Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Certified Foods

I don't always understand religion. My only appearance in church is at weddings, funerals and when the kids were at school. Despite this, I do have family members who attend regularly and I always respect others' choices in what their belief is. On the other hand, I'm not vocal about why I don't attend church, but I want so much to believe there is a Heaven. Mostly in this multi-cultural world, I do accept that there are vast and many, many aspects to one's own particular religion and its God. Never once have I scoffed at faith. I feel if you believe there is a God, you must also accept that the Devil exists, too.

My son came home late from work on Sunday, and I asked him if he'd been given a bit overtime. He has a weekend job at our local hospital, working in both the kitchens and as a porter. But he said it was a missing slip that held him back for an hour.

After preparing a meal for an Muslim patient - of which included the same meal choices as other patients - he could not find the 'slaughter' certificate. At first I thought he was pulling my leg. Of course I understood that animals are and were still being sacrificed in certain religions. Even for a meat eater, I don't always like to think how the animal died but it doesn't stop me from wolfing into that chicken Korma! And as much as I respect her choice - my great niece won't ever turn me into a vegetarian, not while there's rolls and bacon out there!

But I felt it for the patient. Her chicken choice had to be slaughtered across the throat straight from life - no partial stunning beforehand - and then drained of blood. This had to be proven before she could eat. Chef had already left the kitchens and he is the one who tends to the meal certificates stating that this meat was in compliance with Halal. In a very busy hospital kitchen one little slip can easily go amiss among the hundreds of other trays now and again. But it wasn't for the want of searching.

So, after the other women in the ward - a lot eating the same meal - had finished theirs the Islamic woman had no other choice than to pick another meal and eat alone. And my son said that chef wouldn't be a happy bunny when he heard about it. For a long while now, the kitchens in hospitals run in orderly effect of Halal. Personally, I couldn't care less how my haggis was killed - pull it's brains out with hooks down it's nose if need be - it won't alter the flavour to me!

What ever the ethics and ethos of some cultures, it goes to show that some things we take for granted can be a little more awkward for others. The attitude towards alcohol in some religions I can fully appreciate. I now also understand why during my son's primary school days, his friend Wiqqas, who is Muslim, wasn't as overly polite as I thought he was when it came to food during sleep overs. At the time, I just didn't think. Poor little empty-bellied adolescents! Just as well I had something other than chicken in for tea!

Remember there will be Pratt Of A Cat examples at the end of each post!
PRATT OF A CAT - example 2:

2. Never curl up and fall asleep next to drunken teenagers.......pratt!

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