So here's a question. At my university, in the student cafeteria (the one that you have to go to if you live on residence) there is a halal grill. For those who don't know what that is (I didn't until about an hour ago) it's where they serve food that is acceptable to the Muslim code of conduct. They don't have a big muslim population (with the exception of the cooks) at the school and my question is, should I be offended by this? Is having something religious like this appropriate? They don't have a kosher grill, or anything for any other religions even. I'm not even sure how I feel about it, I just know I don't like it.
Does anyone think I should make a fuss about it or should I just ignore it?

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Great post Rocky John.

Evidence is crucial.  If we are going to eat meat lets slaughter in a way which minimises distress, pain and suffering.

If halal slaughter can be proven to be less distressing (for the animal) then it should be adopted.

It should be adopted because evidence supports it, not because it is a ritual.

There are other studies which conflict the study you cite.  Some reports (sorry unable to reference right now) suggest that conciousness remains for upto 30 seconds - especially if rapidly forming clots maintain a cerebral blood pressure after the cut.

Lets embrace an evidence-based approach to these issues.  If the evidence supports ritual then everyone is happy.  If the evidence conflicts with religion then religion must step aside..

I wish I had access to Halal every day.  I freaking love middle eastern food.

Halal doesn't mean it's middle eastern, it just means it's prepared (Slaughtered) in a particular way.  A McDonalds burger could be Halal and you wouldn't call that Middle Eastern! :)

That's true, but where ever there is a specific restaurant or area of a cafeteria that is specifically serving halal, you can pretty much expect there to be deliciousness.

I think kosher & halal are largely the same standard, so perhaps it does double duty? I don't see much point in making a stink about it, unless they're spending student fees for more expensive food to benefit a small minority. But the cafeteria is most likely a money-making venture that is self-sustaining & doesn't rely much on the general budget, and as you described it, it's probably halal because the people who are running it cook halal. I'd call it a non-issue.

Live, love, and let live. Don't get butt hurt.

This is a brilliant philosophy.  I wish everyone (of any belief system or lack thereof) would get over themselves and live by this.

My issue is that animals slaughtered under Halal principles aren't slaughtered in the same way as other animals.  Whereas some people may see the way in which animals are killed barbaric anyway, at least with regular killing the animals *should* die in a quick and painless manner.  A bolt to the head to stun them before slaughter, whereas with Halal they go straight to slitting the throat.  Hardly a pleseant way to go.  On the grounds that Halal slaughter is (admittedly only marginally) crueler than a standard slaughter I refuse to eat halal meat.  There simply isn't a reason when there are better methods to go with an outdated method on the grounds of respecting religious practices.

That's why *I'm* opposed to Halal.

I would say let it go. It really isn't worth the fuss and we as Atheist/Agnostics should have a tolerance just like any other religion. Who knows, maybe they will serve some really good food sometime.

School cafeterias should have a national set of priorities. The first priority should be no sodas, no fried fast foods, and no foods with a glycemic index above 90. The second priority should be to cater to common allergies such as nuts and seafood, and lactose intolerance, which is very prevalent in all non Caucasian societies. Third priority should be according to food preferences, in order of their relevance in the school population. Vegetarians are usually a fairly substantial percentage of a school's population and within this third priority, vegetarian options should not only mean skipping the flesh, but also offering decent protein alternatives.

It seems that your school went straight to the least of priorities. So the situation indeed does seem odd.

I disagree.  True perceived necessity should be top priority.  Otherwise you get a system of exclusion and exclusion by nature creates inequality. So instead, I strongly advocate perceived necessity, then health, and then preference. 

Everyone wants to be able to enjoy the same basic privileges, and not providing a means for everyone to have the capacity to eat cafeteria food in the university is a form of inequality.  The issue is like I said in the very first post I made, is this a reasonable concession given the resources that it requires?   If it is really easy to do, then it just isn't a big deal.  If it uses a disproportionate number of resources compared to the population served, then it is inappropriate.

Which is why I stated the first priority is for a proper healthy diet, that is the only universal necessity. All else comes after. As for 'perceived' necessity, I imagine all people consider their own needs a necessity. There's no way any school system can cater/afford to ALL 'perceived' necessities. At some point you gotta do what you can with the budget at hand.


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