Conversely, non-Halal (Haram) means non-permissible or unacceptable. “Halal” is similar to the concept of “kosher” food requirements under Jewish dietary law, and refers to food, drink and other consumables that Muslims consume as part of Islamic dietary requirements.This does not affect the quality, nature, or taste of the product. Moreover, the Halal products must meet the relevant standards for food safety, quality, and nutrition.

To that end, my understanding is the meat is prepared in a particular way to suit the religious requirements of those who choose to follow that faith. So, what is the problem with that?

Idiots (Straya Maaatttteeeeeee)
This post was prompted by these idiots, the bogans that for some reason now think Halal Certified meat in Australia is funding ‘terror’ organisations. Yeh, right….. Because that would make total sense. Some people have even been calling for supermarket chains to remove Halal meat from their product lines.

Here are a couple of quotes from some cranky consumers:

“I do not wish to support any brand that pays an Islamic religious tax to have their product halal certified. Less than 2% of this population is Muslim and I do not want to fund special religious rituals or political campaigns to increase the presence of Sharia Law in Australia.”

“I also appreciate that Woolworths Homebrand and Select labels are NOT halal certified. Since Muslims represent less than 2% of the Australian population it would be unreasonable to expect consumers to fund unnecessary and sometimes cruel religious rituals for certain products.”

There are a few things i see wrong with these statements, other than the blatantly obvious.

1. If you don’t want to ‘support’ Halal, then simply, don’t buy it. In case you forgot, you have freedom in Australia to make that choice…..
2. Islamic religious tax…? Umm ok, i fail to see how there is an additional ‘tax’ for these products. Did these people forget that most, if not all supermarkets charge extra for things like ‘organic’, ‘vegan’, ‘free range’ products, just to name a few. Are these products subject to a ‘hipster tax’, if so, i refuse to pay it. I hate hipsters.
3. Halal supports Sharia Law. This i totally don’t get. It is meat, it supports nothing more than iron and protein in your diet. Nothing more, nothing less. What are these people scared of, considering Islamic peoples’ apparently make up 2% of the Australian population. I would say it is a safe bet that Sharia Law is not going to be on the top of the list for the next few federal elections guys….

Animal Cruelty
Ok, this is a little close to my heart, i love animals. I was not actually sure how the killing process differed from normal practice. Here is what i have found.

The main concern with halal slaughter is whether or not pre-slaughter stunning is used. In Australia, the national standard for meat production requires that all animals must be effectively stunned (unconscious) prior to slaughter. The vast majority of halal slaughter in Australia complies with this standard, that is, all animals are stunned prior to slaughter. The only difference is that a reversible stunning method is used, while conventional humane slaughter may use an irreversible stunning method. The time to regain consciousness following a reversible stun may vary depending on the intensity of the stun. At Australian abattoirs, the aim is to ensure that reversible stunning is done in a way that depth of unconsciousness is sufficient to allow for the animal to bleed out and die before there is a chance of regaining consciousness.

Halal slaughter in overseas abattoirs often does not include stunning – this is the key difference between halal slaughter in Australia and many other countries. Although reversible stunning is far better from an animal welfare perspective than no stunning at all, irreversible stunning is more effective in inducing unconsciousness than reversible stunning and is therefore the preferred method.

Not so bad.

Numbers
Here are some numbers surrounding production and export growth for the Halal market in Australia.

Airfreight

I am no economist, but it would appear to be a booming industry. Why stop it? It is giving people jobs, and it is putting money in the pockets of the farmers in our country. All good with me.

Here are the census details surrounding religious persuasion in Australia.

religion

Roy Morgan Research show that the number of Aussies aged 14+ who agree with the statement, ‘The food I eat is all, or almost all, vegetarian’ has grown from 1,608,000 in 2009 to 1,935,000 (or 10% of the population) as of June 2013.

My Conclusion
Stop being a bunch of racist jerks. Being an accepting, multicultural society is what makes Australia a great country. I have no problem with Halal, i probably won’t be spending the extra $3 a week to eat it, but that is my choice. I also won’t be turning vegetarian anytime soon. But i will say, Halal should stay, if it goes, so should all of the other choices we have grown accustomed to. It is people’s right to choose freely, not your right to choose for them.

Guess what, you may have forgotten, the biggest Islamic State by population is our closest neighbour. Indonesia, a great country. I have been many times, I am not worried about terrorists there. The only worry i have with the meat there is how long it has been left in the sun prior to being put on my plate.

Get over it.

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11 comments

  1. Well done! An irrational fear of Sharia Law seems to be overtaking a number of countries where it really just has no chance of ever happening. But over Halal meat?? Bigots really are stupid no matter which country they live in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Irrational fear, something/someone TO fear is what keeps the majority of people in line and submissive to the ideas of the ruling elite. As far as bigots go, i don’t think they are stupid as such, but i do believe that there is no place for ignorance in this day and age.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I often buy Halal chicken, sometimes lamb too. I don’t find it more expensive but I think it tastes better, more tender. Maybe it is just where I buy it from, who knows. Makes great chicken tikka. If it’s good enough to export it is good enough to eat locally. I welcome any food that taste great.

    Like

  3. What a great post! I think it is great that people take their time to look into things they don’t know in order to understand and then decide what they think about the subject. I’ve done research on things like this as well, also about the Halal meat, as we had a favorite restaurant and the owner once mentioned that they use Halal meat their. So I wanted to know what this meant. Really great post! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words. I like doing my research before i make my choice. I have ignored it for quite a while now because it really has no impact on me, but the debate/s and commentary floating around right now are starting to get to me. Had to put my two cents in. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. You’re right, it is a sad truth that racism is alive and well here. I do my best to correct it where i can, not much more you can do. I wouldn’t migrate back here either, i am almost at a point where we might seriously consider leaving

      Like

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