Sunday, March 4, 2012

A New Human Right

Nicolas Sarkozy has invented a new human right: the right to know how one's meat has been slaughtered:
Abordant la nourriture halal, M. Sarkozy a ainsi déclaré : "Reconnaissons à chacun le droit de savoir ce qu'il mange, halal ou non" et a demandé "l'étiquetage des viandes en fonction de la méthode d'abattage".
This is curious indeed. The French, ces fins gourmets, can't detect the difference between halal and non-halal meats with their palates, apparently, so they are being asked to make the difference palpable with their ballots. Is there a fear that one can be turned into a Muslim by eating halal meat? What about the right to know whether one's meat has been killed humanely, laced with antibiotics and growth hormones, or handled properly from abattoir to retail outlet? These are modern issues, clearly less important in right-wing politics than tribal atavisms.

Claude Guéant has taken the argument a step further: if one gives the right to vote to foreigners, they may impose the use of halal meat in the school cafeteria. Of course some Muslims are French citizens, so they already have the right to vote and elect local councils that might be majority Muslim, yet the mass conversion of French Catholics via the school cafeteria has yet to occur. Still, no xenophobic fear is too remote to go unraised in a presidential campaign.

How low can one stoop?


Anonymous said...

If British people get the vote, school cafeterias will be overrun with fish and chips and curries; if Italians do, then it'll be pizza every day; and I guess if Norwegians get to vote in local elections, kids will have to like lutefisk.
But, oh, wait! But foreigners ALREADY have the vote! And since Sarkozy can't alienate Jews, he can't make pork product "compulsory", so in the end it's a sticker on supermarket meat and alternate choices at the school cafeteria. Wow I'll vote for you, this was THE issue that kept me awake at night.

Frankly Sodexo and other commercial outfits replacing local cooks are much more to blame when it comes to school lunches.

This is so ridiculous it shows a certain desperation.

Moderates around me actually liked the "75% tax over 1 million" idea, even if they don't like Hollande much, including those who voted for Sarkozy the first time around. The "hallal sticker" idea is getting major eye rolls though. Mostly they think it's a good idea but what you'd expect from Ministre de l'agriculture, not from a presidential candidate.

I'm sure the "hallal" controversy interested people and indeed lots of people around me worried they were made to eat "religious food" without their consent. But on the grand scale of things, even though the hallal controversy did have a bigger impact than you'd think - and even if MLP does not have her "signatures" - this does not respond to voters' worries.

Something odd that shows how confused with Sarkozy's strategy people are right now:

Anonymous said...

"yet the mass conversion of French Catholics via the school cafeteria has yet to occur"

Excellent :)

Robert said...

A minor quibble: Since Brits living in France do have the vote, Quartiers Diffciles with heavy concentrations of UK citizens must be overrun with Indian and Chinese restaurants, as said constituency tends to look down upon its own food. That presumably explains Paris Treizieme, etc.

Furthermore, I personally dread the day when the hundreds of thousands of Brits living in Neuf-Trois will use their voting power to impose cricket kits and other similarly oppressive gear upon French children.