Sunday, March 05, 2006

where is the beef?

When I first became Muslim, I gave up eating pork. At the same time, I was generally reading and thinking more critically about what kinds of food I put in my mouth and what that meant politically and healthwise. After a while, as I learned a little more about Islamic laws, I stopped eating supermarket meat(non-fish, non-zabiha) as well. And quickly thereafter I decided it would be simpler to tell people "I am a vegetarian" and avoid meat altogether and I continued this way for years. At the moment, my eating habits aren't really any different but technically I'm not sure I would call myself vegetarian. In principle, I'm just sticking to a halal diet. But I definitely don't go out of my way to eat halal meat (even though there is a Muslim grocery store an easy walk from my house).

I'm not sure why I'm saying any of this except it seemed a good introduction to justify why I'm including links to:

The Meatrix (a site which parodies the Matrix in order to criticize factory farming) and the McDonalds Video Game (A "simple" Sim-city type game where you get to run McDonalds and are encouraged to do all sorts of shady and unethical things just to stay in business).

I'm not the kind of extremist who goes around splashing red paint on fur coats, or breaks into labs to free the animals from the experiments. I'm not even taking the position that "Meat is Murder", after all qurbani is a part of Islam too.

See also:
Crescent Life: Who Says Muslims Can't be Vegetarian?
Elightenment: Islamic Vegetarians Fight the System
Grenada: sean muttaqi, vegan reich and the hardline movement


Umar Lee said...

The meat is murder crowd is a symbol of a middle to upper class white kids movement that cares more about animals than people. having said that we should eb concerened about the unhealhty foods we eat but not take it to the extreme in my opinion

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Salaams, yes, totally. The far end of the environmentalist / animal rights movement are kind of disturbing that way. putting nails in logs in such a way that loggers get hurt if they cut them down... it's bizzare.

sume said...

The halal meat store is almost 30 minutes away and outrageously expensive. The quality of the meat is also edible at best, unrecognizable at its worst. I wouldn't consider myself a vegetarian either, but with all the other things combined with food safety concerns, we've been eating meat less and less. I don't have issues with killing my dinner. I've done it before with my own hands. Sorry, I was really hungry the only halal meat around was running on two legs in my dad's chicken yard.

The longest I've ever gone without meat is two months. It really didn't bother me all that much. Of course I say that now. The first thing I did when we did finally buy meat was barbecue. I think moderation, as always is the key.

Anonymous said...

This is some good reading here. I'm not a Muslim, but my wife and I have been very concerned about the corporate factory dairy and meat industry for several years now. We've given up eating conventional meat and dairy and try and buy as local and as organic as we can. I wouldn't consider myself an extremist by any means, but at the same time I think there are some legitimate concerns about food safety, environmental sustainability, and the inhumaine animal practices that go on within the factory farming environment. I'm not against eating meat mind you, but I just think there's a responsible and irresponsible way to do it. My wife and I love "The Meatrix". They hit the nail right on the head I think.