Wednesday, 28-September-2016 08:07
 
no comments in "Entertainment"
Entertainment
Almotamar Net - 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 Princes farm.

Monday, 08-October-2007
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."

Tim Evans
tim.evans@indystar.com
Source: Google Alerts
More from "Entertainment"

Other titles:
Tuesday, 27-September-2016
The Saudi aggression continued on Tuesday targeting residents’ houses and properties in a number of governorates.

A military source said that the aggression’s warplanes launched a sortie against a nursery belonging to the Office of Agriculture and Irrigation in Al-Anad, another one in the middle of the city and three other sorties against Al-Shuhada cemetery in Razih area in Sa’ada governorate.

The source pointed out that two farmers were injured by a sortie against a farm in Sahar district, and a car was also targeted in Baqum district in Sa’ada governorate.
Tuesday, 27-September-2016
Saudi aggression's warplanes waged six raids against Serwah district of Marib province early on Tuesday, an official said.
The strikes targeted citizens' houses and property, as two houses were destroyed, the official added.
Tuesday, 27-September-2016
Saudi aggression fighter jets waged on Tuesday morning three air raids against civilian targets in Hodeida city, an official said.
The raids targeted Political Security buildings in downtown the port city.
Tuesday, 27-September-2016
Saudi aggression fighter jets waged two raids on Bani Matar district of Sana'a province late on Monday, a security official said.
The raids targeted Asbahha area, caused huge damage to citizens' houses and Property, the official added.
Monday, 26-September-2016
The Saudi war jets on Monday launched a series of air raids on several areas of Sa'ada province, a security official said.

The official added the war jets targeted al-Qata'a area in Kutaf city with four raids and Qataber and al-Margam areas in Baqem district with three raids.
Monday, 26-September-2016
Saudi aggression air strike on Monday morning killed eight members from one family, mostly children, in northern governorate of Saada, an official said.
Three others were injured in the air attack.
Monday, 26-September-2016
Saudi aggression air strike on Monday morning killed eight members from one family, mostly children, in northern governorate of Saada, an official said.
Three others were injured in the air attack.
Monday, 26-September-2016
GPC leadership, Ali Abdullah Saleh received on Monday congratulation letters and calls on the occasion of the 54th Day of the Yemeni 26 September Revolution.
The letters and calls are from GPC leaderships, a local officials, civil society.
They hoped Saleh and all Yemeni people a peace and a good life.
Sunday, 25-September-2016
Saudi aggression's warplanes waged seven raids against the capital Sana'a early on Sunday, an official said.
The strikes targeted Sarif area east of al-Rawda city, on the road linking the capital with neighboring province of Mareb, causing large damage to citizens' houses and farms, the official added.
Sunday, 25-September-2016
Saudi aggression fighter jets waged late on Saturday night, four air raids on Moton district of Jawf province , an official said.
The raids targeted residential Ham area in the district, he said. No casualties were reported, but damage to people's properties.

who we are     |    Advertising     |    contact us
All rights reserved © Almotamar Net, Developed by