The culture that is Alexandria, VA

A proposal to open a halal butchery facility in Alexandria hit a snag Saturday after some local business owners and dog owners objected. DC Poultry Market wants to open a facility that would sell fresh, humanely killed chickens on Colvin Street in a mostly industrial area of Alexandria between Duke Street and railroad tracks. There are no residential properties in the immediate area, but pet businesses abound: Pinnacle Pet Spa & More, Frolick Dogs, Dogtopia, and the Wholistic Hound Academy.

Therein lay a problem. Though city staff and Alexandria’s planning commission recommended approving DC Poultry Market’s application, dog  lovers showed up to the Alexandria City Council’s March 16 meeting to object on olfactory grounds (“My dog can smell when there’s a cookie down the block,” one resident said) and on proximity to poultricide (“Knowing that my dogs may be walked by a business that holds chickens in a windowless room before their throats are slit while fully conscious does not make me feel that my dogs are in a safe environment,” another said).

Here is the full story, via Bruce A.  Few seem to be complaining about the chickens.


Comparing negative externalities, at this point I'd happily trade my neighbor's dogs for a chicken slaughterhouse.

I’d trade my neighbor’s dog for one garlicky, thyme encrusted roast chicken.

I’m a former dog owner who’s come around to the view that dogs are the enemy of good people. They are particularly the enemy of children, with whom they compete for societal accommodation. And children are actually useful to society.

If you can’t safely and without your neighbors noticing let your dog run free outside, you are in too developed an area to ethically own a dog. That rules out most suburbs, much less urban areas.

Nice try, Lord Cat-Lion, nice try.

"Few seem to be complaining about the chickens."

"Comparing negative externalities..."

Ah yes, the cute animal paradox. I'm reminded of Dennis Leary.

If I could recount the total number of times I've had conversations with 'animal lovers' that really don't in fact love any animals (or humans for that matter), I'd be a wealthier man than I am today.

Note to self: next time I encounter an issue with development, buy a pet and blame my preferences on the animal.

What a bunch of entitled pricks. Managing growth is hard, but managing decline is much harder.

But I assume that this has nothing to do with the dog and eveyrthing to do with keeping "others" out.

Their argument is only believable because of how silly Americans are with their pets.

have you read my paper about dog fragility?
wasn't their a pretty good
move about this
called best in show?

when you spell "there" correctly.

it is vernacular

Isn't everything?

Truer words were never spoken.

My barber had an immigrant open an off-the-books halal butchery in a building across the street from her establishment. He just dumped the offal into the communal dumpster. And in the alley after he had filled the dumpster.

The stench was always bad, and particularly so when the wind was from the wrong direction.

It took the city several months to take action and force an eviction. 2 years later, the building and alley still smell so bad that the building owner hasn't been able to lease out the property.

It took the city several months

It's amazing how otiose some public agencies are, as if they existed to sluice income to their useless workforce.

I used to live in a town which was rigorist about parking violations and received tickets and tickets. You mailed in your fine or you showed up in front of the local JP within two weeks. That JP also slapped a $500 fine on a Chinese restaurant which had received a citation for pouring grease into storm drains. The second time they were cited, they got a $1,000 fine.

Well, at least a less disgusting user name, as this is on par with demanding someone be pilloried.

Well, our mayor is a self-described non-partisan progressive. (blows raspberry at the non-partisan part.) He has an addiction to OPM and was crying on the radio the other day because the state legislature passed a law to stop him from continuing to expropriate tax-payer money without putting it to a vote like the state constitution requires.

Looks like the progs are all done wrecking the big cities with bad governance and are now taking on the well-being of mid-size and small cities.

Question: will it take longer to reduce the mid and small cities to Detroit-level dysfunction, or will it happen more quickly? Inquiring minds want to know! Although we may have several empirical demonstrations before too long.

Put that in the file marked 'Diversity is Our Strength', along with an inventory of the auto parts dumped by passers-by on Victor Davis Hanson's front lawn.

