hema’s sphere

Archive for January, 2008

halal meat

Posted by hema on January 27, 2008

i’ve had a number of enquires recently regarding what halal meat is exactly, and was wondering what all the fuss was suddenly about. a quick internet search revealed an alarming number of articles protesting against halal meat. it didn’t make sense to me at first. surely halal meat doesn’t concern anyone but Muslims ie the people who are eating it?

but with increasing subway chains opting for the halal option, and univeristies and suprmarkets considering  doing the same thing, more and more people are eating halal food without actually knowing what it is.

in these situations, i always try and look at  from the “other” side. i can understand the fear that this would cause if the meat you’re used to eating everyday suddenly has a foreign sounding word in front of it. Plus,  it’s associated with the Muslims, which is always worrying these days (slaughtering animals, slaughtering people..)  slaughter does sound more  horrific then simply stunning them. all that blood everywhere…

so, the reason people don’t want to eat halal meat is based on ethics? ie the halal method is inhumane. i think such fears can be quashed by people willing to listen and who are genuinely worried about animal welfare. if not, it just seems the problem goes beyond the halal meat debate and is just fear of anything Muslim.

slaughtering the animal, as i understand it,  is done by one sharp clean cut. if done correctly, the animal does not suffer as one clean cut leads to blood loss from the head. the blood is then free to flow from the body, making it more hygienic to eat. although it might look horrific, letting the blood drain isn’t painful, just like donating blood isn’t.

opponents of this argument believe that stunning the animal is more humane and more modern. the technology wasn’t available in the old days, and this is yet another example of how religion is failing to keep up with the times.

i don’t know much about stunning, maybe it doesn’t lead to the animal suffering more than necessary (IF it’s done correctly – what if the voltage is too high or not high enough), but the main concern seems to be to produce a lot of meat quickly, rather than the animal’s welfare.

if halal butchering is done correctly, there should be no other animals present to witness the suffering, and the animal should be given something to eat just before the event takes place. care should be taken to ensure the animal is comfortable at all times, and a prayer is said just before the act is carried out.

at the end of the day, Muslims are obligated to follow laws for making food halal.  and that’s why we do it, simple as. i just have trust and faith that as a humane religion, suffering to the animal will be kept to a minimum and my research has only confirmed this.

like i said, i can understand where the fear of something unknown would come from. i can definitely understand why vegetarians and animal right activists would be concerned, and i think we just need to be patient and encourage people to do their own research instead of following the hype.  it’s just amusing that the same people who went to the effort to protest against this  probably went home on the same day for a kebab or a curry at their local takeout…


Posted in islam | 32 Comments »

anyone for cake?

Posted by hema on January 21, 2008


My sister chocolate cake is my favourite thing in the whole world. i was going to put up the recipe but it’s too compicated, and i tried to make it but it didn’t look like that:(

if you’re super nice to her like i’m planning to  be, she might make it for you!

chocolate and cake is the best combination in the world. with coffee.

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Protected: teaching girls: why i would never..

Posted by hema on January 11, 2008

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how not to teach(2)

Posted by hema on January 8, 2008

1. i’m in red

students are in blue

classroom control?

Read the rest of this entry »

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new year, new me

Posted by hema on January 3, 2008

with just a few days left until the start of the Islamic new year, i thought now would be a good time to reflect on all  a couple of the new changes i’ve been making. 

first of all, there is the new tidier me! i have a new bedroom now, so i can start from scratch instead of not even wanting to touch the draws crammed full of so much stuff i can’t even open them(btw i didn’t spend any money in the sales. i realised i just had too much stuff as it is and should get rid of some of that first. i do need a new coat though. especially as it was snowing for a bit today, did anyone notice!). i’m also going to put everything away as soon as i get home instead of dumping it all on my bed, and then dumping it all on the floor when i go to bed:)

and i also tidied my desk at work, and one of the students said she was going to monitor it for me to make sure it doesn’t get so messy that files fall on my head(again). i will file handouts as soon as i’m done with them, and will not dump extra handouts on my desk after a lesson until there’s so much paper i have to go use someone else’s desk to do my marking.

next thing i need to do is make bread.  after  following my sister around the house for a few days, begging her to make these light fluffy rolls she makes, i decided to just take her recipe book and have a go myself. excpet yesterday’s were a bit hard. actually, they were like rocks. but my family being my family ate them anyway:) but i’m not one to give up. i’m going to keep trying. i think i left them in the oven a bit too long. let’s just hope i don’t give anyone a stomache ache!

oh and the rainbow colours are just because i have to go mark after this, and i’m trying to avoid working

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Protected: intercultural marriages

Posted by hema on January 1, 2008

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