Monday, April 6, 2009

Halal Meat: A Disturbing Lesson

WARNING: THIS POST IS GRUESOME!


M uslims eat meat, but much like the Jewish term "kosher," the meat that Muslims eat is supposed to be "halal." What makes meat halal? Well, there are several conditions required. First, the animal to be slaughtered must be healthy. The kill must be done in a humane way so that the animal's suffering is kept to a minumum. Muslims use the method of one single swift swipe with a razor sharp blade across the animal's neck which severs the windpipe, the jugular vein and the carotid artery. This way the animal's death is quick and least painful. Right before the stroke of the knife, a recitation from the Quran is said aloud. Finally, all the blood must be drained from the animal.


There are also some other minor requirements as well. These include that the animal must be fed normally and given water just prior to the slaughter. Other animals cannot view the kill. The knife blade must be extremely sharp and should be four times the width of the animal's neck. The animal should also be positioned facing Makkah.

I remember when I was a kid growing up in Arizona, we had some friends who lived on a ranch out of town. One weekend when I was about ten years old, we drove out to the ranch, and the group of us kids - about 10 of us - were told to stand over by the fence. A cow was led out before us by two ranchhands. One of them was carrying a rifle. They shot the cow in the head and hoisted it up by its back legs, hanging it upside down. Then they slit the cow's throat to drain all the blood out. Before our eyes, they skinned it and butchered it until all that was left was a large bloody puddle on the ground beneath. As horrified as I was, I felt that I couldn't move and I found it strangely interesting. It is something that I have never forgotten to this day.

My husband grew up in Saudi Arabia back in the 1950s, and it was pretty common back then for the families to kill the animals they were going to eat. I don't think they had much in the way of supermarkets in this country back in those days. So he remembers being exposed to this ritual from quite an early age, and it didn't traumatize him. The kill was always done in the Islamic halal way, and respect and thanks were shown to the animal which was about to become their next meal. Children were brought up with this as a normal part of their life. I don't think it had any ill effects on the kids - this was what needed to be done if they wanted to eat. Nowadays most Saudi families buy their meat at the supermarket or a meat market, already neatly packaged into different cuts of meat. Today, families usually only buy an animal to have it slaughtered for holidays or special occasions like weddings.

Recently a friend of mine, Manal, told me about an incident that happened at her ten-year-old son's Saudi school. A rabbit was brought into the classroom and the boys were allowed to play with the fluffy creature for a couple of hours or so. Then the teacher took the animal to demonstrate how an Islamic halal kill is performed. But when the demonstration was over, the animal was tossed into the garbage can! Manal's son was horrified. The event deeply disturbed him. He told his mom that he could understand if it was killed so someone could eat it, or even if the fur was going to be used for something. But to allow the kids to play with the cute little bunny, and then murder it and toss it into the garbage - what kind of senseless and disturbing lesson is this? Manal called the school to voice her objections and displeasure and was told that she was the only parent complaining about it! I find it hard to believe that other children weren't equally as distraught as Manal's son was and that no other parents made a fuss about it.

I don't know about customs around the world in regards to this subject, but I find what happened at this school to be reprehensible. This lesson makes a mockery of any compassion for life and dismisses the humane treatment of animals as a joke. What value is there in teaching children to kill animals like this?

115 comments:

  1. Animal cruelty is really hard for me to swallow. I had a difficult time when we lived in another country because in that culture, they hated cats. Cats were misunderstood and mistreated. It just made me sick! It's important to teach children from a young age that animals should be treated with respect.

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    1. Katherine AraissiOct 4, 2013, 1:36:00 PM

      Dear Rachel, I too live in a culture that is not animal friendly. They are all afraid of dogs and cats here. They don't hurt them but they don't care for them either. I was raised Christian with many animals as teachers/pets. This country I live in does not have the room to have single family homes so there is to place for animals to roam freely. Now that I am Muslim, I love animals even more because, I now know that we have a responsibility to care for the environment which includes animals too.

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  2. that is absolutely positively horrible what the teacher allowed with the rabbit. what was he/she thinking? my gosh. not something i would stand for and would be complaining loudly about.

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  3. The halal killing sounds very compassionate and humane. I just can't imagine a teacher killing an animal in front of children. WHAT are they trying to teach the children? They are appear to be desensitizing them to murder and cruelty. Yes, this is extremely distrubing!

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  4. Dear Susie,

    Thanks you for sharing this issue with us all.

    I am really feeling sorry for the rabbit as it was not appreciated for its meat. It should be consumated or processed after the slaughtering. I also found it very disturbing as a muslim and I believe that as a teacher, he/she should know better to treat the rabbit meat than tossing it into the garbage bin like that. Also it makes me wondering that such act should not be presented at school. Pictures or slides would do! Such a tactless act from a teacher!

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  5. That is sickening. I am a huge advocate for animal rights. I am not against ethical killing but such disrespect for another living thing as the teacher showed should be brought to the attention of the headmaster.

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  6. I have to agree that it makes no sense to have killed the rabbit after allowing the children to play with it. Then to waste the meat and fur is just as disgusting. Sad, sad story and just goes to that there are people like that in every culture.

