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 Cabinet discussed in its meeting held Thursday security and economic situations in the country, as well as the performance of the government's institutions.
Presided over by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Electricity Abdullah al-Akwa', the government studied measures must be adopted by all ministries and government bodies to deal with present challenges and the implementation of Peace and Partnership Agreement signed by political parties
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At least 66 people were killed on October 9 in a suicide bombing in the capital Sana'a and a car bomb attack on an army checkpoint in eastern Hadramout governorate.
"Japan expresses its absolute condemnation of these terrorist acts, and offers sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured," the Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement posted on the Ministry's
The United Nations Security Council held an urgent meeting on Monday on the political transition and the latest developments in Yemen.
The meeting, chaired by the Security Council President, Maria Cristina Perceval (Argentina), was briefed by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Yemen, Jamal Benomar.
Perceval made a press statement, on behalf of Security Council members following the consultations on the situation in Yemen, saying that the members of the Security Council have heard a sobering update from Benomar on the current political and security situation in Yemen.
"Council members expressed their deep concern about the latest developments," she said.
"The Security Council condemned the growing number of terrorist attacks carried out or sponsored by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and expressed their determination to address this threat," she said.
Two soldiers were killed on Saturday in a terrorist attack with in Hadramout governorate, a military official said.
An army vehicle was blown up by an explosive device planted by al-Qaeda elements in Sayoun-Shebam road, the official told the Defense Ministry website, adding that the attack left two soldiers dead and two others wounded.
Military troops have been deployed at the scene of the attack and begun combing the surrounding areas, he said.
The European Union on Friday strongly condemned the terrorist attacks against peaceful protestors in Sana’a and a military checkpoint in Hadramout.
Expressing its sincere condolences to the victims’ families and sincere sympathy with the injured, the EU reiterated in a statement issued today its unwavering commitment to support Yemen in its war against terrorism.