Chicken, the meat staple of the American diet. Yet, the chicken we get in America is bland, almost tasteless, unklike the chicken one might buy at the marché de la Bastille in Paris. Why is American chicken so bland? We feed chickens, and almost every other meat animal, routine doses of antibiotics on almost every day of their lives. "Antibiotics do not create blandness, but they created the conditions that allowed chicken to be bland, allowing us to turn a skittish, active backyard bird into a fast-growing, slow-moving, docile block of protein, as muscle-bound and top-heavy as a bodybuilder in a kids’ cartoon."

Antibiotic resistance is becoming a hidden epidemic. Eighty percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States and more than half of those sold around the world are used in animals, not in humans. Animals destined to be meat routinely receive antibiotics in their feed and water, and most of those drugs are not given to treat diseases, which is how we use them in people.

Instead, antibiotics are given to make food animals put on weight more quickly than they would otherwise, or to protect food animals from illnesses that the crowded conditions of livestock production make them vulnerable to. And nearly two-thirds of the antibiotics that are used for those purposes are compounds that are also used against human illness – which means that when resistance against the farm use of those drugs arises, it undermines the drugs’ usefulness in human medicine as well.

There's a problem with chickens, and it's not their odor. They are the ultimate fast food: they are grown in artificial conditions and pumped with antibiotics to produce fast growing fat birds for human consumption. My advice? Don't eat chicken or any other meats sold at the typical super market.

Antibiotic free chicken already makes up about half the market in the US. If you care, it is trivial to find and buy it. It doesn't taste any different. Pasture raised chicken can be a little less fatty, and IMO taste a little better. French chickens mostly taste better because they tend to be good cooks, and aren't fixated on the worst part of the chicken, the boneless skinless breast.

Most people prefer the buttery soft texture of Cornish X chickens, which take about a month to get to 1 kg weight. At one point in the Philippines I was growing 300 birds a month, and like rayward says, the antibiotics are to make them grow faster as well as ward off disease. I tried organic but I had too many losses from contagious diseases after the first couple of months, since the chickens were cooped up. The CX birds get so fat so fast they actually can't even walk, and poop more or less in the litter they sit in. You keep lights on at night so they can grow faster (chickens won't eat unless they can see their food). And most people don't like the 'gamy' meat of non-CX birds that are free-ranging. They say they do, but after a couple of tastings they don't.

Bonus trivia: a chicken is a reptile with feathers. After you slit their throat and they bleed out (always the most fun of raising non-pet chickens, the kids used to compete to be the one to slaughter the birds, but dressing them is another matter, such a chore to remove all the tiny feathers) a chicken is still "alive" for several minutes. Even chopping their head off is no guarantee they won't get up and run off. I built a standard killing cone, to hold the bird upside down during exsanguination, otherwise they'll flap their wings so hard they'll break their wings and bruise the meat. Bon appetite! Does anybody want to hear how they slaughter pigs in PH? Baby goats?

Do tell

Actually, I'm interested too.

' humanely killed' and halal are a contradiction.

However, it is true that in the UK most animals slaughtered by having their throats slit are stunned, whether halal or not (for chickens, the current non-halal method of slaughter is apparently gas) - '

The pleasant death is entirely a human invention.

There are more and less pleasant ways to die - being burned to death is definitely less pleasant than simply having your head cut off, for example.

An American runs off to Germany and becomes a raging bigot against a religious minority.

Halal is humane by definition. But at least you’ve taken up the German pastime of othering the religious minority. We all look forward to your feigned surprise at the ovens.

They die more slowly than standard slaughter methods so it's arguably less humane

They bleed to death? Is that what makes it halal? Honest question.

Ritual words play a role, of course. Here is a description from the linked article - 'The Arabic word halal means permissible, and the rules of slaughter are based on Islamic law. The animal has to be alive and healthy, a Muslim has to perform the slaughter in the appropriate ritual manner, and the animal's throat must be cut by a sharp knife severing the carotid artery, jugular vein and windpipe in a single swipe. Blood must be drained out of the carcass.'

I've seen halal deaths. It's not humane in the least. They are supposed to bleed the animal to death. The only thing halal and humane have in common is that they both start with the letter h.

This Guy said it so much better, Well well well - 'Hateful religious bigot. This brand is not going to wash off of you for a long time buddy. Keep it up.' But then, you probably were already fully aware of what that writer wrote.

'Halal is humane by definition.'