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  7. Heavens! what is that world gotten to?!? There is always a proper place and time for everything- here is an improper teacher teaching a subject best left out of school!

    I would be demanding that teacher's resignation ASAP!

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  8. Wow...

    As somebody who is going to school to become a biology teacher, I have no idea what to say. To get kids to bond with an animal, show them how to kill it, and then just toss the animal away as if it were a newspaper or old leftovers or whatever...I cannot comprehend. Especially after your explanation of the halal method and the amount of respect and compassion shown towards the animal. The trauma-inducing killing within the classroom aside, what the teacher did could not be halal - killing just for the sake of killing, not using the animal for something afterwards! That shows no respect for the poor thing at all!

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  9. Oh that is sad... poor bunny! I remember seeing goats killed (for food of course) as a kid.. and being fascinated by it. It was just part of life. But food. Not tossing in trash. And worse to let them play with it first.

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  10. Hi Rachel - Another difficult thing here is that the religious rulers want to obliterate pigs from all textbooks, as if they don't exist. I don't get it.

    Hi Erin - The message that this teacher's actions sent is total disrespect and lack of compassion - it's disgusting.

    Hi Kay - Yes, halal killing is done the right way and is very compassinate. This teacher should be relieved of his duties.

    Hi Urang - I agree - Very tactless and inappropriate of the teacher.

    Hi Yoli - It just broke my heart when I first heard Manal tell me this story. So insensitive to the animal and the children as well...

    Hi Heather - I just don't understand the mentality of the teacher...

    Hi Shadjar - I totally agree!

    Hi Mel - You are right - what the teacher did is NOT halal. He was supposed to be demonstrating what halal is, but he missed a major component of the lesson.

    Hi MamaK - I know! I just can imagine how traumatized all the kids were - and if they weren't, there is something wrong...

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  11. what a horrible lesson to the children

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  12. So Bizarre and totally contradictory to the whole point of halal! What a nut!

    Also, now when I open your page, the music player covers half of the words in the column. Anyway to make it smaller or just not have it covering the words? Thanks!

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  13. This is definitely a sad case. I also question the age-appropriateness of this - a class full of 10-year olds?! Personally myself I wouldn't even do this in high school, but I would say that high school should be a minimum age to do something like this. I already posted about my feelings about how the animal was 'respected', so I don't think I need to say anything more there, but I think this should be something for older kids in the least.

    Tanya - what kind of browser are you using? I'm using Firefox and I'm not having a problem at all..

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  14. Barbaric.... If I were to do that to my class my certificate would be revoked and I would be shamed out of town! Obviously, the demonstration demonstrated what little value life holds. Tragic on so many levels....

    Thanks for the story, Susie.
    VB

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  15. Susie,

    I don't even know what to say about this post. It is awful that something like that would happen with children to see.

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  16. That would not happen in the U.S. I wonder what other teachers in your area would think of the ugly thing this teacher did.

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  17. The entire ritual of hala seems so right. And if you eat the meat, it's also appropriate to see the process. But this teacher went too far.

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  18. Torture of cats and dogs by young men and boys was common and public in the UAE. I expect the teacher is a sadist and no child of mine would remain in that classroom! Animal cruelty is a problem everywhere in the world but here in Seattle there are strong punishments for cruelty to animals. One could argue that the bunny wasn't tortured (it is hard to imagine it wasn't terrified) but the killing was sick and senseless.

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  19. Hi there, i was shocked when reading that. the teacher just used that rabbit for an experiment? i mean, yes it is halal to eat rabbit but what the teacher did was cruel. he just make use of the rabbit just for the sake of showing it to the students. isn it the same as killing?

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  20. Here is an interesting video on the subject of meat produciton: http://meat.org

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  21. This is insane! Why did the boy allow the freaky teacher to kill the rabbit? Wasn't it for petting only?

    What the teacher did was completely wrong. This just made me so sad.

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  22. Child abuse!
    And I am one who thinks the term "abuse" is overused and abused.

    Psychologically setting the children up for affection toward a cute animal they have been allowed to pet, that is not considered vermin, and that is the subject of so many childhood stories, and then killing it for the sake of killing (one could teach halal butchering techiques in other ways), is sadistic alright--towards the children even more than the animal.

    I find it hard to believe the other children weren't traumatized, whether or not they spoke to their parents, or the parents spoke to the school (which has a vested interest in denying the number of calls).

    I doubt I would leave a child in the classroom of such a person, or in a school that would employ him. At the very least, I would not allow a child to do another year in the same classroom. What next--vivisection for science class, autopsies by 10 year olds to learn anatomy?

    Zut! Zut! Zut!

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  23. I wonder why they couldn't have shown a film that explains animal slaughter? if not a film, perhaps a visit to a local butcher (I assume those kinds of jobs exist in Saudi Arabia).

    Most of us here eat meat and we all understand why animals are killed. The killing of an animal that appeared to be a pet seems cruel in the extreme.

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  24. I am shocked that the teacher 1.) Allowed the children to play with it and 2.) Killed an animal in front of them and 3.) Threw it away.

    WHERE is the respect for a life? Some people may not find animals as meaning much in terms of value but for me all of God's creature deserve a level of respect.

