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  Funny story, when I worked as a beef processor for Tyson’s fresh meat. On one particular day  as my ex wife dropped me off to work, my children who decided to come along for the ride asked, “Daddy, where are the cows going?”.

Without really thinking about it  (or how they would react) I explained to them where we get our meat from that we buy in stores. My youngest daughter, Humble (  who at the time was 4) felt so horrible for those poor, oppressed cows; she literally refused to eat any kind of beef. Any attempt to get her to eat beef ended in frustration for us. Humble made her stance clear, ‘Cows were friends, not food!’. At first we were interested… even impressed by Humbles’ stance on what she believed, and supported her feelings. Even children as young as Humble can express their value on life.  Squish a bug they mistake as a pet, and watch the disastrous effect.

As a couple of days turned into a couple of weeks, we worried. We then began to introduce more sources of protein, other than beef; such as turkey, catfish (which she loves to eat to this day), and increased the amount of chicken we ate. Living in Texas at the time, where fields of cows were plenty, Humble admired them for their beauty, as adults we take it for granted and simply see them as sources of food. In this there is a lesson in how we treat animals, even those we use for food.

As a Muslim, this brought to my mind that Islam teaches animals, yes, even the ones we eat have certain rights. They have the right of having a gentle death, which conventional methods of slaughter are lacking in. I try my best to eat Halaal, or kosher meat it can be expensive depending on where you buy it. However, it is worth it. It is the least cruel of slaughter methods I’ve personally witnessed, and from my own experience in beef processing the cleanest. As conventional slaughter doesn’t guarantee the animal dies painlessly as possible, and under severe duress which actually can affect the quality of the meat.

For information on issues concerning animal slaughter practices I decided to include some interesting links. I hope you enjoy them.

http://halalforhealth.com/index.html

http://www.sustainabletable.org/274/animal-welfare

… this last one is about cows milk, but felt it is also appropriate to include because it deals with raising healthier cows.

http://www.thelotustrust.org/ahimsa.html

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