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~ Muslim by Choice ~
"Allah! None has the right to be worshipped, but He." Surat Al-Baqarah: 255

Is There Such Thing As Halal Food Anymore?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem

I have been disheartened and concerened for quite some time now about the foods we eat - not only from an Islamic perspective, but also a health perspective. Do we really know what is in our food - do we know what the animals we eat are fed and how they are treated? Are we sure that the foods we eat today are truly classified under 'Halal food'? Yes - this means even those of us who chose to only consume "Halal Meat" - if there is such a thing nowadays.

I'm not trying to be pessimistic or difficult - but the problem with the foods we eat is that their affects will only show up later in our lives and in the lives of our children - and most likely their affects will be overshadowed and we will only treat the problem when it arises without any knowledge that what we ate caused the problem in the first place.

Nowadays we not only have genetically engineered fruits and vegetables - we have animals that are given "protein" (meat from other animals) as part of their feed - they are treated cruely and then they are slaughtered cruely - oh, and I forgot to mention that they receive antibiotics and growth hormones. All of which we, ourselves, consume when we sit down to our meals.

A friend recently tried contacting many of the so-called "Halal" meat producers in the US and most of them replied that they could not verify what the animals were fed. Isn't that something that should concern us? At this point, I'm seriously considering becoming vegetarian - as I'm sure my neighbors wouldn't appreciate me raising my own feed in our tiny backyard. I don't really know what we can/should do about this - but I know we really should educate ourselves more about the food we eat and then decide what we're going to do about it. We must realize that the foods we consume are no small matter.

Here are a few good websites that deal with these types of issues, if you are interested in educating yourself more about this topic. I plan to try to learn more - before it is too late. I want to remind all of us about the following hadith:

"Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock; a woman is the shepherd in the house of her husband and is responsible for her flock; a servant is the shepherd of his master's wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Halal and Healthy


Here are some articles about this issue:

The Halal Meat Industry

Mechanical Slaughter


Cattle Feed is Often a Sum of Animal Parts

Halal and Kosher slaughter 'must end'


Here is one Halal Company that raises their own animals. They have them from birth to slaughter and ensure that they are fed and raised properly. By Allah, I swear I have no ties with this company - and I have yet to order from them. I just want to make this information available to you, insha'Allah. If you know of any other companies like this (in the US or other countries) - please let me know.

My Halal Meat

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * UPDATE * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Just wanted to update you on what we're thinking about this topic in our home. We found that
there are some farms in our state (not necessarily in our backyard) that raise their animals
without antibiotics, growth hormones and they are grass-fed. So, I guess when we can, we will
go slaughter ourselves and use this as our source of meat.

I still think we will lean more on the vegetarian side and there's more to be learned - i.e.,
genetically modified foods, organic/non-organic. I think we will end up having a lot more
vegetarian meals and then - when we do have meat, we will have it with a lot of vegetables.

It may be an adjustment - especially because I only know a few vegetarian meals that
are worth cooking again - but I know in my heart that it is well worth the difficulty.
Even if it weren't an issue of halal - when I look at my children - I just can't justify
feeding them something that may hurt them later.

So, any suggestions for cookbooks?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * UPDATE * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

2:12 PM :: ::
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