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  25. As a Muslim and as an American I was angered by the actions of this teacher. He needs some training on the maqasid(purpose) of the sharia.

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  26. That is just sick and plain cruel! How can the teacher show such bloody acts to children? I'm guessing the other kids are too horrified and speechless to mention it to their parents.

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  27. Unfortunately it tells a lot about the morals (or lack of...) of this society. Any killing is no light matter.

    Emma

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  28. Thanks a lot Susie for sharing this story.
    unfortunately,That teacher, and most of our teachers at Saudi schools, need more training and continues evaluations for what they do in class.
    He taught the children how to slaghter in Islam but he didn't teach himself manythings !! He made many mistakes not just one.

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  29. That story is tragic on so many levels. The kids were exposed to horrible brutality, the bunny's life was ended senselessly and the teacher seems to have missed the point of his own lesson.

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  30. I am surprised that no other parent complained, but I'm curious if Saudis eat rabbit meat like the French do?
    A French boyfriend of mine cooked a rabbit stew when I lived there and I had to spit out the bullets.

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  31. What was wrong with the teacher? I too would be recommending that the teacher resign. If I were that mother I would wonder what other lessons were being taught??? I would remove my child from that classroom.

    Irene

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  32. the recitation is in the name of allah, and the knife must be hidden while walking toward the animal to be slaughtered, As for the teacher what he did was wrong for the kids and the rabbit, Islam doesn't allow animal torture there is a Haddith about a lady who tortured a cat by locking it denying it food which she'll go to hell for it and another lady who was from the people of israel who was a prostitute after her death she'll go to paradise because during her life she helped a thirsty dog by giving water.
    you may ask your husband about this haddit to explain it

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  33. This made me sick to my stomach. How do you explain this to your kids?

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  34. I am so totally against animal abuse of any kind. This was a horrifying story. I don't eat meat and therefore, I had to shutter about the ritual slaughter of animals to eat. Thank you for sharing your life in Arabia...very interesting and so eye-opening.

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  35. As a vegetarian I find it disturbing how cruelly ALL animals are killed in all cultures... unless we are talking eco-friendly farms with humane killing methods. But even then, the thought makes my stomach turn.

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    1. Happy to see another vegetarian here who feels the same way I do. My only regret is that I didn't begin earlier in life. Aside from sparing lives the health benefits have been so worth it.

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  36. I came from a farm, and when I moved to the city, I came with a freezer full of meat from animals raised on our farm. I helped raise them and I knew what they were eating and how they were treated. The cattle got a lot of room as we always only had about 14 or so on a huge pasture, and all our chickens were free-range with supplemented vegetables from our garden (we even grew corn for them!). It makes me feel better knowing where the animals came from and how they were treated. After reading this, I also appreciated the halal method that much more as it seems to give so much respect to the animal. I know now why a couple of my non-Muslim friends prefer to shop at a halal deli. For a teacher to pervert this, and to kids so young, it just doesn't make any sense.

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  37. I think that is horrific. I've never had to watch an animal be slaughtered for food. I do not eat much meat, but I think I would eat none if that were the case. We use to raise cows (just a few, so they tended to become pets). I never ate those cows. The rabbit is worse. Knowing little about Islam, I can't speak for it, but since it came from the same initial roots as Judaism, and some practices are still similar, I have a hard time imagining that wasting an animal is condoned. Horrific.

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  38. Hi Deb - I totally agree.

    Hi Tanya - I think the teacher is sadistic. I've been trying to figure out how to fix the issue with the Playlist display - I'm working on it. Sorry in the menatime!

    Hi Mel - I agree too. I think it was a mean thing to do for any age.

    Hi VB - I don't know what standards/certifications are required here for teachers. This teacher needs to find another field of work, I think!

    Hi Cheela - I felt it was a story that needed to be told. I don't know how common it is here.

    Hi Sue - The only teachers I know here are mostly ex-pats, and they found this lesson horrifying.

    Hi Gaelyn - I agree - if done properly, the halal process is humane and respectful. I can't imagine what this teacher was thinking.

    Hi Sirius - Yes, to me it was very sadistic - I just don't understand it at all.

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  39. Hi Hadah - The teacher went about the lesson in a totally wrong way. He shouldn't have let the kids play with it first, and then it should have been used to eat. A better way to teach this would be showing a video instead of having a live bunny.

    Hi MHerzog - Thanks for the link. Readers - the video is quite graphic and will make you think about becoming a vegetarian. It's powerful.

    Hi Suroor - I don't think a child can interfere with a teacher here in Saudi Arabia. It would be seen as disrespectful. The rabbit was brought into the classroom for exactly what the teacher did - and yes, it was very wrong.

    Hi Chiara - I totally agree. Í can't understand if the administrators of the school would agree with the teacher's methods.

    Hi Jerry - Yes, a film would have been so much more appropriate. And you're right - there are many local butchers. I don't think school field trips are generally done here though.

    Hi Marianna - Absolutely! And respect is part of the whole halal process.

    Hi Anon - You are so right. But I think someone who shows such poor judgment in trying to teach children a lesson needs to go into a different field of work.

    Hi Hajar - I can't imagine that the other kids weren't bothered by this as well.

    Hi Emma - I think it tells about the morals of this teacher and not necessarily the whole society.

