Within the Muslim community, halal is used to describe what is permissible both in food and in actions. We typically associate halal with food, as do many non-Muslims.
For purposes of this review we explore why halal food, specifically meat and poultry, is good for everyone.
Halal For A Healthier World and How does halal food fit into this parameter?
Halal encompasses more than just meat, or even the type of meat eaten, although it is the most discussed type of product consumed.
For an animal to go from farm to table as halal food, it must have lived a pure life from the very beginning, finishing a cycle of life that is permissible in accordance with Islamic standards.
It must have eaten well, been treated well, and been sacrificed well. It may sound good in theory, but what does this all mean?
That means all requirements of animal welfare are met.
The Life Of The Animal
As an animal should be treated well during its life, it should also be treated well at the time it is sacrificed for us. The slaughter should never be done in the presence of other animals and the animal should be made comfortable as it is positioned for the sacrifice. The act of the sacrifice should be done with a sharp object, so as to accelerate the process and reduce the pain suffered by the animal as much as possible.*
Afterwords, the blood should be completely drained from the animal. It is the blood that carries toxins, germs and bacteria and when left inside the body of the animal, could potentially make people sick. At the very least, it could make the cooked meat quite tough. An amazing result of cooking and consuming halal meat is a healthy meat in which the resulting texture is tender and the meat delicious. Some people say they can “taste the difference”.
Treating One’s Body Wells Is A Good Thing
On the flip side of halal is the Haram (impermissible). The most commonly known Haram consumables are alcohol and pork (and their by-products), both of which are the cause of numerous health issues. (This is backed by scientific data.) Although these two products themselves could constitute their own essay, for purposes of this article they are only briefly mentioned here.
Instead of seeing the impermissible as a closed door on food choices, one can embrace an entire world of exciting, delicious and healthy variety of foods. Islam enjoins us to treat our bodies well as it has a right over us and will testify against us on the Day of Judgement for any injustices we may have caused it during our lifetime.
Treating our bodies with wholesome foods free of harmful ingredients — pesticides, toxins, pollutants, filth, etc. — is not just a value desired by Muslims, it’s desired by all of humanity. It’s a common need, a common desire and a common right, and that means everyone can benefit from consuming halal foods and avoiding what is not