The Halal Meat Saga

The entire “halal meat” slogan is predicated on a profit driven industry just like any other industry that doesn’t give a damn about the welfare of the animals they mass exterminate or the people who get sick and die from eating them.

There is hardly a conversation that I have with a fellow Muslim about being vegan except the inevitable “But it’s halal!” argument being directed at me with the fury of 1,000 suns.

It goes something like this:

“eating animals is allowed in the Qu’ran, the Prophet (pbuh) ate meat. Therefore it is halal, you have no say, end of story!!!”

It is important to remind the reader we have never disputed the fact – not on a single occasion actually; that certain animals are permissible (halal) to consume under certain conditions.

We are not jurists nor do we have a say on what is permissible or not.

What we do have however, is a brain. So we should use it to understand not just the text but the context and what exactly is the higher purpose of our tradition.

The issue here however isn’t what is halal. This literal reading and understanding is a gross oversimplification of our faith which is causing us to have the very opposite effect on our world than what is intended. It’s like we have become agents for evil via proxy through big industry. Halal and haram are not the concern here no; it’s much deeper than that. It’s more about what is:

  • Halal and tayyib.
  • Contextually right today
  • The greater good for humanity, the environment and various kingdoms we share this world with
  • Consistent with our principles

The Qu’ran doesn’t just say eat whatever is halal, it states to eat what is both permissible and tayyib.

What is tayyib?

Tayyib literally means pure, clean, good, wholesome and a host of positive meanings. They all encompass the general understanding that what is tayyib is good and pure.

What is “good and pure” about animal abuse?

What is “good and pure” about shipping thousands of cows, goats, sheep and the like into tightly packed ships and/or concentration camp trucks where they are huddled so tightly, many die from suffocation before they arrive?

Explain how transporting such quantities of animals where they can clearly see, hear and smell what is about to happen to them is “good and pure”.  Tell me how abused animals like this who secrete enormous amounts of stress hormones are “good and pure”?

 

 

SHAME on the Muslim majority countries and Muslims that practice this cruelty.

We are better than that because our faith taught us better.

As difficult as it was to watch, the video just highlighted to me how far detached we have become from mercy and compassion as human beings. These are living beings with souls. They are sentient creatures with nervous systems and feel happiness, pain and form close bonds with their families.

Yet we treat them with contempt and disdain, kicking them, beating them, throwing them in backs of cars, dragging them and cutting their throats in open view of other animals.

Downright disgusting.

So – do you still think animals exposed to such torrid conditions, abused and exploited like this are “good and pure?”

They are not, will never be and it’s high time we wake up and realize our stomachs are not as important as our lofty principles.

 

What is the right thing to do today?

The halal issue aside, our addiction to killing and eating animals in most Muslim majority countries and within our own communities all over the world is fueling an unprecedented rate of decline on all levels:

  • Our health
  • Human starvation
  • The oceans
  • The animals
  • The plants
  • The general environment

So as caretakers of this world – what are we going to do? Continue our meat addiction and further degrade this world or change course and make it better?

More importantly: Stop comparing our world today with Medina 1400 years ago. They didn’t face the same environmental and health catastrophes we face today and yes, if I was living in the middle of the desert with very little to survive on, I would eat anything I could find!

But this isn’t about me 1400 years ago or exceptions. This is about NOW and general trends.

If the best thing today for all involved is not to eat animals, why are we even hesitating?

There isn’t a shadow of doubt continuing to consume animals is simply unsustainable, cruel and reckless.

We are clearing more natural habitats and forestry every single day so people can raise and enslave animals. In the process we have wiped out more species over the past 50 years than the entire history of the world.

We feed these animals the same food that could be given to the starving humans. We then watch as these billions of animals fart night and day causing unnatural amounts of methane into the air. Their fecal waste is then either dumped or washed into the waterways where it ends up in our oceans. Oblivious to the trail of destruction and carnage we leave behind, we then eat these animals and get sick as a result completing the sequence of death we initiated.

Surely, we are not that stupid as a species!

The other points above warrant a lengthy discussion however it is enough to say, the best thing to do for ourselves and world right now is to go vegan.

It is for the greater good for all species involved, it benefits everyone, it is more efficient and cost effective, it’s healthier on all levels and it most definitely instills in our future generation a greater sense of compassion.

Please leave your thoughts, comments, criticisms and feedback below.

This article has 13 Comments

  1. Great website, great posts. As Sar says it’s all about making money. And horrific lack of empathy by those in contact with the animals, as well as consumers dismissing the cruelty involved due to the invisibility of the process. Massive population growth is increasing the horror, and veganism is not much more than a gesture of integrity on our part. I fear that the only solution to the continual horror of it all is the possible success of synthetic meat, which could take centuries if at all.

  2. I love this website and it warms my heart to know that there are so many other muslims who share my love for animals… I am not vegan but I’ve been feeling “put off” meat lately because I’ve been thinking and reading extensively about the animal abuse in the industry, I’m just at the beginning but I am hoping to become vegan and join the revolution. Any tips or advice?

    1. Raeesa,

      Thank you for your compassion and support.