    Hi Anon - I can only imagine what other things this teacher might be relating to his students.

    Hi Michaelle - You are so right.

    Hi Gutsy - Me too. Yes, rabbit meat is eaten although the most popular meats here are lamb, fish and chicken. Gross about the bullets!!!

    Hi Irene - The teacher obviously has some screws missing if he thinks this lesson was appropriate.

    Hi Anon - Thanks for the info on the hadiths.

    Hi Pat - There is no way to explain this to your kids. It was senseless and insensitive.

    Hi VNV4 and LadyFi - I'm sure you both felt sick reading this, especially since you are vegetarian, and I apologize. Thanks for understanding that I felt I needed to share this story.

    Hi Mel - Yes, I totally agree with you.

    Hi Louise - The lesson by the teacher was wrong from the get go. He shouldn't have had the kids play with the bunny only to demonstrate how to kill it and then throw it away. It was sick.

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  40. In one of your previous posts you said you believe all religions are man-made. I just want to respond to that. When I think about how the world began, the only thing that makes sense to me is creationism. I believe that god created the world and everything in it. My realization that there is a god made me want to learn more about world religions. They are all different and each one seems to conflict with the others. The only one that makes sense to me is Christianity. I think people should have the freedom to choose what they believe. The government should not dictate these things. Whether or not to have faith in god or believe in a religion is something that should not be taken lightly. I believe this is a major life decision that each person should make freely.

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  41. Dear Anonymous -
    I am of the mind that all religions teach the same basic tenets - to be a good person, kind, thankful for what you have, and helpful to others who are less fortunate than you. I feel that it's all those sniveling little relatively unimportant details and differences that cause people to start wars and wreak havoc on the world.
    I do believe that religion should be a person's choice and it should not be forced upon them.
    I think problems have arisen because men have gotten involved in the interpretations of religious teachings and have put their own spins on what may have started out as something good and they have turned them into restrictive rules that cause hardships for many, especially women.
    So we agree on most things except that I happen to believe most religions are basically the same, whereas you feel they are all different.
    I don't consider myself a follower of any one religion, but I must say I really like the teachings of Buddhism.

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  42. All of the major religions do teach the same basic tenets. However that is not all. The wars and fighting are all about Jesus. The main message in christianity is that Jesus came to earth, he paid the price for our sins (death on the cross), and resurrected on the 3rd day. Jesus said that faith in him is the only way to get to heaven. Other religions do not teach this. I do not support wars and fighting because it takes away free will. God gave people free will to believe or not. I do not want to push my beliefs on others, I am just giving explanation.

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  43. Now here's another paradox: Australia ships A LOT of livestock - live sheep especially to Muslim countries. Rather than send already slaughtered meat, it is because of the freshness argument. This despite the fact that Australia has a lot of halal (and kosher) meat processing.

    What gets me though is that there are fewer crueller treatments for animals than the live meat export business.

    In Jordan there is a movement, backed by members of the Jordanian royal family, to end this cruelty. But Saudi Arabia is one of our large export markets, and they don;t want to know anything about that end of their precious market. So the cruelty continues....

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  44. Hi,

    I know I am very late to this discussion. The teacher's actions seem to be in direct conflict with this hadith I found:

    Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger than that without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgement. The listeners asked, O Messenger of Allah, what is a just cause? He replied, That he will kill it to eat, not simply to chop off its head and then throw it away.

    (Nisai, Hakim).
    (The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam (arb: Al Halal Wal Haram Fil Islam) by. Yusuf Qaradawi).

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  45. Hi Anon - Thanks for your explanation.

    Hi Sally - Wow - that's really interesting and something I had no idea about. You would think how the animals were treated before their arrival here would be of concern... Thanks for your comment.

    Hi Anon - Thanks so much for providing the hadith. What the teacher seems so wrong to anyone with compassion and common sense. Thanks for your contribution.

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  46. I thought the point of 'halal' meat was to show respect to the animal. It's not just about observing the form of how the kill should be done. Killing an animal for no reason is immensely disrespectful, so this is merely the letter and not the spirit of the law.

    Then again, the live sheep trade also baffles me on the same score. Live animals are shipped all the way from Australia to Saudi Arabia - they are cooped up in tight pens for months, unable to move, suffering sea sickness and dehydration and other diseases. Many of them die en route. And all so the halal kill can be done in Saudi Arabia rather than Australia - they do have halal butchers and slaughter houses in Australia but the consumer demand is to torture the animals for months on end so it can be done in Saudi Arabia.

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  47. I see Sally has made the same point about the live sheep trade - sorry to repeat it, but I can back up everything she says. It's VERY controversial in Australia.

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  48. My humble question is what are the advantages we have eating halal food?Over 92% Sri Lankans are non muslims yet we are forced to eat halal foods, for example, at Pizza hut and KFC. Why should we eat halal????

