Project Localize: Slaughterhouse Live
2015 Project Localize Best Storytelling Winner
Student Artwork by High School for Math, Science and Engineering in New York City
Location: Madani Halal, Ozone Park, New York
Featuring: Imran, who likes Star Wars (his ringtone is R2-D2)
At Madani Halal they believe consumers must be “re-sensitized” to the sourcing and processing of their meat. Imran establishes relationships with farmers to ensure that the animals are raised humanely. Once they arrive at Madani, the poultry, lambs, and goats are slaughtered in an open setting where the customers fully appreciate the lives that are given for their sustenance and gustatory pleasure. Halal: adjective \ho’lal\ selling food ritually fit according to Islamic law. For Imran, halal practices are not just guidelines for animal slaughter, but for conducting business and for his way of life. He says, “I would never give anything to my customers that I wouldn’t consume myself.” Madani Halal serves one of the most diverse communities in New York City. Many people left their homelands to achieve dreams here. Purchasing meat is an intimate experience and Imran even allows some to slaughter their own poultry. It connects them back to their origins. It is a part of who they are.
“Everybody talks about farm to table, but nobody talks about the step in between. And that’s what we do here.”
“Believe it or not, not all of our customers are halal. They use us because they like our practices.”
“Still to this day it’s very emotional for me. When one becomes immune, it is that day they have lost the essence of what makes us human.”
They sell both commercial and heirloom breeds, including the New Hampshire Barred Gray, and most of the animals are pasture-raised.
Imran pays respect to the animals by slaughtering them one at a time, never sharpening the knives in front of them, using every body part and saying a prayer “to thank God for allowing us to take a life to continue our own.”