      Something that helped me personally was undertaking my own independent research and studying the industries. After a while, I could no longer accept I am doing what God commanded by supporting industries that treat his creation in such horrific ways. How could I talk about mercy, justice and compassion when my food was anything but? I felt hypocritical to be saying “bismillah” over something that was far removed from what I understand to be core principles of faith.

      That and actually visiting farm animals and connecting with them made a big impact on me.

      Hope it works out for you.

      1. Hi Sammer

        Thank you for your reply. I can relate to that completely. I’ve been met with a lot of scepticism from family members, most of whom do not take my plight seriously and disregard my love for animals as my being “too westernized and animal obsessed”. I received a similar reaction when we adopted a stray dog and allowed him to roam around certain areas of our house (non praying areas). We were told that our home is cursed for that, I however find it very difficult to believe that Allah would curse us for showing kindness and compassion to a vulnerable sentient being.

        The Muslim community needs a revolutionized shift in it’s perception toward animals, only then can we achieve harmony, I truly believe that this is the key.

        Your movement is a great step toward this and I’m happy to contribute to helping this grow!

        1. That’s the goal yes – to reconnect Muslims with what God created and exhibit the compassion and mercy we hear so much about in sermons but is sadly missing from the day to day application.

          The prophet (pbh) made many statements with regards to protecting animal rights – was he also “too animal obsessed”?

          I think Muslims are occupied with many cultural and traditional habits that more often than not, have absolutely nothing to do with Islam and end up superimposing their beliefs on others. Your example of dogs is such a case. The Maliki school of thought considers dogs and all animals as pure, including their saliva. Just because it isn’t widely heard of doesn’t mean it’s not accepted view in Islam.

          Thank you once again for your support and we would be delighted for you and others to help us grow and spread this message throughout the world.

          We do accept guest author contributions so feel free to reach out to us if you wish to have your say.

          We have many new projects in the pipeworks!

    2. Hello Raeesa,
      I am not Muslim but the transition is essentially the same and most certainly our motivations. I do a lot of activism and a lovely lady from Dubai told me that in Arabic mushrooms are called the meat of the earth! How wondrous! So start there. Where you would put meat, use a mix of mushrooms as they soak up the juices and the texture is indeed meaty! Other great substitutes for the meat like experience are tofu (firm) and seitan.

      Always see the rainbow on your plate in fruit and vegetables, get a grain in there like a brown rice or quinoa, and a pulse such as lentils or chickpeas and a nice dressing. Salads, soups, falafels, curries, bakes, smoothies are all ways to pack in the nutrients.

      In terms of dairy alternatives, there are so many to enjoy depending on the use. I love cashew for my latte and cereal and coconut is great for curries, almond is nice for smoothies. Just play around.

      Lots of water and one B12 supplement which I’ll explain. B12 is a microbe in the soil but because our earth is very sanitised, it’s harder to find. Animals in the agriculture industry are even supplemented with it, and we vegans should too. Get yourself a B complex as vitamins work better in unison rather than isolation.

      In the uk we have a free online vegan guide called veganuary. It sends recipes, shopping lists, nutritional info, links to documentaries which help you grow deeper in your knowledge about ‘why’ you are vegan (so many reasons).

      What else? There is a site called Bosh which shares video recipes and is fantastic and there is an app called Happy Cow which picks up vegan restaurants and stores near you.

      And last thing? Some do it overnight and others longer. Do it at the pace that works for you (as long as you are being honest with yourself and not stalling for silly reasons). Whether it’s starting with a day a week, or breakfasts, whatever …. just as long as you start and keep moving forward towards vegan.

      I wish you well in your journey. Wherever ee come from in the world, rbs beautiful thing about veganism is it really does help everybody. All humans and all animals and this good earth benefit!!!! That’s a beautiful thing.

      Big love

      Kerry-Jayne

      Ps if you want any more advice, message me on Facebook my full name is Kerry-Jayne Wilson

  3. Alhamdulillah! It was just a few days ago When the thought came to me that I have never been exposed to Islamic support of this idea of compassion for animals. It is ‘preached’ to be compassionate to all creatures, but the total opposite plays out! While the money piles up….Especially during this time period. I finally decided enough was enough and stopped all meat consumption, for many of the reasons you listed. I tried reasoning with my Moroccan parents when I was younger, but they dismissed my argument, pointing out Eid-ul-adha and the story of Ibrahim, and accusing me of becoming Americanized. I witnessed a few slaughters as a child, and my heart always felt for the poor sheep even though my parents demanded I comply with their teachings. I’m very grateful that I have changed my ways and followed my heart. This change forced me to be more proactive and aware of what I eat and the necessary nutrients I need, and also step back from lust food. inshaAllah, I will continue on this path and we can encourage the people who’s hearts aren’t completely blackened by a lack of compassion by confirming that they’re not alone! Im very grateful for this display of opinion. Alhamdulillah!

    1. Sar, thank you for sharing your thoughts – we are very grateful indeed!

      We are here to support one another and help spread as much information and awareness to others as possible.

      Thanks again and spread the word! 🙂

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