What is Halal? Halal means “permissible”. Anything that is permissible in Islam is referred to as Halal. Islam like Judaism has mandated that animal for consumption be slaughtered by following certain guidelines as set by the religion.
The animal slaughtering procedure in Islam also commonly known as “Zabiha Halal” requires that the animal to be slaughtered should be in good health. The animal is swiftly slaughtered at the neck through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe without severing the spinal cord maintaining the nervous connection between the brain and the body that allows all the blood to be squeezed and pumped out of the body of the animal resulting in the meat that is mostly free of blood. Eating blood is not permissible in Islam.
According to scientific research, there are greater chances of having bacteria, germs, and diseases in the blood of an animal hence by consuming halal meat one can be protected from those diseases carried in the blood. The act of slaughtering should be done with a sharp object so as to accelerate the process and make it least painful for the animal. It should not be done in the presence of other animals. According to scientific research if the animal is slaughtered in front of other animals they could release fear hormones in the blood and this could potentially result in the unhealthy meat in certain ways.
Halal farming practices require that animals be free to graze, not treated with hormones and antibiotics and be given enough space to move while raising. They should not be fed fodder made of pork or any other animal byproducts or treated with unhealthy fertilizers. The long term exposure to antibiotics and growth hormones in our food may cause these substances to accumulate in our bodies, with a potential of creating hormone-mimicking effects.
The awareness of using organic food is growing and the popularity of mega grocery stores like Wholefoods that sell organic food is gaining. Our milk, bread, cereals, eggs, and meat are being manufactured with practices that are harmful to human consumption. Increase in cancer cases over a few decades is due to the usage of hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, and fertilizers in the production of our food which is unhealthy for consumption.
Consumers have now slowly come to realize that using organic food on their dinner table is the way to go however there is still little awareness on consumption of Halal and Kosher meat and its benefits over using the regular meat sold in our delis and grocery stores. Due to increase in Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments, there are groups who are intentionally driving people away from Halal meat due to their religious hate and prejudices without realizing the benefits that it may bring to the people in consuming meat which is produced by following Halal farming and slaughtering procedures. More awareness needs to be built.