The human rights industry was up in arms the other day over the fact that a company supplying ‘halal’ meals to prisoners was providing meat with pork DNA in it, not pig meat as such, just the DNA, or rather traces of it.
Mail. (usual caveats)
The Ministry of Justice has suspended a prison meat supplier after it was discovered that Halal pies and pasties may have contained traces of pork DNA.
The meat had been sourced from a properly Halal certificated caterer, however an investigation showed that the products could have contained traces of non-Halal meat, including pork.
The consumption of pork is forbidden under Islamic law, and all of the contaminated products have been withdrawn with immediate effect, the Ministry said.
It does rather strike me as pandering to prisoners by allowing them a ‘special’ diet over and above normal prison fare. After all, it’s not like halal is an especially healthy option and certainly it does smack of privilege to demand that your religion is pandered to in prison. After all, most religions tell you that you shouldn’t break the law in a way that you end up in prison (yes I know about political prisoners, but we don’t officially have them) So it does seem that if you break the law, get caught, get convicted you face the consequences of not having a religious dietary requirement met by the state. My point of view tends to be unless there’s a medical requirement for a diet, you take what you’re given and be grateful. That includes vegetarians too. If you’re so wrapped up in your beliefs that you want to starve yourself to death then that’s your look out, not the states (or mine come to that)
Chris Grayling the Justice Secretary when asked about prisons, he said he wanted them to be “spartan, but humane, a place people don’t have a particular desire to come back to”. Perhaps if we weren’t pandering to their every whim they wouldn’t.
In the end it really ought to come down to don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.