It was shocking and disturbing on many levels to see the (be warned it is graphic) video circulated last week showing what appeared to be the butchering of a live cow in a Canadian backyard. The facts and applicable laws are being investigated by the Police, SPCA and Ministry of Agriculture. So far, consensus seems to be that the cow was slaughtered and butchered as part of a Sharia Law/Islamic Halal meat ritual.
This ritual is opposed even by the multi-culturally sensitive Canadian Veterinary Association who opposes Halal slaughter because it is scientifically proven to cause preventable pain to the animal. It is also banned in countries that are otherwise bastions of tolerance like Norway and Sweden, because it is proven cruel treatment of animals.
So, while Islamic Halal meat processing and merchandising companies craft images of Halal meat being the result of a holy and pure religious ritual, almost all animal welfare experts say it is proven to be unacceptably cruel to animals. This being the case, it should be a non-issue, but it is actually a growing one.
Given the growing prominence of this Halal issue, one might think Muslims are a huge population in Canada. However, based on the stats, Muslims only represent about 3.2% of our population.
If Muslims are only about 3.2% of Canada’s population, and of that, many Muslims reject Islamic Halal meat slaughtering practices, how is it that such a video was on social media, as if it were the norm?
For one, within the 3.2% are Muslim activists, and those activists complained to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that the meat that was being labelled Halal in grocery stores, had not followed the proper slaughter rituals dictated by Sharia Law. The ritual requires animals, particularly cows, be slaughtered live; and, an Islamic prayer said over the cow – while it dies an agonizing death.
As a result of Islamic complaints that slaughters were not being performed to the specifications of a Halal slaughter, it appears that inroads were made to normalize this practice by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It appears the CFIA gave an inch and opened the door for the self-proclaimed Islamic Sharia Law “Halal Monitoring Authority”. Anything that is based on Sharia law and has the word “authority” in it should be deeply concerning to Canadians. Yes, they named themselves an “Authority”, and took it upon themselves to be the certifiers of all things Halal.
Also, if Muslims only represent about 3.2% of Canada’s population, how is it that a Halal meat company like Paramount is doing so exceedingly well financially? Is Halal slaughtered meat sometimes sold as regular meat to unsuspecting consumers? ‘Yes’, say many investigating Halal.
Paramount has a spokesperson with a big name: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As absurd as it seems, here is the video from 2017 of Trudeau peddling the wares of Paramount.
Still, even with such a spokesperson, how is it that with only 3.2% or less of the population demanding Halal meat, Paramount has become a large worldwide organization. There should be merely collections of large, Halal local butchers, like the largest one in Canada which is in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park (coincidentally home of the Danforth Killer), but not the internationally viable organization that Paramount has become. It’s very curious.
In various investigative articles online, it turns out that in the UK for example, Halal meat ends up in grocery stores without the Halal label. Therefore, unsuspecting customers, who are not Islamic, end up buying and eating meat that has not been treated in the humane methods we trust our grocery stores to provide; and, it is meat which has had a Sharia Islamic prayer said over it.
This presents ethical issues for Canadians for whom the humane treatment of animals is part of our identity; and, the religious beliefs of the approximately 67% of Canadians who are Christians and Jews.
Are Halal slaughter based companies like Paramount making financial gains because non-Islamic consumers are buying Halal meat based on false advertising that it’s a humane and pure humane choice?
In Canada’s political climate, where M103 passed calling for special protections for Islam, this many animal experts from the SPCA to the Canadian Veterinary Association would not be speaking against Halal methods if it were not true that Halal is an inhumane treatment of animals. Believe the animal welfare experts.
As loud as the activists are within the 3.2% of Muslims pushing for Halal slaughter methods, the rest of Canada should be more loudly protesting against Halal methods of slaughter.
Canadians that are in areas where there are a lot of Halal meat processing plants, for example, Edmonton, who do not want to buy Halal meat for reasons of conscience or faith, should speak up at the grocery stores and make sure Halal meat is not being sold in the regular meat counters. The humane treatment of animals is part of our Canadian identity and we have a duty to speak up.