Monday, May 28, 2012

Is the Halal Way of Slaughtering Animals Cruel?

I've gotten a few Islamic related questions on my tumblr page lately that I thought I would share with you all. I'm clearly not a scholar so I pray to Allah to forgive me if I misguide anyone with my response. I did a bit of research to answer this person's question and here's what I came up with. 
I have a question for you: how do you not feel bad eating halal meat? The western way of doing it is that the animal dies instantly, whereas with halal because they cut the 3 main arteries, the animal suffers and bleeds before it dies. Nobody deserves that kind of treatment! It's evil to make an animal suffer if it doesn't need to.

I don’t feel bad eating halal meat because I know that the animal was slaughtered in a manner where the animal experienced the least amount of pain possible and also in the name of God. 
My understanding of the Western way of killing animals before slaughtering them is to stun them, electrocute them, shoot them, wring their necks in the case of chickens, etc. all which cause severe pain to the animal. 
The halal way of slaughtering animals is very humane and scientifically good and not cruel like some people might believe.
For an animal to be killed in a halal manner the animal needs to be slaughtered with a sharp knife taken across the neck very quickly to minimize the pain. The wind pipe, the throat, and the vessels of the neck are cut. Cutting all of this allows all the blood to be drained from the animal’s body. If the blood isn’t completely drained, as it isn’t in the Western way, germs, bacteria, and toxins are left in the animal and consumed by humans, which obviously isn’t healthy for humans. That makes the halal way of slaughtering scientifically more healthy for humans, and morally, halal slaughtering is better for the animal even though it might not appear like that visually. 
Despite the way it appears, the Islamic halal way of slaughtering animals is actually designed to make sure that the animals go through the least amount of pain possible. When the knife is used to quickly cut the vessels of the animal, the flow of blood to the nerve in the brain responsible for pain is disconnected therefore there is no pain. Even though it looks like the animal is suffering and struggling, it’s not, it’s the normal process the animal goes through when contracting and relaxing it’s muscles due to the blood loss. 
Islam doesn’t permit humans to harm each other or animals. Both the Quran and hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) emphasize that animals should be treated as humanely as possible. 
Slaughtering animals through the halal way is not intended to be cruel and it is not believed to be cruel. If you believe that electrocuting or stunning an animal before slaughtering it is better then that’s your opinion. I personally believe that the halal way is morally better for both the animal and the human who is going to eat it. 
There is no non-violent or pleasant way for animals to be slaughtered, so I think in the end it’s up to you and what you believe is morally correct. 

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