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What is halal meat?

What is halal meat? | Teachers Toolbox | Scoop.it

"There have been calls for clearer labelling of halal products in shops, restaurants and takeaways. But what is halal food? And why are campaigners so concerned?"


Via Seth Dixon
Ms. Harrington's insight:

Halal means permissible, the opposite of Haram  which means forbidden or illegal. 


Halal meat means that has been prepared in accordance with Islamic traditions and is therefore permissible for an observant Muslim to eat (very similar to Kosher for Jewish people). 


Within the European Union more Muslims are migrating to Europe.  Some Europeans, however, feel that the Halal labeling and marketing is a change to the cultural landscape that they are not comfortable with, and don't want to see it become more mainstream.  Other meat companies try to present their products as Halal, but don't adhere to all of the customs according to some more strict Muslims.  Halal, then is a lightning rod, in either direction right now in Europe. - From Seth Dixon

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 8, 2014 3:47 PM

I know just enough Arabic to read the word Halal (حلال) and know that it means permissible, the opposite of Haram (حَرَام‎) which means forbidden or illegal.  In the context of meat, it means meat that has been prepared in accordance with Islamic traditions and is therefore permissible for an observant Muslim to eat (very similar to Kosher for Jewish people).  Today, Halal is becoming an important issue within the European Union for two main reasons: 1) more Muslims are migrating to Europe and 2) Europeans are searching for less artificial food products.  Some Europeans, however, feel that the Halal labeling and marketing is a change to the cultural landscape that they are not comfortable with, and don't want to see it become more mainstream.  Other meat companies try to present their products as Halal, but don't adhere to all of the customs according to some more strict Muslims.  Halal, then is a lightning rod, in either direction right now in Europe.  If you want to see the inner workings of a Halal slaughterhouse in New York, this video will show you what it is like.   

Kendra King's curator insight, February 27, 12:07 AM

 

I am not surprised some European governments aren’t taking a stronger stance, but I think the market might sort itself out in this instance. This issue is another battle of a minority group trying to keep their culture in a different country. Muslims, who are typically discriminated against in Europe, would like there to be more clear labeling, along with Jews (another minority). As mentioned in the article, most countries (excluding Denmark) allow suppliers to kill without stunning for religious purposes, but  buyers are having trouble identifying the meat they can eat provided by these suppliers since most Europeans don't need to know this information. The author pointed out that the economic trend is showing that Muslims have enough of a "spending power" that the slaughterhouses will want to respond to their needs in order to profit. It would be nice for the government to step in, but I really doubt that will happen given how this group is typically marginalized. So in this instance, the Muslims are lucky that money motivates.  

 

Overall, I sympathize with the Muslim's desire to want more labeling even though I don't agree with it. The reason I am against eating meat rests largely with how the animals are treated from their time on the farm being raised to the time they are slaughtered. I myself wish their was more information in regards to this so I could eat meat in good conscious. Killing without stunning isn’t the most humane, but that is what  these people's conscience need due to their religion. So denying or harshly judging this desire would just be plain hypocritical of me. Therefore, I hope the economy can actually take care of itself.  

 

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Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century

Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century | Teachers Toolbox | Scoop.it
New nations seem to pop up with alarming regularity. At the start of the 20th century, there were only a few dozen independent sovereign states on the planet; today, there are nearly 200!

Via Seth Dixon
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Al Picozzi's curator insight, July 2, 2013 11:38 AM

Amazing to see many of the countries and empires that are no longer around.  Also with the dissoution of many of the empires it lead's to many of the issues that were are dealiing with today.  Splitting the Austro-Hugaraian Empire after WWI along ethnic lines didn't really work and helped to lead to WWII.  The Germans in the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia fro example.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sudetendeutsche_gebiete.svg

 for the area of German population.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:01 PM

10 countries that have become nonexistent in the 20th century include Tibet, East Germany and Yugoslavia. These countries have died off because of ethic, religious and cultural falls that were quickly taken over by bigger and more powerful countries.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 2014 9:13 PM

Essentially this article boils down to the issues of religion, ethnicity and nationalism.  People who are diverse and have different ideas generally cannot all live together under one rule and agree on everything, hence nations split and new ones form to cater to their own beliefs and similarities.

