Your Thanksgiving turkey might have been blessed by Allah! But first, a little background.
Food plays a big part in some religions. In Judaism, certain foods are prohibited. Pork is the big one, but there’s a long list of other forbidden foods that don’t pass the kosher test. “Reasons for food not being kosher include the presence of ingredients derived from nonkosher animals or from kosher animals that were not properly slaughtered, a mixture of meat and milk, wine or grape juice (or their derivatives) produced without supervision, the use of produce from Israel that has not been tithed, or the use of nonkosher cooking utensils and machinery.”
When I was learning Hebrew, I had the privilege of being taught by a Rabbi’s wife. Their house was all kosher. Eating utensils could not be washed with soaps that contained fat since an observant Jew cannot eat fat. That’s why I love Jewish delicatessens: lean meat.
The kosher symbol can be found on stores owned by Jews who sell kosher foods and their products.
The Bible does not indicate that kosher laws are related to health. “Clean” and “unclean don’t mean “healthy” and “unhealthy.” “If clean means or indicates healthy, and unclean means unhealthy, then when a person became unclean he became unhealthy.” But this is not the case. Jesus healed the sick, but He cleansed the leper.1 There’s something else going on with the dietary laws than health.
One of the oldest food laws in the Bible is the command against boiling “a kid in its mother’s milk” (Ex. 23:19; 34:26; Deut. 14:21). A kid could be boiled in another mother’s milk but not in its own mother’s milk. This is not a health regulation. James B. Jordan writes:
“Jerusalem is the mother of the seed (Ps. 87:5; Gal. 4:26ff.). When Jerusalem crucified Jesus Christ, her Seed, she was boiling her kid in her own milk. In Revelation 17, the apostate Jerusalem has been devouring her faithful children: ‘And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.’ Her punishment, under the Law of Equivalence, is to be devoured by the gentile kings who supported her (v. 17).”2
Other religions have regulations governing how foods are prepared. Islam is a good example. Now we learn that big-name food producing companies are following Islamic halal standards. Here’s a story reported by WorldNetDaily:
As you sit down with your family on Thanksgiving and consider offering a prayer of gratitude, be aware the turkey at the center of the table may have already been “blessed” – in the name of Allah.
Customer service representatives from Butterball, one of America’s most popular Turkey brands, confirmed to WND that the company’s whole turkeys are – without being labeled as such – slaughtered according to Islamic “halal” standards.
“Halal slaughter involves cutting the trachea, the esophagus and the jugular vein and letting the blood drain out while saying, ‘Bismillah allahu akbar’ – ‘in the name of Allah the greatest,’” explains Pamela Geller, author of “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.” “Many people refuse to eat it on religious grounds. Many Christians, Hindus or Sikhs and Jews find it offensive to eat meat slaughtered according to Islamic ritual.”
She continues on her blog, Atlas Shrugs, “I don’t want to eat halal. Not a bite – and yet this is being shoved down the throats of Americans without their knowledge.”
Multiple phone representatives at Butterball confirmed the turkeys are slaughtered according to halal standards, and one named Tracy (she declined to give her last name) further confirmed the words of Islamic dedication are spoken over the birds. None, however, could explain exactly how the slaughters are performed.
“I don’t actually work in the processing plant,” Tracy explained.
As WND reported earlier this year, however, Butterball isn’t the only company that may be serving halal meats to unaware customers.
So what do you think? Do you have a problem eating a turkey that was given the halal treatment? Are you upset that Butterball does not indicate that their birds were slaughtered by halal standards like Jews do with their kosher symbols?
- The Hebrew word tsara’ath, most often translated “leprosy,” is not what we think of leprosy today, better known as Hansen’s Disease. “Naaman the Leper” (2 Kings 5:27) was said to be “leprous,” as “white as snow.” This can’t be what we call leprosy because Hansen’s Disease does not cause the skin to become white. Biblical “leprosy” could also involve clothing, leather garments (Lev. 13:37–48), and the walls of buildings (14:37). [↩]
- James B. Jordan, The Law and the Covenant: An Exposition of Exodus 21–23 (1984), 192, 272–277. [↩]