For Linda Sonner, green living and her Christian faith have long been linked.

But it wasn’t until two years ago that the Batavia woman and a few friends started a campaign to convince other people of faith – no matter if their belief lies in Christianity or another religion – that spiritual lives should be environmentally friendly lives. Faith In Place created a Chicago cooperative that provides local beef, lamb and poultry to its members in Chicago and the suburbs. The cooperative, called Taqwa Eco-Food, caters to Muslims looking for meat that is not only halal, or slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law, but also organically raised on small family farms.

For meat to be considered halal, it must come from an animal slaughtered in a humane manner, among other requirements. Taqwa Eco-Food also guarantees its animals are raised on farms where they are treated respectfully and fed only a natural diet free from antibiotics and hormones.

Naperville resident Umar Abdallah has been purchasing his meat there for two years or so and has found it to be better than the halal meat he used to buy from another supplier.

“Taking care of the environment and proper treatment of living things is a fundamental part of the Islamic faith,” said Abdallah. “The merciful treatment of animals is one of the things that wins God’s pleasure and brings forgiveness.”

But he also believes the issue extends beyond Islam.

“I think, actually, living in harmony with the environment and respecting life, that’s pretty much a universal religious belief, isn’t it?” Abdallah said.


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