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.
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.