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Zwarte Piet: Holland’s Christmastime tradition racist?

Zwarte Piet: Holland’s Christmastime tradition racist? | Teachers Toolbox | Scoop.it

In the Netherlands, Santa doesn't have little elves; he has a helper (slave?) named Zwarte Piet, literally Black Pete.  He delights kids with cookies and a goofy persona.  Foreign visitors are startled by his resemblance to Little Black Sambo.


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 18, 2013 10:13 PM

Is this a harmless cultural tradition or is it racist?   Why might some Dutch not see this as offensive?  Why might someone not from there react so strongly to this caricature? What do you think?  (Note: a Dutch friend of mine was quick respond: "Sinterklaas' helpers are black because of the ashes in the chimney."  I'm curious to know whether that was always the case or if it's a way to 'whitewash' an old tradition from a bygone era.  And yes, this is an annual controversy). 

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 12:44 PM

Zwarte Piet remains a staple of Dutch culture, but today people are enraged by the racist connotations that the character portrays. Zwarte Piet was brought back from Spain by Santa. At the time of the traditional story, the Dutch, along with much of Europe, was exploring and exploiting the continent of Africa. Many people believe that "Black Pete" is a racist representation of black people, and that the tradition should end. Others argue that a tradition is a tradition.

 

Can traditions be considered racist? Or are they historical anecdotes chronicling the development of a culture, thus unable to make a modern stance? 

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9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe | Teachers Toolbox | Scoop.it
Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.

 

In 2010, Americans drove for 85 percent of their daily trips, compared to car trip shares of 50 to 65 percent in Europe. Longer trip distances only partially explain the difference. Roughly 30 percent of daily trips are shorter than a mile on either side of the Atlantic. But of those under one-mile trips, Americans drove almost 70 percent of the time, while Europeans made 70 percent of their short trips by bicycle, foot, or public transportation.  The statistics don't reveal the sources of this disparity, but there are nine main reasons American metro areas have ended up so much more car-dependent than cities in Western Europe.


Via Seth Dixon
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Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 12:18 PM

According to this article, “U.S. (transportation) planners” look to Europe for inspiration as the planners try to decrease Americans’ “car dependency.” Instead of giving answers about how to solve the “car dependency” issue, the author provided nine reasons for why Europeans walk and bike more. Ideas like how the European infrastructure was built (i.e their zoning laws, highways, and biking/pedestrian lanes) were discussed. I found the implication that European’s were able to walk more because residential areas and businesses were intermixed the most interesting of all these reasons. It could never really matter because most of America’s land is already developed, but it did make me remember an earlier study mentioned in the article in which 70% of Americans wouldn’t walk a mile when they could. Triggering this just made me think that intermixing our buildings wouldn’t matter because we are too lazy to walk. Some may come back with the idea that a lack of relaxed pedestrian and bike lanes prohibit this option. However, with the amount of sidewalks around, I just keep thinking it all goes back to how much we exercise (which isn’t much). So honestly, it is an unhealthy attitude that planners need to change. Meaning some drastic action would need to occur in order to actually change people’s habits.


 More drastic ideas like decreasing government subsidies on oil, taxing cars, and implementing policies that “shifted behavior” (i.e. no parking zones) were also explained. However with oil companies and car industries around, I don’t actually see lobbyist letting that happening in the short term. Ironically, the article mentioned that the reason U.S. planners were thinking about how to change transportation was because the model the county uses is “unstainable.” This means the transportation system cannot be maintained for either “environmental, social, or economic reasons” (see included link for definition). Thinking about these factors, I just kept coming back to oil. Environmentally it is a fixed resource, socially people want less of it due to climate change, and economically it is typically more costly. What this all means is that an alternative energy source is needed. When that eventually happens, America will probably believe the transportation system is sustainable again regardless of “urban sprawl” and lack of “public transportation.” I say this because the author pointed out how America thought itself stable during the 80’s and 90’s when energy prices were low thereby implying the bigger issue is the oil needed to change people’s behavior. 


Overall, the author did provide an in-depth list that made me pay attention to the cultural and government differences between America and Europe a bit more.


