Monday, August 20, 2007

Monkey is not Kosher

You know, you have an entire post's worth of links and notes outlined from the weekend, and then someone does something so eminently postworthy that all of that goes out the window.

I am referring, of course, to a New York Sun article about a Liberian woman who ran afoul of customs by trying to smuggle monkey meat into the United States. She claims that the food-grade monkey parts are for some religious purpose, and therefore she should get a free pass.

The Liberian woman's attorney, who happens to be Jewish, is really putting forward the "sacred food" angle.

Now, it could be that, if you asked nicely in advance, Immigration and Customs Enforcement would let you have your religious monkey meat. But it's pretty clear on the website that you can't just bring foreign meat into the United States.

So, my thought for the blog this morning is: how far should exemptions for religious observance go? I know the law on these things, which means that you can't make a public health risk for yourself or refuse to get a social security number, but I don't know how far "it's my religion" should take us in this modern world. And I've been kind of a jerk about religious exemptions on occasion.


Jack's Shack said...

Kosher Monkey Meat just sounds dirty.

Anonymous said...

If you can find a monkey with split hooves AND that chews it's cud... oh, never mind!!