Beef about pork that doesn't cut mustard

By Lawyers Weekly|04 March 2012

A beef has broken out in a US prison in relation to the presence or otherwise of pork on the daily menu.Two Muslim inmates of an Ohio prison, one of whom is on death row for killing his…

A beef has broken out in a US prison in relation to the presence or otherwise of pork on the daily menu.

Two Muslim inmates of an Ohio prison, one of whom is on death row for killing his estranged wife and brother-in-law, have thrown a sausage in the works of the entire Ohio pork industry by claiming that the non-pork and vegetarian menu provided by Ohio prisons is simply not good enough.

So bad, in fact, that they are suing the state.

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As reported by Associated Press, the two inmates are demanding that non-pork meats, such as beef, come from animals slaughtered according to Islamic law, known as halal - a suggestion that has not been too keenly received by an already cash-strapped state prison system.

Death row inmate Abdul Awkal, who is scheduled to die in June, complained that the state is restraining his freedoms by not providing meals prepared according to Islamic law, while at the same time supplying Jewish prisoners with kosher meals.

To the observer, this might seem like a fair point. But rather than cater to these demands and inevitably incur more costs, Ohio officials have instead decided to remove pork from prison menus altogether, causing a huge uproar amongst Ohio pork producers and processors (and no doubt many a bacon-loving inmate).

A prison spokesperson told the Associated Press that pork was removed from the menu to ensure Muslim inmates' religious practices were not jeopardised by pork coming into contact with other food during preparation.

Not mincing their words, Pork producers - clearly upset at the loss of a significant revenue stream -claimed that removing pork from the menu altogether is "not in the best interests" of the whole prison system.

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According to the Associated Press, this is not the first time pork has caused Ohio prisons plenty of trouble in the past. It was taken off the menu back in 2009 in an effort to save money, but was back on the menu twice a month as of last year, after fierce lobbying from pork producers.

Frankly, Folklaw feels sorry for the Ohio inmates (well, as sorry as you can feel for multiple murderers), as they've missed out on the delights of the Californian jails, which provide packaged kosher meals to Jewish inmates, halal meals for Muslim prisoners, and regular servings of pork - in all its crispy, apple-sauced glory - to those who want it.

Beef about pork that doesn't cut mustard
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