*http://environment.transportation.org/environmental_issues/sustainability/#bookmarksubSustainableTransportation

Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 7:51 PM

According to this article, “U.S. (transportation) planners” look to Europe for inspiration as the planners try to decrease Americans’ “car dependency.” Instead of giving answers about how to solve the “car dependency” issue, the author provided nine reasons for why Europeans walk and bike more. Ideas like how the European infrastructure was built (i.e their zoning laws, highways, and biking/pedestrian lanes) were discussed. I found the implication that European’s were able to walk more because residential areas and businesses were intermixed the most interesting of all these reasons. It could never really matter because most of America’s land is already developed, but it did make me remember an earlier study mentioned in the article in which 70% of Americans wouldn’t walk a mile when they could. Triggering this just made me think that intermixing our buildings wouldn’t matter because we are too lazy to walk. Some may come back with the idea that a lack of relaxed pedestrian and bike lanes prohibit this option. However, with the amount of sidewalks around, I just keep thinking it all goes back to how much we exercise (which isn’t much). So honestly, it is an unhealthy attitude that planners need to change. Meaning some drastic action would need to occur in order to actually change people’s habits.

 

 More drastic ideas like decreasing government subsidies on oil, taxing cars, and implementing policies that “shifted behavior” (i.e. no parking zones) were also explained. However with oil companies and car industries around, I don’t actually see lobbyist letting that happening in the short term. Ironically, the article mentioned that the reason U.S. planners were thinking about how to change transportation was because the model the county uses is “unstainable.” This means the transportation system cannot be maintained for either “environmental, social, or economic reasons” (see included link for definition). Thinking about these factors, I just kept coming back to oil. Environmentally it is a fixed resource, socially people want less of it due to climate change, and economically it is typically more costly. What this all means is that an alternative energy source is needed. When that eventually happens, America will probably believe the transportation system is sustainable again regardless of “urban sprawl” and lack of “public transportation.” I say this because the author pointed out how America thought itself stable during the 80’s and 90’s when energy prices were low thereby implying the bigger issue is the oil needed to change people’s behavior. 

 

Overall, the author did provide an in-depth list that made me pay attention to the cultural and government differences between America and Europe from the way space interacts with these regions.

 

*http://environment.transportation.org/environmental_issues/sustainability/#bookmarksubSustainableTransportation

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 6:41 PM

 A big reason why people are more car dependant in America is because we are a lazy nation.  Americans are always looking for the easy way to accomplish things, so if you can drive a mile to work in 2 minutes or walk in 15, its almost guarenteed that the American is walking! This is obviously a general term and does not apply to all Americans but a vast majority would opt for the vehicle.  As someone who has taken several trips to Europe, people there are in far better shape than in America and i'm sure that fitness along with better eating habits attribute to that.  

Another reason I believe America is more dependant than Europe on cars is because it is far easier and cheaper to travel via train or subway in Europe.  Train stations and public transport in America are expensive and only take you to highly populated areas while the trains in Europe will take you all over the continent.

 

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Ghosts of War

Ghosts of War | Teachers Toolbox | Scoop.it
The remarkable pictures show scenes from France today with atmospheric photographs taken in the same place during the war superimposed on top.

 

In this fastinating set of images, Dutch artist and historian Jo Teeuwisse merges her passions literally by superimposing World War II photographs on to modern pictures of the where the photos were originally taken.  This serves as a reminder that places are rich with history; to understand the geography of a place, one must also know it's history (and vice versa).   

 

Tags: Europe, war, images, historial, place. 


Via Seth Dixon
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Cam E's curator insight, February 27, 2014 11:26 AM

I'm not even sure what to say about this set of pictures exactly, except that they're a very cool way to see history. I'm interesting in Social Studies and history because I'm captivated by seeing the world framed in a story, and these images do just that. To see the same places where the war was fought and what has changed is great, but these photos also give the impression of some stories of war. The idea of them being "ghosts" gives the impression of something left behind which marks the land even to this day.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, September 10, 2014 2:56 PM

Very interesting, I've seen similar things done with Russian cities and parts of the Ukaranian country side.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 2:47 PM

This Dutch historian does a great job at interweaving places that were ridden by the second world war to its modern reconstruct. As a child, I use to question a lot what a place looked like prior to it being destroyed. In the context of Europe a continent, ridden by war, the historian not only does a great job at depicting past and present, her photographs also show how the country's government went to great lengths to preserve some of its land's historic sites.