Depends on who is doing the defining, right? But since I am apparently a pathetic religious bigot, the fact that I make my own decisions is just typical, right?

Full credit on at least not calling me German. But shame you missed the opportunity to point that kosher and halal slaughter are basically the same thing. So to make you fell better, let me weaken my brand further - kosher slaughter is not humane either.

How much of this response is really just good old fashioned Islamophobia disguised as a principled objection to a meat processing facility?

Just at "clockwork_prior"'s comment about "humanely killed" and halal being a contradiction. Obviously, exhibiting some bigotry there. I doubt you will see this guy shilling for PETA, but when those moozlems show up, look out . . .

Here, have a trampoline, you are good at jumping to conclusions.

FWIW, in my religion we kill chickens with a religious hammer.

Oh it has everything to do with Islamophobia but this is DC and the people who are complaining are enlightened Liberals, so to avoid cognitive issonance they project their racism on their dogs.

I'm a former Muslim and a proud islamophobe. There is no reason to hide islamophobia. But, halal and kosher deaths are horrible horrible. You don't need an excuse to dislike them.

'Obviously, exhibiting some bigotry there.'

If it helps, kosher slaughter is basically identical to halal slaughter, so the real test would be if the neighbors objected to the slaughtering being done in a kosher fashion as compared to a halal fashion.

Of course, you were likely already aware of that fact, in the way that someone who is clearly Islamophic wouldn't.

I live nearby and can assure you this is a deep blue, Democratic stronghold. These dog owners almost certainly have Hillary Clinton 2016 bumper stickers on their Priuses, along with Tim Kaine stickers, though their Northram stickers are probably peeled off.

Can't be Islamophobia though, of course - that's for deplorables!

This gross misusage of the phrase "safe environment" is a big part of the answer to Tyler's question "what's wrong with social justice warriors?" The word "safe" has (or at least had) a fairly clean definition as meaning avoiding physical harm (or a credible threat of physical harm). One can reasonably debate at the margins whether certain risks are perceived as overly likely, but at least there's some level of objective standard in that traditional idea.

This usage by a resident of Alexandria exactly mirrors the excesses of a certain strain of academia where "safe" is instead turned into a squishy, non-falsifiable standard of "anything that makes me feel uncomfortable".

I would like to believe that Tyler's idea of "not [wasting] too much of your own energies countering the not-so-helpful class of social justice warriors" is the correct way to proceed. The difficulty I see, however, is that far too many ridiculous ideas are finding their way out of hyphenated studies echo chambers and influencing political and corporate policy.

The "does not make me feel that my dogs are in a safe environment" people they are nuts, and should be ridiculed and/or ignored.

Absent that, an obvious counter would be for the butcher to formally complain that any dog in public view makes him (and his chickens) feel unsafe, and so dogs must be prohibited.

Who's feeling matter most?

Given the Islamic view of dogs, that is actually a really good idea.

It is well known that Muslims hate dogs, and that dogs hate Muslims.

This will not end well.

Kind of a biased presentation from Washingtonian. From another article about the hearing:

"Nineteen people testified before council during the public hearing period, 10 against the proposal and nine in support of it."

There's a joke in here somewhere about opening a Chinese restaurant instead, but I'm not the one to make it...

At least this butcher wouldn't "gentrify" the area, a threat which seems to bring the loudest howls of outrage lately

I'm trying to formulate a joke about dogs being snowflakes in need of a safe space to recover from smelling chicken fear, but it just isn't working.
Maybe someone else can try.

The gist is funny ...

I was amused.

Dogs and safe places to escape animal death. mmmmm scuuze me maam, but that's what dogs do. Kill animals I mean.

I could see this in southern california maybe.

No, the dog connection reeks of a mcguffin.

What if the dogs like the smell of chicken? Or are indifferent.

Have you asked them?

How did you get inside the mind of a dog?

But, I know how dog crap smells.

How is that different than a poultry facility?

Dogs don't seem to mind the smell of their own crap.

TC, did you join the rest of the NoVans and WaPo staff in crying hysterics over the Mueller report dud?

Author thinks halal is humane. All you need to know about the article and TC's endorsement is right there.

I know some people who like to eat dogs....

But don't you dare put them in a pet carrier on the roof of a car!

People and their freaking dogs.

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