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  49. Killing innocent animals under the guise of religion should be condemned

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  50. The mother should call other parents and see if they were disturbed or even know about it. Many of the children probably didn't even mention the incident, especially boys, they tend to bottle things up.
    This teacher did an atrocious thing by any standard, halal or otherwise.
    What he did was basically teach the children to have no care for living creatures. This is particularly bad for young boys as empathy does not come naturally to most boys, they must be taught it.
    All this teacher did was ensure there will be a few more sociopaths in the world.
    He should loose his job.
    dina

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  51. Suzannah from MDSep 19, 2009, 1:20:00 AM

    After the tut-tutting over poor bunny and how shocking to the children, this story is revealing in that it underscores a philosophy that is endemic to third world countries: life is cheap: human, animal, makes no difference. Westerners need to understand this, and it in no way refutes the extreme importance of family or the also endemic trait of hospitality which also prevails in third world countries. We in the states have trouble getting our heads around this paradox.

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  52. Susie has written the method of killing an animal by muslims. What I cannot understand is that "Finally, all the blood must be drained from the animal" Isn't this absolute nonsense? How on earth can you drain all the blood in the animal? If all the blood is drained the meat would look totally colourless , at least not red..
    She further says "the animal should also be positioned facing mecca".What do they mean by that? Does it mean that the animal will go to paradise? If not what is the meaning?

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  53. Hi Caitlin - That's really terrible about the transport of live sheep from Australia to KSA. That's an awful long way to ship them in such horrendous conditions.

    Hi Brindley - I don't know about the halal meat customs in Sri Lanka, but it seems that if more than 90% of the people are non-Muslim, then there should just be special halal meat shops for those that want it. That's the way it is in the US.

    Hi D/Dina - I totally agree.

    Hi Suzannah - It is a hard concept to understand. At times I think my husband sounds so cold hearted when a tragedy happens and his attitude is that they deserved it because of whatever reason. I do think that the boys here are raised this way. I want my son to be compassionate and he is.

    Hi Anon - Draining blood from slaughtered animals is a pretty routine procedure so I don't understand how you think this is nonsense. Any blood that can be drained out of the veins and arteries is drained. I'm not an expert on Islam so I don't know why the animal is faced toward Mecca as its throat is slashed. That is just what I have been told and read, but if someone would care to contribute the reason for this, you are welcome.

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  54. Re blooding:

    All animals, whether slaughtered in the halal manner or not, are blooded. Excessive blood in the meat leads to spoilage.

    When I have slaughtered my own sheep or pigs, I have usually used a .22 to the head first, then instantly cut the neck vessels and hung the animals to drain the blood. In commercial operations, animals are stunned (heart still beating) with either an electric shock to the head or through inhalation of C02 gas which temporarily anaesthetizes them.

    The halal method functions in the same way,thus making the meat less prone to spoilage, because the animal's heart is still beating when the neck vessels are severed, and thus drains the maximum amount of blood. The only difference is the animal is not stunned first. The fact that the animal is not killed in front of other animals leads to less stress on the animal and better tasting meat. There are some very practical reasons behind all this ritual.

    In terms of facing Mecca, I am not a Muslim, but it would seem to me that if one believes the seat of all that is holy and reverent is in Mecca, then paying respect to the animal you are going to eat, and the power who made it, by facing in that direction makes sense.

    As for the teacher, the only thing I can say is "loser."

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  55. Though I can appreciate it's part of their religious culture, there is nothing nice or compassionate about Halal/Kosher slaughter. Research released just this week by a NZ university supports this. Have a read:
    www.medindia.net/news/Study-Suggests-Animals-Really-Do-Feel-the-Pain-of-Religious-Slaughter-59539-1.htm
    It is cruel and totally unnecessary when, with a common-sense approach to the problem, a Mullah could easily make a modern-day ruling which would keep everybody happy.
    However, "When in Rome..." (sadly).
    Good luck over there - sounds like you NEED it! xx

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  56. Thanks Suzie for the intelligent explanation of the Halal slaughter procedure. You kept it simple and consequently it became simple to understand. As for the Rabbit issue, I believe your protest to the school authorities would have been more effective by also getting local imams involved. Some of them may have become outraged by this teacher's stupid and un-islamic conduct.

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  57. Believers of all three Abrahmic religions are taught these innocent animals are "created" for their consumption. You cannot call it un-islamic it is actually inhuman.

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  58. I can believe to you :)

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  59. What the teacher did was wrong. The school was wrong for allowing it to happen. The goals of this ancient ritualized slaughter of livestock, mercy and compassion, were mocked and disregarded when the rabbit's remains were tossed into the trash.

    There are many different cultures within the Muslim religion and this incident shouldn't tarnish the perceptions of foreigners who've read it.

    For a look into Muslim family life, rituals and experience take a look at http://www.where2nowmag.com/2009/12/semester-in-north-africa-festival-of-sacrifice/

    This is the 5th post from a Boston University junior who spent her fall semester studying in Morocco and living with a Moroccan host family. She loved her experience there and came to love her host family. Her words and experience are enlightening.

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  60. Im sorry if I missed your point... but what are you trying to show? i see people judging and saying things like "this would not happen in the US". Yes it was the teacher's fault but I really do not see how someone can judge a Saudy school when US schools have to worry about drugs and guns. Especially since my brother attends one.

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  61. Hi Isa -
    I am not saying that there are NOT problems in US schools at all, Isa. The point is that this was an inappropriate action by a teacher. So tell me, do your brother's teachers in the US shoot the students or sell drugs? Exactly what is YOUR point?

