Investigating Halal Meat

The discovery of mad cow disease in United States cattle has prompted many Muslims to question the halal status of their meat. According to a recent report, halal meat is still susceptible to mad cow disease.

We recommend adopting a halal diet free of meat and other animal-derived foods—or vegan halal—as have many Muslims familiar with the issue of mad cow disease.

All the meat produced and exported from India is advertised and sold as “halal.” However, when representatives from the Indian affiliate of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), along with a documentary crew, observed the loading and unloading, transport, and slaughter of cows and buffaloes used for meat in India, they found that most meat produced under current standards is not halal, but is instead “haram,” and therefore should be avoided by all conscientious Muslims.

The report below describes the findings of the delegation and offers simple suggestions that may be implemented to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of cattle killed for food.

Report on the Transport and Slaughter Conditions of Indian Cattle Used for Meat Export

The delegation witnessed egregious animal abuse, shocking not only in and of itself, but also in light of the many strict Indian anti-cruelty laws and the Indian constitution’s admonition for citizens to show concern for animals. For Muslims, these findings will be disturbing because Islamic teachings of kindness to animals and proper adherence to halal methods are being blatantly ignored

The enormous suffering of Indian cattle during transport and slaughter can be greatly reduced with little effort. It is hoped that, once informed, consumers will demand that exporters, transporters, and slaughterhouses ensure that the animals involved receive proper care throughout all phases of meat production. The steps to implement vital changes are simple and inexpensive. PETA India is calling on government officials in India and in the importing countries, as well as those in the slaughterhouse and transportation industries, to see that these steps are immediately taken and that oversight provisions be instituted to ensure strict adherence to them.

Foie Gras Is Not Halal

To be considered halal, animals must not only be slaughtered according to the procedures established in Islamic law; they must also be free from stress or discomfort prior to slaughter, and they must not be mutilated, deformed, or diseased. Foie gras cannot qualify as halal no matter how closely the slaughter procedures are adhered to because it is, by its nature, the product of disease and suffering.

During foie gras production, huge amounts of grain and fat are pumped into the stomachs of ducks and geese through metal pipes that are rammed down their throats several times a day. Their distended livers—which can swell to up to 10 times their normal size—press against their lungs, causing them to pant constantly. Many birds with diseased and enlarged livers become too sick to stand up—these animals suffer excruciating pain throughout their lives.

“For Muslims, vegan options have the added advantage of being halal since we don’t have to worry about the type of meat being used or whether it is zabiha.” —Islamic Horizons magazine

For more information about foie gras, visit

"There is not an animal that lives on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but they form communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they all shall be gathered to their Lord in the end" - Al-Qur'an, 6:38
"Whoever is kind to the creatures of God, is kind to himself." - The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), narrated by Abdallah bin Amru in Bukhari and Muslim collections