Is it a crime to refuse to eat halal food? Conversely, is it a crime to refuse to eat non-halal?
Well I think we can all agree that it is not for the latter question. But let’s look at the first part of that a little.
First of all, I don’t know what the laws are in terms of labeling meat as halal, but I do know that many Canadians are eating meat that was slaughtered in both a cruel and unhygienic way and would refuse to do so if they were aware of it. But what if you did know? What if for instance, you went to a movie theater and ordered something innocuous. Like a frozen yogurt. And then decided to look at the package to see what it was.
You notice the symbol and for any number of potential reasons, in fact even if you have no reason at all other than you reserve the right to know what you are eating you refuse to eat this product and wish to return it because you were not informed of what it was.
Here is a part of the email I got from the person to whom this happened:
…when I politely declined the smoothie, and explained why, the girl got upset and asked the other server to call the manager,
when he came over, I explained that I refused to eat halal products and asked if he knew what the slaughter process was all about, and he explained yes, they had two other muslim managers and they had explained it all to him.
So, it appears you are not really allowed to decline to eat halal foods. They will call the manager on you. It’s a damn good thing this poor woman wasn’t at the police station cafeteria.
I have a few ideas on legal, safe, and inoffensive activism for this issue. I know the legalities of it for the UK, but not yet sure about Canada. But I do think Canadians, as citizens of what we are told, is a free country, should have the right to choose our food for our own reasons and in order to do that, we need to know what it is.
More to come on this soon. I hope to see a lot of people in Canada and the U.K. ready to mark foods as halal with visible stickers but without damaging the food or the package in any way. We who do not wish to eat halal, have the same right to refuse it as any vegetarian, for example, has the right to decline to eat foods that contain animal products to whatever degree they choose and for whatever reasons they choose. This must extend to those of us who wish to observe and enforce animal cruelty laws, or food safety laws (halal foods are often contaminated with fecal matter and other ill-advised animal products because the animal snorts it back into its flesh as it chokes to death hanging upside-down breathing in its own blood) or because we just dont want to eat food consecrated to a genocidal god who’s followers wish to destroy our liberal democracy or, and most important of all, because you just don’t want to.