Thursday, January 19, 2006

An Islamic Argument in favor of Vegetarianism

In doing my research for this piece, I couldn't find any information about livestock-rearing practices in the Middle East. The one page I was referred to had been blocked. Hmmm.

Dervish and I have been avoiding following what our brains know about this subject for a long time (our stomaches keep getting the best of us).

Now it seems our hearts are speaking. My six-year-old son has been commenting a lot lately about how we can't kill anything and eat it anymore. He has had 2 beloved pets (our beloved cats, Azrak, then Ringtail) tragically killed in the last three months, and I think it registers to him that death is permanent and once someone or something is dead, we can't bring them back.

I am unsure about the global situation, but in the United States, livestock-rearing practices are purely evil. I am going to prove my argument that it makes absolutely no difference if the animal was killed in the halaal (Islamically-mandated/literally, "permissable") way. Even if the animals are slaughtered according to Islamic law, the meat is still unsafe.

We need to pay attention. Things like BSE/Mad Cow disease, along with God-only –knows what else, are very real threats. We must ensure that not only is our meat slaughtered in a halaal manner, but that the way the animal was fed and raised was permissable.

Is the animal “tayyib?” Is this animal that God created as a grass-eating ruminant, being fed what God created it to be eating? Human beings are messing with the food chain in bizarre and terrifying ways. Grass-eaters have become cannibalistic carnivores.

To begin, livestock is routinely fed “protein supplements,” with the idea that this will fatten them up faster before being butchered and then eaten by humans. However, these protein supplements have evil, forbidden ingredients. Euthanized pets (complete with their insecticide-laden flea collars mind you, and their bodies are full of the poison phenyl-barbitol which doesn’t change its chemical composition after being rendered into the protein supplements!), roadkill, and body parts of cows, sheep, and chickens (cannibalism) are what make up this “protein” supplement!

Animals that are supposed to be eating grass are now eating meat. Cows, chickens, sheep etc. are now carnivores, and not only carnivores but also cannibals! Baby cows are also separated early from their mothers (they aren’t finished suckling yet) and need to be bottle-fed by the farmer. The formula they are given is composed of dried cow’s blood! Cannibalism!

The Quran directly forbids us from eating the meat of carnivores, and the meat of carrion.

Carrion, blood, swine, meat in the name of anything other than God are all forbidden except out of necessity/ignorance.



Friday, January 13, 2006

What if...

My six-year-old son is overflowing with ideas and questions. He is truly amazing, and quite a challenge to parent at times. Yesterday he came up with an interesting question;

..."what if we took all of the milk from all of the cows and grocery stores etc. on the whole planet earth and dumped it into the ocean? Then wouldn't it be a sea of milk"?

Well, at first I said of course not, there's more ocean than milk, it would still be the same ocean as it is now....

But then I thought about it some more, and realized how unscientific of me, I am just assuming that.

I need read data to answer this one properly. Anybody know the estimated volume of ocean out there? And the estimated amount of cow's milk on the planet? Thanks!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Compound Criminals

2 days ago, we went out to the playground in our compound only to find that my 3 year old daughter’s brand new life sized dollie had been dismembered and buried in a sandy grave on the playground. Her clothing had been removed, her head was even chopped off, hair was pulled out, and lay strung across the playground sand.

Well, my daughter shouldn’t have taken her dollie out to the playground….but wow she really didn’t deserve this! I can understand one of the kids trying to steal her or something….but drawing and quartering her, then burying her like a corpse in the sand in a shallow grave?

Apparently a certain boy and his sister (I swear this girl exhibits many qualities of ADHD, I guess that’s another post), were seen doing the evil deed by trustworthy enough witnesses whose testimony was also corroberated by our six year old son.

So, my husband and I decided of course to tell their parents, so the kids could be disciplined. After all, this is really quite an awful transgression, right? We thought so. We were actually mortified. What kind of kids do this? It’s twisted behavior, for sure.

Well, we had a language barrier to overcome but a lot can be communicated with our broken Arabic and gestures and pointing. They got the message, but aggressively denied with much yelling and mean tones towards us that their kids could have possibly done such a thing. Then, they actually had the nerve to try and invite us into their house and sit down and drink tea and discuss this with them!

What total freaks!

So, my husband and I “battled it out” so to speak with them on their front steps. They repeatedly denied in deplorable yelling tones at us that their kids could have done this, even when we brought the boys who had witnessed the act. Then the father had the nerve to yell at this poor teenage boy that was trying to help us by translating what we were saying! It was as if the father of these ‘ebb children didn’t want to hear the truth.

Finally, I demanded an apology, which they forced the kid to mutter, which he mustered up in a very defiant tone, like he was being falsely accused or unjustafiably persecuted.

I made it clear I didn’t want those kids anywhere near my kids or my house ever again, the man yelled loudly and terribly at us some more (why is he yelling at us, his kids are the ones who were naughty!!!???), and finally, disgusted, and confused, we walked home.

Then today, I was looking out my (one-way) mirror watching my three year old daughter on our front steps, when the pack of neighborhood boys walks up, and I see the same boy involved in the dollie incident come and whack my daughter, unprompted, on her head!

Let me tell you I busted out the front door yelling “come here”, in Arabic, and the kid was bolting for home, then stopped. Then my husband came, shooting like a lightning bolt, yelling “what happened???” and I told him who did what to our daughter, that I had seen the whole thing through the oneway window.

So my husband runs and catches the kid, who tries to run away. My husband grabs him by the ear and pulls him while running all the way down the row of houses to his house, where I hear my husband getting shouted at like all kingdom come from the ‘ebb kid’s father.