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  62. My point is... it doesnt feel good to be judged and misunderstood all the time. I hear people in this country saying things like Muslims commited this crime against their women and yet they do not know that a muslim man won the 2006 nobel peace prize. why does everyone vilify us? there was an article on digg about the teachings of prophet Muhammed (s) and how he said that you musnt judge christian and jews for they follow the same god... within minutes people marked it as innacurate and such hatred in the comments section is something i really have seldom seen... please show me one good thing about muslims they say in the media these days... anything where people dont get to say "this wouldnt happen in the US"

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  63. The story mentioned is indeed inhuman.

    I was searching for 'Halal Meat' online. This blog appeared 2nd. I am a muslim student in the US, looking for Halal meat shops near my location and this is what i come up with.

    Regardless, this site is is misleading, as it was to me. People looking for information on meaning of Halal, would be receiving mis-conception about Muslims.

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  64. Hi Isa - The incident I wrote about in this post was told to me by a young Muslim mother who was absolutely horrified by the actions of the teacher. Her son was traumatized by it. Clearly my post attacks the actions of this one teacher, not all Muslims.
    I recently wrote about my husband having heart surgery, and told of how just about every one of his visitors generously and sincerely offered to pay all of the medical bills - this is not something that I can see happening in the US.
    I am not out to demonize Muslims every chance I get - on the contrary, my blog has many wonderful stories about experiences I have had with Muslims here. I can't control what the media chooses to focus on, but I personally am not lopsidedly printing only negative things about Muslims.

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  65. Hi Mohammad - I really don't have any control over where my site appears when you Google "halal meat." I think I offered a fairly good explanation about what makes halal meat halal. I'm sorry you feel that my site is misleading, but this post is indeed about halal meat - how else should I tag it? Perhaps if you are looking for halal meat shops, you should be a little more specific in your search, like adding in "shops" and the city you are in.

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  66. Hi susie thanks for ur informative blog.

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  67. Hi susie thanks for ur informative blog on halal meat. It was very knowledgable.

    Anush Raj, India.

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  68. Can Muslims give up meat and become vegetarian ?

    Killing an animal is cruel.

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  69. To Anon @ 9:49AM - I believe that there are many Muslims who are vegetarian.

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  70. Hi
    From the reading of the halal killing I do not see much difference to what is being done in the modern slaughter factory. All conditions are exactly the same. Of course beside this magic prayers with magical powers which is not present there. But if muslims believe it adds something to the meet value, let it be. I didn't know I'm eating the halal (and kosher) meat my whole life. I think it is just a bussiness trick. All teh best, John M.

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  71. First, I believe that rodent is not an approved halel meat. Maybe a lamb that could have been cooked for all to participate in the final product would have been more appropriate. In today's society people have become so far removed from the source and process of our foods and the continuing anthropormorphism of animals it certainly would be shocking to the kids. In any event the human omnivorous digestive system has been beneficial in the survival of our species. The teacher should have recieved advance permission from those who would agree to participate, given the potential for controversy. Danno

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  72. Anonymous/Danno--an interesting point about rodents not being halal. However rabbits resemble but are not rodents. Their classification in the species and orders of the mammalian world was formally reassigned in the early 20th century to reflect better that they are not rodents. Hopefully the teacher knows that too.

    I agree with the prior permission from parents about whether they wanted their children to participate at all; and, to eliminate the surprise/manipulative element of the story that is the most psychologically traumatizing.

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  73. I grew up in southern Indiana and was out biking with some friends as a kid when we came upon some skinned carcasses of deer, including a doe and fawn. We were horrified. Killing of deer is done here to control the population and usually the meat is eaten and the meat that isn't is sometimes sent to homeless shelters free of charge. We biked our way to a local farm...also called Funny Farm and they called the cops. I understand that hunting is done, animals are used for our consumption but in the end...their manner of death should be respected.

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  74. It is time for the humanity to move beyond their current barbaric practices of killing animals to eat, to a vegetarian diet.

    Among all religions only Hindu religion cares for animals and has very unique concept of "Ahimsa" and vegetarian diet.

    Sam

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  75. if you want to see the true nature of the way animals are slaughtered for halal meats that they sell at the supermarket i suggest you watch the video on the link below. it is NOT in the least bit humane for the animals, and maybe after watching this you like me will never touch halal meats again!


    link: http://vladtepesblog.com/?p=21469

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  76. My husband and I were out driving the back roads for a nice country drive and he spotted a wild rabbit and he was fixated on catching the rabbit, naive I think he wants it as a pet. He asks me if he thinks he can catch it. And I ask him, "what do you want it for?" He replied, "To kill it to eat." Ya Allah. I replied,"I do not think you will catch it, its night now and there may be a Mountain Lion watching..."

    Then again he made the comment, he wants to buy lambs, and I was so in awe, "I would love to have them too!"

    I think of animals as pets and he thinks of them as meals.

    I know I could never ever be a happy person seeing an animal slaughtered.

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  77. The culture of a country could be judged by he way its citizens treat animals. Hallal or no halal killing is not compassionate at all.Halal is only a ruse to mislead people to believe killing is compassionate.Do Muslims eat fish? I know they do and how come when fish is not halal??

