A Question Mainly Directed Towards the Muslims and bananabrain

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro Staff Member

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    I was listening to a conversation on the radio concerning the contents of the feed given to food animals (cattle, chickens, salmon, etc.) and one of the people talking said something about quite a bit of the feed manufactured for the farm animals actually contained ground-up parts of the same species (that is probably the reason behind the huge outbreaks of mad cow disease and other diseases of that ilk) and that brought up a question (one of my infamous :p ones): if an animal is "forced" to practice cannibalism (such as with the cattle eating feed containing ground-up bovine parts), does that effect whether it is "kosher" (to use a Jewish term) and if so, what is the religious community's role in dealing with something like this?

    Sorry about this question, but I'm curious and curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought it back to life.

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
     
  2. veritasamat

    veritasamat New Member

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    hello there...

    The practice of feeding cows ground up parts from dead cows is forbidden in Islam. There is a prohibition on eating any animal that scavenges carcasses, like vultures or hyenas. Cows are naturally herbivores. When you feed them dead cow parts, you are turning them into scavengers.

    When will humanity learn to work with nature and not against it? :(
     
  3. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Ask no questions.

    Two millennia ago someone an authority on religion faced the same quandary. Being a very smart practical person, he ended up with the injunction: Ask no questions; everything digestible and nutritious, eat with thanksgiving.

    Muslims and Jews will ask questions about the food they are eating but only up to a certain limit, if you examine their queay-ness; more and more the limit will be shorter and shorter as they like everyone else go for convenience and availability in the food market and in the choice of food fare. Then finally they will adopt that position of the above referred to religious expert.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  4. veritasamat

    veritasamat New Member

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    hello susmo,

    I believe the religious authority you are referring to is the apostle Paul...am I right? :D If I remember right, the issue he was addressing was whether or not the animal had been slaughtered as a sacrifice to another god, not whether or not it was kosher.

    Anyway, it's true, most Muslims don't question whether or not their meat came from vegetarian-fed cattle. I'm sure that many wouldn't care, as you say, for the sake of convenience, which I find sad. However I think that most people don't question because they never knew it was an issue. The public has been for the most part ignorant of these practices in the cattle industry, and thanks to the mad-cow disease scare there is now a ban on feeding cow-parts back to cows. There are still loopholes in the system; for example, chickens may still be fed animal parts, and the chicken dung is then put in the cow's food supply. But at least it's an improvement, and I believe things will get better as people become more educated about the food they're eating. It's just too bad it takes a disease to get people's attention.
     
  5. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    despite what many people seem to think, this is not actually the basis of the laws of kashrut. they are not there to be healthy (albeit they are not there to be unhealthy!) - they are there to enable us to sacralise the act of eating in various different ways.

    i can't exactly make a statement about halal, really, or indeed about the average observance of the average muslim or jew. however, the halacha (law) about food has become more and more stringent, not less, over time. for example, the kashrut authorities go to a great deal of trouble to ascertain what E-numbers contain which types of ingredients, especially animal-based. can you tell me exactly on what basis you feel qualified to make judgements about what kashrut - or, indeed, halal - does and doesn't involve?

    for general information and to give some idea of the complexities involved in kashrut, why not cast an eye over this article, rather than casting aspersions on the conscientiousness of religious people?

    http://www.kashrut.com/articles/candy/

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  6. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Considerations of hygiene and nutrition

    I am more into the hygiene of foods and drinks as can be gathered from religious prescriptions, to be down to earth practical. I must apologize about not knowing the intimate theological underpinnings, except maybe with the Jewsih taboo on blood, because namely the life is in the blood and life belongs to God...

    In modern advanced society the ordinary man can be safe in regard to hygiene in foods and drinks by trusting the government authorities on their food standards, so also with drugs.

    Of course the ordinary man should interest himself with being keen on independent researchers who keep two eyes on these government offices, that they don't end up being cohorts of the food and drug industries.

    My own view is that a lot of religious taboos or prohibitions on foods and drinks are founded on pragmatic considerations of health and nutrition of the days of their founding. The more challenging theories of why the powers that be prohibit this or that food item can be solved or should be explained to ordinary people by the mentors of each religion. The ultimate explanation is that so willeth the 'God', and so understandeth the man who obeyeth God.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  7. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    i appreciate that, but it is important to understand that the idea that the purpose of kashrut is not about promoting hygiene - this is mandated elsewhere. the fact of kashrut not being in conflict with hygiene is not evidence of its justification in those terms.

    quite so. it is for this reason that rabbi moshe feinstein, one of the great posekim (experts in rendering judgement) of the late C20th, ruled that if a carton says "cow's milk" on it, we can trust that this is in fact what it contains, because of the stringent standards of government health regulations.

    i agree - if more people did this than we would be far less likely to end up in the situation we have been in as regards, say, BSE.

    yes, i know. the problem with this from a jewish point of view is that if this opinion is to be believed, the fact that it is perfectly healthy for one to eat pork or shellfish nowadays means that there is no longer a reason to refrain from eating them. this then leads to a wholesale jettisoning of anything that can be invalidated by applying scientific criteria. the resulting religion is unrecogniseable as judaism after a while. of course, this suits quite a lot of the people who suggest it, but i prefer to rely upon the validation that derives from inside the system, not upon external categories of meaning.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  8. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Any transition possible?

    Banana, I say: The ultimate explanation is that so willeth the 'God', and so understandeth the man who obeyeth God.

    I must add: so believeth man, and so he teacheth; and so they would accept who would believe so".

    Would you not say that you in all honesty and modesty aside are more learned or more exposed or more attuned with current knowledge of things than the typical rabbi or religious dieteticist, who are already precluded from a more sound judgment of foods and drinks from their professional biases?

    And yet you maintain:

    but i prefer to rely upon the validation that derives from inside the system, not upon external categories of meaning.

    Are you making any sense in the above statement?

    Anyway, as I always say: Religion is a privileged area, emphasis on 'privi'. You are as loyal a Judaist as Vaj is a Buddhist.

    Amen to that.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  9. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    er, yes? still not quite sure what you're getting at here.

    actually, no. firstly there is no such thing as a typical rabbi - i know people from all parts of this spectrum and they have to know a hell of a lot about kashrut in order to be ordained. the licensing authorities have to know even more, plus they have to known and comply with all hygiene and applicable regulations of the law of the land according to the principle known as dina de'malchuta dina ("the law of the land is the law"). secondly, i don't know what you mean by "religious dieteticist". thirdly, who is to determine what is "sound"? as i say, one of the points about jewish law is that it does not require validation by logic, science or other external systems.

    yes! what i am saying is that the jewish system of thought has developed in a more or less integrated fashion over several thousand years in parallel with and, in many respects, predating the philosophical system of the greeks and romans, which is where the western academic and scientific disciplines of europe derive from. what i am saying is that Torah doesn't have to make scientific and logical "sense" any more than chinese medicine or australian aboriginal art does. it operates according to its own sense-principles. this problem continually recurs because of a prevalent western belief that judaism is essentially part of something spuriously known as "judaeo-christian thought" and, therefore, is subject to the validation-categories thereof - which it actually isn't. that is not to say that it doesn't dovetail with them on many occasions.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     

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