Chains of trust : halal certification in the United States
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The growing halal food sector in America has garnered attention recently in a number of ways regarding changing consumer demands, production yield, and certification standards. Muslim consumers choosing halal food products today combine more objective knowledge about halal food products - learned from jurists, imams, the Qur’an, ḥadīth, and family traditions - with more subjective knowledge about what they want from their food. The resultant mix of objective and subjective information about halal food production standards creates a unique milieu termed, in this thesis, the contemporary consumption context. The small variances between what different Muslim consumers want out of their halal food – particularly in terms of ethical and humane animal treatment – introduce tiny iterations to the timeless religious ritual that halal food consumption and ẓabīḥa, or ritual, slaughter entail.