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  78. The story of the teacher is hearsay, and if proven true, it indicates a misguided and inappropriate handling of animals meant for food. The guidelines of slaughter in Islam is available for anyone to review.

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  79. animals slaughtered according to halal suffer agonizing deaths, so you have to stop lying to the public.

    I will not knowingly eat something that has been "blessed" by "allah", who is none other than a demon god.

    of course you won't approve this because you live a lie and lie to the public about halal foods.

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    1. You do realize that animals slaughtered islamically, from my understanding, undergo the least amount of pain, right? You talk shit but dont have anything to back it up. Sit down you rookie.

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  80. Halal is only an excuse to kill innocent dumb animals. You make people to believe in a religion, you can commit any crime and justify it.

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  81. I am a muslim kid and I'm 9 years old and I was researching about Halal foods but when I read that the teacher just threw the rabbit away I was so angry at him. I don't think that is even close to being Halal.I think most people that read this story are angry too.

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  82. To the second last 2 comments by Anonymous,

    You guys are obvoiusly not muslim which is cool as the Quran is a book which was revealed to the entire of mankind. I pray that you guys receive the guidance which directs you to the straight path as you are clearly misguided. It baffles me that someone can make a statement with the word Demon God which to me means that you believe in more than one God. I seek protection from such a sin,


    Unto you, your religion and unto me mine.

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  83. sounds to me like th teacher actually had the intention of corrupting the children and making them dislike halal slaughter

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  84. Well, I strongly believe that Saudi society is a barbarian society. They may not mean to be barbarian, but they surely are.
    I'm speaking out of experience.

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  85. Lee L.
    I have two equally appalling bunny stories in my memory.
    One was when I lived next to an Italian neighbour who had a lovely veggie garden and a rabbit pen. His 10 yr old daughter loved to play with one of the rabbits and it became her pet.
    Unfortunately, the Dad's attitude was very practical and rabbits had a place. After Easter dinner, his young daughter found out she had just eaten her pet and was suitably distraught. She became a vegetarian immediately and refuse all animal products thereafter.

    Second was when I was a school teacher in the Canadian north country. The ninth grade science teacher used ether to kill a rabbit for an anatomy lesson. This was done in front of the children and the rabbit was never used for food.
    I think we can all do better.

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  86. Makkah Market is one of the most trusted Halal Meat suppliers in the US that provides food permitted under the Islamic Dietary Guidelines with assurance of delightful flavor.
    Halal Meat

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  87. Ethical Killing?

    There is no such thing. And, I'm not sorry for saying as much.

    If you're being attacked and need to kill in self-defense, or die, do it. But killing animals, insects, people, anything, is just freaking wrong. If there was a god, it would agree.

    Big G

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  88. Going by the comments it seems that a Westerner's account of life in a Muslim society especially KSA will be readily 'bought' by people who have never lived or experienced it. It doesn't matter how many facts some Muslims use to back up their stories, it won't be trusted. I still think that what you wrote is very misleading.

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    1. There is nothing misleading about what I wrote. This is an account of a true story as told to me by the mother of the child involved. What exactly do you think is misleading?

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  89. Explaining Halal it says among other things "Finally, all the blood must be drained from the animal."
    If all the blood is drained how come the Halal meat we buy is red with blood stains????? Isn't is just nonsense? By cutting the arteries and allowing the animal to drain the blood means the animal will suffer for a long time until all the blood is drained, the poor animal is suffering untold pain.

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    1. All the resources I've read describe what makes meat "halal" pretty much the same way, and I did not stray from that in my post. And there are many sources out there that state Muslims are prohibited from consuming blood. So what's your beef?

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  90. Hi Susie, I liked you explained the Halal way of killing animals because many people doesn't know about it. I think it is wonderful and very nice that they don't cause unnecessary stress or pain to animals. Also to mention they don't kill for kill, they only kill what they are going to eat. Also Islam has other ways to respect animals and I love that. I am so sorry you experienced that horrible way of killing a cow. I am horrified how cows are killed in America, more and more videos are showing horrible things that happen in farms and slaughter houses. I feel you are not being fair with your post. You only mention Saudi Schools and you cannot say all schools are like that, we are not even sure the teacher was Saudi. Your post make readers judge without all the facts. The rabbit's story is a random situation. Why not to add to your post how in America for Biology classes teachers ask students to bring an animal and children bring dogs, frogs, fishes. They are asked to kill the animal by themselves and to submit the animals to toxic substances, to touch their organs and then what? of course to throw them away to the garbage. Also what about the schools that ask students to take care of pets, not everyone likes animals but schools force students in America to care for it and I heard horrible things, kids torture this animals. Furthermore, why not we talk about the lab test facilities all around the US where beautiful Beagles are breed to be used for experimentation. They cut their tights and made them inhale toxic substances. What about the American hunters and I saw young boys that fish and then return the fish bleeding to the lakes, or that capture raccoons just to try their knifes on them. What about the farms that cut the teeth of piglets and they cut more from them without anesthesia and I can keep going. I appreciate you share with us your experiences I just felt the idea of the Halal killing got spotted by the killing of the rabbit.

