Saturday, 21 May 2011

A Halal Of A Quandary

Ethical quandary. Tonight my oldest daughter is going out with her friend to a restaurant. This friend's mother is a Muslim, therefore the restaurant can serve only halal meat. Now I've seen videos of how halal meat is killed, and it isn't pretty and it certainly doesn't seem humane. Now my daughter loves animals and has aspirations to work with them, and she's old enough to grasp the concept of halal. I was torn between explaining matters so she was informed, and just allowing the evening to pass without comment. After some reflection I chose to remain silent, and for the following reasons. I am an adult, and my views have taken time to solidify. I'm very aware of just how malleable a child's mind can be, and I'm appalled by how we often front load our kids with our own biases, fears, and beliefs. I want both my girls to have the intellectual freedom to reach decisions without indoctrination on my part, so that means I need to reign it in. Our minds are incredible, but we're easily deceived. And often the worst deceivers are well meaning and loving parents that want their kids to see the world as they do. For this reason I made the decision to remain mute. The animals to be consumed have already been slaughtered, and I was reluctant to prevent her from spending time with excellent people from a different culture. I've said it before and will do so again; my children are individual human beings and not my own personal vanity project. I can give them critical thinking skills, but it's not for me to drill my biases into their developing minds.

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