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Halal meat and animal cruelty

What does "Halal" mean?

Halal simply means permitted or lawful, Haram is the opposite so means forbidden. When we are talking about halal foods it means any foods that are allowed to be eaten according to Islamic Sharia law so for any food to be considered halal, it must comply with the religious ritual and observance of Sharia law.
This means that food has been subjected to approved certification systems which guarantee to consumers that nothing in the food has any forbidden components.
Halal certificates are issued, for a fee, by a certifying body creating like this a millionaire business.

Under Islamic law (sharia) it is permissible (halal) to consume items that would otherwise be termed haram like pork meat as long as it is a matter of survival and not just an act of disobedience.


How is halal meat produced?

Halal meat is an essential part of the Muslim faith but is also true that religious slaughter causes the animals unnecessary suffering.

To be halal certified the head of 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.

This method of slaughtering, known as zabiha consists of using a well-sharpened knife to make a swift, deep incision that cuts the front of the throat, the carotid artery, trachea, and jugular veins.

Because the animals must be slaughtered alive, stun guns are often not used as they can kill an animal before the heart pumps out all the blood which must be instead drained from the veins plus some Muslims think the practice of pre-stunning slaughter is contrary to the specification of zabiha.

There are much greater risks of an animal suffering during slaughter without stunning than for conventional slaughter. Slaughtering an animal while fully conscious requires additional handling and restraint and means that the animal will experience pain associated with the throat cut and subsequent bleeding out.


In some countries including Denmark, finland and sweden, this method of slaughter is banned and the animal must be pre-stunned before to be killed.

Nobody should be never discriminated for his/her faith but is probably more important to respect the animals because anyone who is cruel to animals does not deserve any kind of respect and I think an important achievement for civilization would equate animal cruelty as cruelty to another human being.

Then it is up to you if you choose to be vegetarian, vegan or to eat meat because to be a predator is in the animal’s nature and humans are animals too, intelligent but still animals. The big fish eat little fish, it sounds sad but this is the nature but cruelty is another thing.

Alfonso Folle

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