Tim Evans - Farmer witnesses traditions the world over as immigrants flock to slaughter their own meat
HAZELWOOD, Ind. -- The sun is just beginning to peek over the horizon, but a crowd has already gathered at Tom Prince's farm.
It's an international group; a half-dozen languages echo in Prince's metal-sided barn as a man kneels over a bleating goat and says a brief Muslim prayer, then cuts the animal's throat with a swift slash using a long, sharp knife.
It's hard to imagine a more unlikely scene -- in Indiana or just about anywhere else in the U.S. -- than the early morning gatherings that take place here.
Since 1999, Prince has operated a self-service slaughterhouse 20 miles west of Indianapolis, specializing in providing goat meat to the area's growing international community.
His card reads "You Buy -- You Kill -- You Dress -- You Take Home," and business is booming.
The 80-year-old Prince holds court inside the spotless facility from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, selling about 50 goats each weekend. In the weeks before Muslim and other religious holidays, sales often double.
Prince speaks in a slow Southern drawl. It's decidedly domestic compared to the array of languages spoken by customers who have made their way to Central Indiana from Morocco, Yemen, Nigeria, Eritrea, Togo, Kenya, Pakistan, Mexico and other places around the globe where goat is a dietary staple.
"I never thought I'd know so many people from different countries," said Prince, who developed his taste for goat -- often said to taste like a sweet mix of beef and pork -- as a child in rural Tennessee during the Depression.
In the past few years, goat meat has become available in a growing number of grocery stores and specialty markets. But Prince's business continues to grow -- even though he doesn't advertise or have a Web site -- thanks to word of mouth.
The attraction for many is the freshness of the meat and the low price. Prince sells goats for $1.40 a pound based on their live weight, and a 70-pound goat will provide about 35 pounds of meat -- so the meat costs customers an average of about $2.80 a pound, or $98.
For some, butchering their own meat helps maintain a link to cultures they've left behind.
Still others, including the large number of Muslims who buy from Prince, prefer to kill and butcher the animals themselves to ensure food preparation standards of their faith are followed.
Prince said he doesn't know a lot about Islam, but he is savvy enough as a businessman to make sure his operation meets their needs -- including situating the killing table so it faces east, toward Mecca.
Muslim customers like Ahmed Awad, 37, Indianapolis, say they appreciate the nod to their faith. A native of Yemen, Awad has been coming to the slaughterhouse about once a month for the past year to buy meat for his family.
"You can buy goat a lot of places," he explained, "but I want to kill it myself."
Prince raised and sold goats for years, but he didn't open the slaughterhouse until after he ran into trouble with state and local authorities.
"When I moved out here in 1969, I bought four or five goats just for myself," he said. "Then an African fellow came out and asked me if I'd sell him some. I sold him two and he said he'd be back next week for two more, and that's what really got me started."
In those days, Prince let customers butcher the animals in an old corncrib next to his barn. But as more people came to buy goats, the increasing activity -- along with the odd mix of visitors it attracted -- led to complaints.
"A government inspector drove up one day and told me I couldn't kill any more goats here," he said.
So Prince quit selling his goats, but former customers and others who heard about the "goat man" kept calling. The requests prompted him to get back into business and do it right, building a do-it-yourself slaughterhouse that complied with state health and sanitation standards.
"It's interesting learning how people from the different cultures prepare and use all the parts of a goat," said John Hadley, 44, a middle school janitor who lives nearby and is one of five part-time employees who help out at the slaughterhouse on Saturdays.
He said many African customers like to eat the heads, while Mexicans often keep the stomach to make soup.
Some skin the goat carcasses, while others burn off the hair with a propane torch or over a fire smoldering behind the slaughterhouse.
Either way, the customers who come out clearly aren't ready to embrace all of the new ways of their adopted home.
"We get a lot of fathers out here teaching their sons things they learned from their fathers and grandfathers," said Hadley. "It's really neat to see all these people keeping their . . . cultural traditions alive."
