I realized a while back how inundated we are with advertising for bacon. It seems like every fast food commercial is advertising something new with bacon. Even numerous sit-down-and-order-from-a-waitress restaurants have TV ads for their bacon slathered dishes. This got me thinking about how much pork is marketed in this country.
Pork is such an ingrained part of American culture that we don't give it a second thought if there is bacon on our cheeseburger or wrapped up inside the crust of our pizzas or cooked right into our pancakes. (Thanks Edward Bernays.) Bacon itself is such a standard fare in this country that some people don't even know it is pork.
Granted, this is a third hand story, but—A girl I once worked with was friends with a brother and sister she went to school with who happen to be Muslim. The sister told my former coworker that her brother had been eating bacon at friends' houses for most of his life because no one had ever told him that it was meat from a pig. I was kind of stunned. But then again, I wasn't.
Sadly, too many people aren't aware—or perhaps they just don't care—about eating restrictions of other cultures and religions. Since Christians are the majority and don't have any kind of food restrictions most of the time, and this country is treated like it is a Christian nation, all of the other groups seem to be overlooked.
Well, okay. So you can buy food at Walmart that's marked Kosher. That's cool. It even tells me if it's meat or dairy so that they don't get mixed or put on the same plate. Sweet! Because I don't know about you, but I would hate to have to bury a plate for a day if someone ate a cheeseburger at my house. I watched a guy do it once, though.
But unless you go to a specialty store, nothing is marked as Halal. My first fight with my husband was me screaming at him in Walmart about how food here isn't marked Halal; it's only marked Kosher, and none of the chicken was Kosher. Everything had bacon or ham in it. He stared at me with wide eyes and asked if we could get fish instead. We did, but damn! I'd wanted chicken. But—is it Halal? Nope. It’s pork-infused.
I think it's a shame that people who would like to enjoy some meat are basically forced to be vegetarians simply because foods aren't marked “pork-free” for Muslims and Jews or “beef-free” for Hindus.
Even in spite of the ignorance of the general population, I feel like somehow I am not the first person to say- “Do you believe in Jesus? Prove it. Eat this bacon.”