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."
Source: Google Alerts
Parliament Speaker Yahya al-Rae'i has discussed in Djibouti with Iranian Shura Council Speaker Ali Larijani a number of issues of joint interests of the two countries.
The meeting was held in the sideline of their participation in the opening of Djibouti parliament new building.
Al-Rae'i emphasized the importance of the Iranian role in the region in order to achieve security, stability and development of the regions' nations.
In return, Larijani expressed his strong adherence to the mutual interests between the two countries in a way that results in the stability of the region. Several issues of common interest were touched upon in the meeting.
Yemen has signed agreements-in-principle to regulate and exchange air transport services with seven European and African countries.
The agreements were signed with each of Austria, Greece, Malta, Switzerland, Czech, Poland and Burundi in the sidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN2014) concluded in the Indonesian city of Bali on November 21, said Mohamed Abdul-Kader, the deputy chairman of General Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (CAMA).
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi held on Saturday a meeting with Prime Minister Khalid Bahah and the Presidential advisors' panel.
They reviewed decision drafts proposed by the government to form three committees, one to be tasked with studying the country's economic and financial situation. The other two are to be charged with preparing urgent executive plans for the implementation the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) regarding the Southern and Sa'ada issues.
The US Department of Defense has announced the transfer of four Yemeni detainees, and a Tunisian national, from Guantanamo Bay to Georgia and Slovakia.
Two separate statements by the US Department of Defense on Thursday said that Salah Mohammed Salih Al-Dhabi, Abdel Ghaib Ahmad Hakim, and Abdul Khaled Al-Baydani were transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Georgia, and Hashim Bin Ali Bin Amor Sliti and Husayn Salim Muhammad Al-Mutari Yafai were transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Slovakia.
The HEYA Yemen team in Participation for Community Foundation (PCF), along with their five local partners; (Awaam Foundation for Development, My Vision NGO, Shaher Foundation for Consultancy and Marketing, The Third Eye Foundation, Tanwaa Foundation) and the regional umbrella organization , Academy for International Development – Middle East and North Africa (AID-MENA), launched their first press conference at the Saba Hotel in Sanaa, Yemen.
Despite the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, the event was attended by community public figures, civil society organizations (CSOs) and more than 20 media bodies that included radio and television news channels, newspaper journalists and various online platforms to highlight the role of Yemini women during the democratic transition.
Guest speaker of the press conference, Mr. Amin Goman, the Capital Secretary Assistant reiterated HEYA’S intentions, claiming that “in order to achieve the outputs of the national dialogue, we have to work closely with all women alliances to increase the role of women in monitoring and formulating public policies and to take part of the decision making process in Yemen”
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday valued highly the Japanese donation of US$5.3 million to support on-site school feeding up to the end of the current school year.
The donation was confirmed at a signing ceremony in Rome on 7 November.
"This is a new activity for WFP Yemen, which we have been able to launch entirely as a result of Japan's support," said WFP Yemen Deputy Country Director and Officer-in-Charge Rukia Yacoub. "With this latest donation, we can continue to provide snacks to children attending school right through the year."
"I believe this food aid will contribute directly to the alleviation of the impacts of food shortages as well as the improvement of people's nutritional status in this country," said Japanese ambassador to Yemen Katsuyoshi Hayashi.
Under this operation, WFP will provide a daily snack, consisting of a nutritious date bar, to some 295,000 primary and secondary schoolchildren regularly attending school, to encourage attendance and help them to concentrate during lessons.
The Standing Committee of the General People's Congress (GPC) held its special session chaired by Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the GPC.
During the meeting they discussed the current developments on the national scene in Yemen and regulatory conditions of the GPC.
The Commission adopted its regulatory decisions of new appointments at senior organizational configurations of the Presidency GPC.
After discussions and proposals the members of the Committee approved the following names:
A Republican decree No. (140) for the year 2014 was issued on Friday naming the new government members as follows:
President of the Republic,
After perusal of the constitution of the Republic of Yemen,
Law No. (3) for the year 2004 on the Cabinet,
Decree of the President of the Republic No. (62) for the year 2014 to authorize Mr. Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah to form the government,
The Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and its implementation mechanism signed on 23/11/2011,
Peace and National Partnership Agreement signed on 21/9/2014, and
A proposal by Prime Minister, and for the supreme interest of the country.
It has been decided,
Article No. (1): The government is to be formed as to follow