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  91. Hi Estrella - Thank you for your comment. Had I known the nationality of the teacher in question, I would have offered it. The only thing I can say for sure is that this teacher was, in fact, Muslim - and the way this situation was handled was very wrong. It was a poor attempt at trying to teach a lesson about the religion. As for your assertion that children in America are asked to bring in animals to school so they can be killed and dissected - this is absolute rubbish. There would be outrage if this type of thing happened in America. I believe it is healthy to try to teach children to care for and respect animals, and I have never personally heard of children abusing animals in a classroom. I know that there are labs around the world that use animals for testing (which many people are opposed to), but this blog is about my life, experiences, and impressions here in Saudi Arabia.

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  92. Wow thats evil!!! Ive only ever seen animals slaughtered for immediate consumption and EVERY SINGLE PART of the animal was used for something! In Iran when we see relatives there (small village fyi)...they slaughter a sheep and we eat it for several days...nothing is wasted. In saudi we just got meat at the super market...but no Muslim I know of would kill and animal like that then throw it away! He/she could have then them to a Muslim butchering place and had them show how they process the meat, I think it was senseless shoing it in class because most boys are taught by their dads or other male relatives and what that teacher did was 100% haraam! I pity their soul!

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  93. killing innocent dumb animals is inhuman. Humans are the worse criminals on earth who kill innocent animals.

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  94. Susie, I went to your site to find out more about Halal Meat, the first part was good & as it related to the process.
    However your inclusion of the classroom incident was certainly not informative! Most are quite aware of animal cruelty and the waste in disposing of the carcass for whatever reason!
    In viewing the comments the subject was on the classroom incident and I feel its inclusion was for other reasons rather then the intended subject "Halal Meat".

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    1. Dear Anonymous (Oct. 16, 2012) - The title of this post is and always has been: Hala Meat: A Disturbing Lesson." The classroom incident is the reason I wrote the post. I included the background on what constitutes halal meat for those who aren't familiar with it.

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  95. Suise! Do you think that it is not cruel to kill the animal with electric shock or on a machine?

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  96. Halal is only a stupid excuse to kill animals

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  97. Halal is only an excuse to hide the cruelty in killing innocent animals.

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  98. Such an incident clearly states how little children are trained to be terrorists.This is just a basic step towards such training.Any life is as important as ours.

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  99. Halal or not halal.. It's still killing. I think there's no compassionate killing at all!
    '

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  100. poor Americans always know as ignorant, a rabbit make you said and we dont even know if it is a true story, let see the true story that happened to you everyday in your ordinary life, murders, rapes, suicides, drogue, prostitution everything increase more and more in every corner of USA, there is a special channel to see murders stories, killing everyday on the news....are you really blinded, camel never look to his hump but he laugh on the other camel's humps .

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    1. You have just insulted an entire nation by calling its people "ignorant" because I relayed this true story which was directly told to me by the mother of the child this happened to. You don't have to believe that it is true, but don't go insulting all Americans because of it. You are also trying to relate this incident to crime in the USA, which is really stupid. Get a life.

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    2. Well said, Susie! I never took off the follow up comments, and see that you get some from time to time. Thanks for your answer to this one.

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  101. poor Americans always know as ignorant, a rabbit make you said and we dont even know if it is a true story, let see the true story that happened to you everyday in your ordinary life, murders, rapes, suicides, drogue, prostitution everything increase more and more in every corner of USA, there is a special channel to see murders stories, killing everyday on the news....are you really blinded, camel never look to his hump but he laugh on the other camel's humps .

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    1. Does Islam not command it’s followers to prevent wastage of food?

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  102. Thank you for your informative article, a very pleasant and clear understanding of Islam. As a Muslim, I couldn’t agree with you more. Not only would tossing food away go against the tenets of Islam, but it is also a recurring theme in the rich parts of the Islamic world, like Saudi, where food is wasted like there is no tomorrow. You will often find people ordering large amounts in restaurants, only eating a small portion and the rest is wasted, not even packed for take-out. All this at a time when people in starving in so many countries. Sad and reprehensible.

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  103. what to comment as a Muslim ,I am disgusted ,little wonder in my country halal is a hug cry and our halal labeling is banned and ,I wont surprised if we do not have halal food anymore,
    I find the teacher a sadist, and am angered over all that his behavior has only add more misunderstanding about Islam. BTW Thank you Susie for enlightening us about the incident ,while being honest about the Halal system and I being a Muslim admit I learned a lot about halal from your post today. peace be to you. keep writing Cheers Fahim .

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  104. Those of us who eat meat know that we are eating an animal that was once alive and was killed specifically so we could eat it.

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  105. i think maybe the teacher had making mistake when slaughtering making the rabbit became carcass.if that the case then it could not be consider halal anymore. when slaughtering, there's also requirement on how it should be slaughter and how the animal die.the only carcasses animal that Muslim could eat is fish(sorry if this is not really in animal category).

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This is my personal blog and therefore it reflects MY personal opinions. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. But if you feel the need to let me know that you don't agree with me, you must do so in a civilized, kind and constructive manner, without namecalling or filthy language, or being rude or offensive. In other words: BE NICE, OR I WILL NOT PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT!