Halal in Canada: People’s Perception, Availability and Methodology

In early November, PEGIDA Canada presented a poll to their readers on several different social media platforms with the following question:

Would you knowingly eat/purchase halal? Why or why not?

Our intent with this poll was to gauge people’s reception to halal products, for or against. Being a page that warns against Islamism, we realized our results would be rather skewed, however, it was interesting to read the reasons behind peoples choices.  The reasons for not purchasing/eating far outweighed the reasons for purchasing/eating.

This was the result of our poll:

We received approximately 1800 responses to our poll. We cannot provide an exact number, as Facebook does not give a breakdown of exact numbers, just percentages.

According to the numbers, 97% of the respondents would NOT knowingly purchase/consume halal products, while 3% of respondents WOULD knowingly purchase/consume halal products.

We further broke down this poll with the respondent’s reasons for being for/against purchasing/consuming halal. Approximately 140 people responded with reasons for their choice and this was broken up into the following categories:

NO

Screenshot 2019-11-20 21.00.26

 

YES                                                                                                                                                             We only received one response for the yes vote, that being that it was cheaper.


Information regarding some of these categories:

HALAL IS DEDICATED TO FALSE GOD

There is information and recommendations on both sides of this argument. The following is an appropriate quote:

“Paul explained to the church at Corinth that offering meats to idols does not change the nutritional value of that meat, if it is “clean” according to God’s food laws. However, some in Corinth were weak in conscience. Eating clean meats that had been offered to a pagan god was offensive to some church members. In this situation, Paul taught that it was wrong to do anything that might cause them to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:12-13).”

https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-questions-and-answers/is-it-allowable-for-a-christian-to-eat-halal-or-kosher

HALAL SLAUGHTER IS UNSANITARY

There is an argument on both sides of this issue as well. Some abattoirs are kept sanitary, while others definitely do not abide by Canadian food safety laws. There are Muslim communities in Canada that slaughter privately, particularly for events such as Eid with no thought to sanitary conditions. Near London, Ontario, a permit was requested for a halal abattoir licence. This request was granted by the city of London, even though this property was found to have dead carcasses in it’s fields that were left to rot.

18766587_10153998594744364_3045506496928163784_o

https://www.london.ca/newsroom/Documents/LongwoodsRd.pdf

Controversial abattoir's site plan subject of public meeting Monday

https://dianebederman.com/exclusivethe-practice-of-halal-slaughter-in-canada-shared-in-video/

HALAL SUPPORTS JIHAD

Studies have been done about the association of Halal certification and the funds being funneled to terrorist organizations in the past.

Muslim Association of Canada: a contributor to Hamas fund collector controls halal certification in Quebec

Screenshot 2019-11-20 10.14.08

 

HALAL SLAUGHTER IS CRUEL

“Video footage of birds being slaughtered while conscious, not stunned as required by OMAFRA, was also obtained. LCA also alleged the facility’s halal certification expert was irregularly present on the site.”

https://www.orangeville.com/news-story/9343770-last-chance-for-animals-places-undercover-worker-in-halal-slaughterhouse-alleges-government-oversight-definitely-lacking-/

“Despite Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations stating that food animals are not to be subjected to avoidable distress or pain, and must be rendered unconscious via captive bolt to the head, gas or electric shock before being cut (arguably causing less suffering), an exception is made for ritual slaughter.”

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-ritual-slaughter-is-inherently-cruel-canada-should-know-better-than/

Cow_Slaughter_Milton
Cow being slaughtered behind a mosque in Milton, Ontario

 

HALAL IS SHARIA

“When you see halal foods in shops, you think to yourself, ‘it is just a kind of food’. No, it is sharia.”

“Halal is two victories in one. ‘We divide people, two societies within a society, and we make money.'”

“Halal is sharia, and we need to ban anything that is sharia in our society.”

https://www1.cbn.com/content/muslim-halal-food-sales-supporting-terrorism

https://archive.ph/lXg3H

Screenshot 2019-11-20 10.19.11


RESPONSE OF CANADIAN PRODUCERS/GROCERY CHAINS

As well as asking for the public’s opinion, we also contacted all the major grocery store chains as well as meat/poultry producers in Canada. As of publication, we have had three responses. We contacted well over twenty organizations with the following question:

Hello, we are currently doing a study on halal products in Canada and people’s reaction/openness towards purchasing/consuming it. How much of your product is halal and do you label your products?  Is this left up to the individual locations? Are all halal products officially certified? Thank you for your anticipated reply.

We received a reply from one grocery store chain based in British Columbia. Here is their response:

“Thank you for your email.

We offer very little Halal meat. Any Halal meat that we do carry would be marked as Halal on the signage.”

We received two replies from meat producers. Here are their replies:

The first reply is from a beef producer in Western Canada

“Hello

How much of your product is halal and do you label your products? Yes

Are halal products officially certified? YES

We asked if they would provide percentages, they were not willing.

The second reply is from a major Canadian producer

“Thank you for contacting us and your interest in knowing more about our Halal products. We produces both Halal and Non-Halal products. All of our Halal products are branded under Zabiha Halal and we are certified under the Canadian Halal Food Certifying Agency. If you would like more information, please feel free to visit our Zabiha Halal website @ https://www.zabihahalal.com/

Should you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you”

Once again, we asked for percentages, and once again, they were not willing to disclose this information.

The fact that we had only three responses out of over twenty inquiries is probably due to the fact of who we are, namely an organization that warns and campaigns against Islamism.  Even with only three responses, the nature of the responses and lack of information is telling.

UPDATES: We have just received a reply from Loblaws and Metro today. Following is their reply to our question:

LOBLAWS RESPONSE

“Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

At Loblaw Companies, one of our pillars of Corporate Social Responsibility is ‘Source Sustainably’, and we take this commitment very seriously. Food quality and safety have always been top priorities for us, as we maintain the highest ethical and safety standards for our products – whether they are being sourced here at home, or from overseas. 

We would like to assure you that products sold in our stores adhere strictly to safety and sourcing requirements as per government regulations. In recognition of the growing cultural diversity in many Canadian neighbourhoods, Loblaw is proud to offer our customers a wide range of ethnic products, such as Halal. All products imported from the US have been approved by the CFIA. As all Canadian produced products are federally inspected, we would like to assure you that all Canadian produced Halal Meat we sell is produced in an equally federally inspected plants using only raw materials from federally inspected slaughter houses. These vendors follow HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) protocol, which contribute to the compulsory standards that must be met in order for their products to be eligible for sale in our stores.

Thank you again for giving us the opportunity to address your concerns. Please be assured that our aim is to provide customers with quality products that will suit their diverse needs and preferences.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.”

METRO RESPONSE

“Good day,

Thank you for your email and for taking the time to write to us.

Unfortunately we are not able to provide information regarding the Halal products sold in our stores as this information is proprietary.

You may want to reach out to the CFIA regarding regulations for Halal products. They may also have additional resources you can reach out to.

Best of luck!”

Screenshot 2019-11-20 11.13.06

There are several Certification agencies in Canada. The process is involved and can be costly for producers. Is this cost carried over to the consumer? Where do these fees end up? These are valid questions that Canadians should be asking their producers/grocery chains.

https://sialcanada.com/oldsial/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Halal-Insights-Workshop-for-public.pdf

Screenshot 2019-11-20 11.09.55

RESPONSE FROM READERS

  • “I do not eat food that has been blessed by a false god. It is a barbaric way of slaughter”
  • “most meat these days is already halal processed..abattoirs don’t advertise it..The cost is passed on to the consumers without their knowledge..it’s been going on for years.”
  • “as soon as i found out that Popeye’s in Canada serves halal chicken, i stopped going there”
  • “I would not buy halal for two reasons. 1) The brutal and utterly unnecessary cruelty of halal slaughter and 2) My grave concerns over what my money might end up funding.”

As a result of our poll, we were contacted by several individuals with inside information with regards to retail halal. The following edited quote speaks of this person’s experience in their local store. Names have been omitted for the safety of the individual:

“I have been a meat manager for many years.  Several years ago, my store installed an oven to cook bbq chickens. I was instructed to order halal whole chickens. The chicken supplier provided labels for halal and “regular”. I was told to use only halal to cook, and if I cooked 24 at a time to label 8 of them as halal. I did this for a while, until I learned more about halal. After that I starting ordering only “regular” chickens and still labeled them as both. My boss told me that was unethical. I told her it was equally unethical to sell halal only, and deceive Christians. When I moved to a different store, they were ordering only halal. I changed back to regular and threw out the halal labels. During a store visit the supplier rep noticed I didn’t have any halal bbq chickens and asked if I was out of labels. I told him we don’t cook halal and he gave me a funny look. I pushed him for a response and he told me that all chicken coming from them was halal. I questioned him further about all of the fresh chicken in the meat counter, because some of it did come packaged and was labeled halal. He then confirmed again that ALL chicken was halal. I freaked on him in the meat cooler. How dare they sell fresh chicken that has been inhumanely slaughtered, blessed by an imam, while 1 of my ten commandments says not to have any god before mine, and knowing that the halal certification fees are forwarded to fund terrorism. He really didn’t provide me any answers because he was shocked that I questioned him to begin with. Had he known what my response was going to be I suspect he would have lied. He was travelling with his boss a few weeks later and we had the same conversation.  It is my understanding that until Muslims have a 51% of population in a country, that they are considered a “traveler” and non halal food is permissible.”

CANADIAN CHAINS WITH HALAL PRODUCTS

https://www.zabihah.com/chn/ca

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

https://hmacanada.org/

https://hmacanada.org/hma-processed-meat-deli-products/

https://hmacanada.org/certification-procedures/

https://hmacanada.org/halal-guidelines/

https://hmacanada.org/hma-certified-stores/

Halal Expo Canada Inaugurated in Toronto

 

 

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