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The government of Yemen and donors held the fourth follow-up meeting today in Sana’a to discuss the progress made in the Mutual Accountability Framework (MAF) and the level of aid absorption in the last quarter of this year.
The meeting was chaired by the Yemeni Prime Minister, the Chairman of Executive Bureau to Accelerate Aid Absorption and Support for Policy Reforms Board (EB), Eng. Khalid Bahah, from the government and the World Bank, G4 and GCC Mission representing donors. The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Planning, Finance, Transport, Public Works, Trade number of deputies and government institutions chairmen.
The meeting, which was attended by GCC ambassadors and donors representatives as well as private sector, parliament and CSO representatives, has discussed the policy reforms implementation and absorption of donors’ aid included in the EB’s annual report. The meeting also debated the next steps and mutual commitments of both the government and donors.
Mrs. Amatalim Alsoswa, the EB’s Managing Director, welcomed the attendees and highlighted the significance of the meeting which was held after the formation of the technocratic government led by PM Eng. Khaled Bahah. She also said that the meeting was held after one year passed since the launching of the EB under which worked under exceptional security, political, economic and stability challenges.
“The Yemeni government and donors community should agree on a work plan and a mechanism to increase the level of allocation, approval and disbursement of the remaining funds as well as the development of a National Plan for the Foreign Aid as it represents a primary indicator and regulator of the GoY-donors relationship from one side, and the government.” Mrs. Alsoswa said.
From his side, the Prime Minister stressed that the cabinet targeted a number of priorities in its program. The primary priorities were security, stability, spreading State’s control and push the economic development wheel forward. “The government is working to make the best use of the donors’ pledges and reach high absorption rates for these resources
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the Tuesday bomb attacks in Radaa city in Bayda province, which killed more than 25 people, including at least 15 schoolgirls.
"There is absolutely no justification for such cowardly terrorist acts that brutally take the lives of innocent civilians, including children", said a statement read by Spokesman for UN Secretary-General.
The statement called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
In the statement , the UN Secretary-General expressed his sympathies and sincere condolences to the families of the victims of these heinous attacks.
The UN Secretary General Advisor on Yemen Affairs Jamal Binomar condemned on Friday the two terrorist attacks which took place on Tuesday in Rada city, Al-Baidha governorate, claiming the lives of 26 people, mostly children.
In a statement issued on Friday, Binomar said that: “As we offer our condolences to the families of the victims, we condemn these two terror attacks.”
An informed source in the local authority in Hodeidah governorate has said that terror elements attacked one of the “Ansar Allah” popular committees location in Kornish street using a booby-trapped car.
members of the popular committees confronted the attack killing two suicide bombers before they blew themselves up while the two others managed to blow themselves up.
The Parliament approved in its meeting on Thursday the Government's general program and voted unanimously to give confidence to the government.
After completing the discussion of the government program, the parliament listened to a report by the parliamentary committee on the main observations made during the debates and directed a number of recommendations to the government
The Republic of Yemen has strongly denounced the Israeli aggression which led to the killing of the Palestinian Minister and Head of Popular Committee Against the Settlement and Apartheid Ziad Abu Ain.
"While the Republic of Yemen denounces this brutal assault, it shoulders Israel the responsibility of this atrocious act that contradicts humanitarian values," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a release issued on Wednesday.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has held in Amman, Jordan, a four-day workshop on the implementation of Yemen's project portfolio.
The workshop, which started on Monday, also intends to review the general conditions and adopted procedures for all IFAD projects and financing agreements.
Representatives of at least 30 relevant bodies take part in the workshop, including Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF), and Ministries of Planning and International Cooperation, Finance, Agriculture and Fisheries.
At the opening session of the workshop, Yemen's project portfolio Director Mohammed Abdul-Qader talked about the importance of applying the IFAD-adopted procedures and regulations of the financing agreement and the general conditions to implement projects, stressing that IFAD's all projects aim to eradicate poverty in rural areas.