Muslimeater recently posted a discovery that a major restaurant supplier of angus beef is actually halal, due to initial demands for succulent beef emanating from Gulf countries. Indeed, I followed the blogger’s advice to then google search local restaurants to see if any used Creekstone Farms as a supplier. My search for Rochester, NY turned up Char, Strathallan Hotel, Dinosaur BBQ (a famous local establishment), and more. I was so excited that halal meat now seemed to be more within reach.
While Muslimeater did an admirable job ascertaining whether this meat was slaughtered properly, many would argue that how the animal was raised and fed is just as much a part of what makes the meat ethical…can halal be anything other than ethical? Unfortunately, I turned up a few other news items which suggest that the conditions in which the animals are raised are anything but ethical: An e coli recall in 2011 and a 2010 OSHA violation for exposing workers to dangerous amounts of ammonia. Watch Chef Jamie Oliver talk about ammonia-treated beef.
If cattle were not raised standing in feedlots in their own filth, would we need to go to such drastic lengths to ensure that they were not contaminated by e.coli? Local, pasture-raised transparent halal operations are the way of the future. When will we invest in them? Or will we continue thinking that no matter how an animal lived, it’s only important how it died?