Then, the pack of boys, who are still standing there in front of my house, totally shocked, yell, “Hey, maybe they are fighting!” and they all immediately book it down to the ‘ebb kid’s villa to see if there is any action.

Well, I was holding the baby, but I decided to try and run too. When I arrived my husband was already starting to walk home and the boy’s father was out in the street, once again screaming god only knows what at the teenager my husband brought to translate for him. It really looked like the man was going to hit the poor boy.

So, I approached the mother who was standing on her front step, yelling stuff 100 miles an hour at me in Arabic, which of course I had no idea what she was saying. Then her teenage daughter said “you liar”.

Well, I blew my stack. I screamed, “I am the witness! I saw ________ hit my daughter”, (hand guestures and pointing included), and the mother then proceeded to tell me again that I am a liar.

So, I was beyound pissed off. I said the gratuitous “Hessbiyallah wa amalakeel” thing, which means “God is enough for me and is an excellent refuge,” which basically means they are doing me a seriously wrong deed, and God can dole out a much better punishment for them than I or any other human ever can.

What is it with these people? Why can’t they just admit to the fault and punish the little rascal? Why can’t they make reparations? Why is saying “sorry” so impossible?

Do they want to raise their kids up to be criminals? Because that’s what these two will become if they don’t learn to behave!

Why are they denying these two could do any wrong? Why are they protecting them like this? This is such damaging behavior.

Man, even my neighbor in Florida whose boyfriend WAS A DRUG DEALER was a better parent than these people! My son had a couple of minor run-ins with hers, and every time she apologized to me, punished him in front of me, and made him make reparations.!!!!! A DRUG DEALER’S GIRLFRIEND!

The father in this scene is a PROFESSOR at the local university !!!! What does that say, man???

Any insights from y’all out in blogosphere would be most comforting, especially from my readers who are part of and understand the Arabic culture.

My husband and I feel so left hanging. There is no closure. I feel so vulnerable for my kids, knowing that these spawn-of-satan suffer absolutely no consequences when they hurt my sweet precious little darling girl; knowing that the parents of these very awful children refuse to even listen to our reports of the terrible behavior they are engaging in, let alone do anything about it.

In America, the next step would be to involve the police. The boy is aggressive, harrassive, and the boy and girl have repeatedly tresspassed and vandalized our property (this is just the beginning, there are several other stories I could tell about the girl). Would American law address the parents? Surely the law wouldn’t penalize a 7 year old and a 10 year old. I’m unsure what the law says.

But we’re not in America anymore.

What do we do, here in Qatar?

We are at a total loss.

This whole chain of events makes me want to move out of this compound. I pray that the Ministry will facilitate that for us!!!! We have disliked this villa ever since we arrived in it. It's hard enough to have used dirty furniture, a villa that we are still cleaning from the last tennants even after 2 years of being here, continual maintenance problems, a playground full of broken glass in the sand and equipment that is unsafe and broken, a clubhouse that has been looted and is now closed, a swimming pool with lights floating in it, constant vandalism and graffitti, and gross electrical problems and hazards everywhere in the compound....but this behavior of the neighbors just takes the cake!

Vandalism is common in this compound

They set fire and melted a bench on the playground.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Thoughts to ponder from Thoreau

from Walden, Chapter 2;

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential

facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to

die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so

dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to

live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to

put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into

a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to

get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or

if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in

my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty

about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded

that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."

It seems to me that the times in my life when I have really lived, and really felt connected and at peace have been the most simple; backpacking in Yellowstone National Park on my days off from working in a restaurant in the park; living in my (spartan) cabin in the Absaroka mountains of Montana(where there was no plumbing and I had to walk 100 feet to the shower/potty building); backpacking in the Blue Ridge mountains on a part of the Appalachian trail.

With much recent reflection, I am realizing that the more contrived my environment is, the more artificial and removed from nature it is, and the more unhappy and fragmented I feel.

Cement, processed/manmade foods, air conditioning and electric heat, a completely automobile-dependant commuter infrastructure (cannot get anywhere by walking), Urban Sprawl, pavement and cars and exhaust fumes, industrial air pollution, shopping malls galore, tinted glass, clothing that is totally not purposeful for using one's body in or moving freely in made out of artificial fibres which are biproducts from the petrol industry, makeup, dyed/bleached/permed hair, and everywhere you turn the message is "buy ____, buy____," or else how could you possibly be happy???! What else is there to do?

I need to sit down with Dervish and make a plan to get rurual, or at least in a more person-friendly/pedestrain-friendly environment in the near future. I can deal with living in this environment, but I can't change the fact that this is the way it is!

Definitely a harsh aspect of living here that I am really not dealing with well. Got to get out to Dahl-al-Hammam park daily and walk, at least there is green grass and vegetation!

I miss living in Clearwater and walking my son to school every morning...being able to walk to the library, to downtown and let them chase the birds while Dervish and I could sit and drink a Latte, then walk them home. I miss the Pinellas Trail. Walking with my daughter to the pier on the intercoastal waterway after we had dropped my son off at school, and just watching the men catch fish. Seeing the thunderstorms roll in from the Gulf of Mexico. I miss Crabby Bill's oysters on the half shell, and fresh boiled shrimp for $8.00/pound. Oh, I can smell the saltwater seabreeze now. Clearwater always has a seabreeze.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I have been dreaming lately of the farm I've always wanted.

Goats for my kids to chase and milk.

Chickens, we could get eggs from and eat once in a while.

And of course, horses for me to ride!

A giant garden that we could grow veggies in and freeze extra for the winter.


I guess we would homeschool too.

I am a real outdoor person.

Living here in this desert, urban - sprawl is wearing on me.

For now, dreaming will have to suffice.....and my little container garden out back!