Post # 1
I feel as though I am in a bit of a predicament regarding animal cruelty and religious tolerance.
Halal certified food is becoming more common in the UK but I never knew much about it, I never bought it but there was uproar when McDonalds said they’d think about introducing a halal menu in the UK.
Now I have move to a country where 15% of the population is Muslim so pretty much everything is halal. From takeouts to restaurants to supermarkets. It is near impossible to by meat that isn’t halal.
Because of my interest in, well everything (I like to be informed) I have done more research on the subject… “To be halal certified the animal must be facing Mecca, have its throat cut while still alive and then ritually sacrificed by a Muslim who recites a prayer dedicating the slaughter to Allah.”
I have two problems with this. Firstly I am Anglican, I don’t force my religion onto other people but my faith is important; but my halal food at Pizzahut is being slaughtered in the name of Allah, a deity I have no belief in. I don’t like it, but I could live with it. But then there is the second thing, the method of slaughter. The animal essential bleeds to death.
Here is a video which shows the process (I think I did too much research). It isn’t for the faint hearted. I have a pretty strong stomach and I haven’t watched the whole thing. I couldn’t get much past the lambs bleeting even after their throats had been cut.
So now I am torn. My muslim friends are understandably so proud of their country where they can try all sorts of different things because the tolerance here means that pretty much everything is halal. I’ve never been that big on animal rights but this method of slaughter is too far, and I feel sick to the stomach knowing I have eaten animals that have been killed so inhumanely. I love meat, but now I feel limited to pork, or searching high and low for non-halal meat.
Am I being too sensitive?
Post # 3
I’m jumping in quite late, but seeings as this i hasn’t been answered I might as well.
(just for clarification I am not Muslim, but I did study halal as part of a course.)
In terms of the animal being slaughtered in the name of a deity, I think you need to just get past that. It doesn’t affect you whether someone has prayed over it or not.
So onto the method. There are a lot of people who condem the method, but not many are experts, and they so so because it is different and unusual. in fact, it is not as cruel as the more usual methods.
for halal meat the animals are killed individually. That means that they are definitely dead. I don’t know much about slaughter for non-halal meat, but I have seen the videos of animals in panic, all shoved together and then haphazardly killed – causing fear and stress. This also results in many animals being injured rather than being killed outright. This leads to animals dying slowly and in pain and fear over a length of time. (This also affects meat quality.)
when the animals are killed one at a time this doesn’t happen.
The throat is cut – which is a MUCH quicker way to go – with the main artery severed, the blood escapes quickly.
In addition to this the animals are often strung up-side-down to help the blood flow faster. This is done quickly, so the animal has no time to register fear – before he knows whats happening he’s cut and pretty much dead already. There is much less fear, which is evidenced by the meat quality.
Other methods can cause more distress and lead to a longer suffering.
obviously not all places are the same – you get some halal slaughterhouses which just are’t as good or as practiced – and these are the places which are used as evidence against them. However, if you look at slaughter practices elsewhere (especially those providing meat for fast food places) you will find many places a lot worse.
i hope this helps!
Post # 4
@Nellop: +1 to everything you said.
If you have a problem with how halal meat is slaughtered, you probably don’t even want to look into how non-halal slaughterhouses kill their animals. It will make you never want to eat meat again. The fact is that is you want to eat meat, the animal has to die. There’s just no getting around it. And cutting their throat really is the fastest & kindest way to do it.
Post # 5
+1 to the PP. I actually know someone who helps slaughter the animals around ramadaan time (it’s considered the busy season). Like many things, if it is done properly it’s pretty quick and not really animal torture.
Post # 6
Forgot to add that they cut the artery, the windpipe and jugular veins. So it’s not just slicing at the neck willy-nilly – it does a lot of fast and extreme damage – haemorrhaging and oxygen starvation of the brain – leading to a very quick death.
I believe there was a study in the early 80s, where they measured brain activity and defensive movements in sheep (lambs) and calves. When the throat was cut there was almost nothing showing up – both in brain activity and movement – to suggest pain. when the electrical bolt was used there was a very high reading of brain activity (pain) and lots of defensive movement.
Post # 7
If your issue is the way the animals are killed, become a vegetarian and avoid all meat — killing any animal in any way is cruel. The way it’s done that’s not Halal is no nicer than doing it Halal style.
If your issue is that your meat was prayed over by a Muslim, then don’t eat at places where you know that meat is being served. The easiest way to do this is go to non-chain restaurants where you know the religion of the owner, or to make your own food.
Or just get non-meat pizza at PizzaHut.
Post # 8
+1 to the responses above. Also just to clarify, Allah is the same God that all monotheistic religions pray to.
Post # 9
I agree with above posters, halal is less violent than typical methods of killing meat animals. It seems the method is worse than the religous side of things for you, maybe you would consider becoming part-vegetarian and just getting meat from a known source (farmer)?
I’ve helped with slaughtering farm animals for meat with a similar method – slitting the throat but no religous part – and it is quite humane and quick. The animal will be held as it dies and strung up as mentioned so the blood flows out. They don’t even make a noise. This, in comparison to a chaotic slaughterhouse and possible non-deaths is much more humane. Please take this in context, I am not a mad animal killer, but we do get almost all our food from FI’s parents farm and harvesting the veg and butchering the meat is just part of the process. I was vegan beforehand because I need to know where my food comes from and how it is treated.
If you’re going to eat meat, you’re going to eat an animal that died of a non-natural death.
Just out of curiousity, where are you living?
Post # 10
@Nellop: Thanks for responding, and resurrecting this thread!
I think I was having an especially sensitive day!
I’ve seen animals slaughtered before but always on an independant farm, one or two at a time, shot between the eyes first. I guess I’ve never thought about the killings on mass before. I think in the video it was the bleating I found the worst.
Thanks for everyone’s responses though 🙂