The Truth About Halal Meat

Posted by 3 years ago | Permalink | Comments (29)

Halal meat has been hitting the headlines this week, with revelations that several major UK restaurants, including PizzaExpress and Subway, have been “secretly” selling it to customers.

Here’s the thing: no religion needs to slaughter animals for food. For anyone who’s concerned about animals raised and killed for food, there is only one label that really matters: “vegan”. Yes, people have a right to know what – or who – is in their food, but the simple solution to avoid mystery-meat scandals is to eat plant-based meals, which are kinder to animals and open to all faiths. And it’s so easy to eat with a clear conscience. At PizzaExpress, try ordering the new vegan Pianta pizza, or at Subway, try the Veggie Delite.

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Don’t get us wrong, as long as animals are still killed for food, stopping the most inhumane slaughter methods – in which cows and other animals have their throats cut while they’re still conscious – would be a step in the right direction, but even in conventional abattoirs, millions of animals are improperly stunned in the UK every year and face the fatal incision awake, alert and terrified.

And let’s not forget that the actual slaughter, whether the animal is stunned and killed or just killed, is only part of the long and blatantly cruel process of modern meat production. At the “best” of times, meat is a product of a bloody and violent industry with no respect for other living beings who value their lives in the same way that we do and experience the same pain and terror that we would if we were killed for a sandwich or a pizza topping.

Chickens are mutilated by having the sensitive ends of their beaks cut off – without painkillers. Pigs are castrated – also without painkillers. Animals may be kept in darkened sheds for their entire lives and never see the sun or confined to cages so small that they can barely turn around. They have their beloved babies taken away from them when they are just days or even hours old. And on their journey to slaughter, they will be crammed into dirty lorries on a punishing journey that can last for days, often with inadequate food or water, before reaching their final destination – all of which directly contradicts the basic principles of compassion and reverence for life shared by most religions.

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As the Dalai Lama said, “My religion is kindness”. And the only diet that expresses kindness, is open to all religions and truly respects animal rights is a vegan one.

If you care about animals, you can practice what you preach by signing our 30-day vegan pledge:

Images: Jo-Anne McArthur /


  • Liesbeth vd Bergh commented on May 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I am already vegan, because of the cruelty to animals in all parts of the
    “food”-proces…. HATE IT!!!

  • becky smith commented on May 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Digusted at this. Animals are better than humans we are so evil and barbaric to do this to them

    • james fagson commented on June 2, 2014 at 8:18 am

      no completely dizagrees we can use technology if their more superior why do we eat them.

  • caroline commented on May 9, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I must try harder for the poor animals, I hope they rest in heaven

    • Vincent commented on March 29, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      I occasionally read animal-rights sites, and I find the viewpoints strange, perhaps even bizarre. I’ve heard it said that reasonable people can always find common ground upon which they can stand, but my gut and sixty-four years of experience tells me that there can be no common ground for me to stand with you folks. I find that sad.

  • caroline commented on May 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Feel so wrongly for the poor animals

  • Debra Dewey commented on May 9, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    The cruelty is now becoming huge. It has to stop.

  • Glenda Butler commented on May 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Am already vegan since 2008 and I can never turn back to eating/wearing animals or animal products – have found it harder to give up sugary treats. I would say to anyone that it’s the best decision i’ve ever made in my life. Not only is it the kindest way to live but healthiest, I’ve lost weight and kept it off, my hair shinier, skin clearer, my senses are more heightened, and I have a deeper connection to living things. All this was progressive and unexpected.

  • Lotta Nygård Mattsson commented on May 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I will try to be 100% vegan

  • Dave Winters commented on May 20, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Note to PETA. Don’t use misleading titles. This is generic about all meat not just halal. Since it’s a big thing people actually want to know what’s happening when halal meat is slaughtered not just your views on how all meat is bad.

    • Mac commented on May 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Dave Winters,
      Not sure what your agenda is… How can any person from a civilised country and with an iota of decency attempt to defend a slaughter system so cruel and barbaric that it should be condemned by anyone other than those rooted in the Dark Ages. Ignorance! Not an excuse in the day and age when you can Google and educate yourself from the results. Check the RSPCA website, far too submissive and non-condemning but do state the facts relating to halal and kosher if you dig deep enough…
      I can agree with the above Commentators who want to go vegan BUT to argue that if animals are farmed for their meat then to say that their deaths should be carried out by a blade to their throats while still conscious beggars belief. Are you sure name is ‘Winters’ and this is not some nom de plume for a more arabic based name!!!

      • NM commented on April 11, 2016 at 2:15 pm

        Mac! Couldn’t agree more. All animal supporting organisations should attack the barbarity of h*l*l (I can’t even type the word). A brutal system from the Dark Ages, totally opposed to any form of Btitish decency.
        You, and everyone who has escaped the brainwashing exercise of the last few governments should be wary of a couple of products which fully back this barbarity.
        Have not bought a pack Kel***”gs cereals for the last 10 years since observing the minute symbol close to the V for veggie one.
        Seems that McCain frozen produce have gone the same way and 110% lost my custom.
        Hit them in the pocket and make sure you let them know you are aware…

  • Alice Jones commented on May 24, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I am a lifelong vegetarian. Disgusted at the whole industry and have currently turned 2 peopke vegetarian. Animals are not ours to eat, wear, enjoy for entertainment or abuse in any other way. Normal meat is just as bad as Halal- yet the media never speaks up…

    • Mac commented on May 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Your last sentence tells that you need educating on the reality of the abomination known as halal… In ‘normal’ slaughtering cruelty CAN occur in halal it is a REQUIREMENT!
      To put it into simple terms that you may understand: Suppose you or a friend has a pet (cat, dog, rabbit, horse etc etc) and it becomes ill and gets taken to the Vet. The vet says ‘Sorry’ but the animal is not going to get better and that the kindest thing is that it is put down.
      You are shocked and sad but agree that if that’s what’s the best for the animal you agree that it may be for the best…
      The Vet then pulls a drawer open and grabs a knife, tethers the animal, strings it up from the ceiling, slashes its throat and allows it to slowly bleed to death…
      I expect that you have other reasons for comparing both methods in the same mindset BUT use Google and see what the TRUTH of Third World, Uncivilised Barbarity really means to the Abused Animals (not pleasant! but if you make statements, prepare to face the truth) …

      • Joanne Nugent commented on July 1, 2016 at 3:38 pm

        Mac,I am not Muslim so have no axe to grind.I am cutting out my meat consumption and dairy and eggs and will eventually go vegan.

        I have heard different things about halal and although different bodies say it is cruel,I have also heard that the way it is done is actually less cruel.Not saying I believe that,just what I heard.

        I heard too it is against their religion to kill an animal in front of another animal but hardly see how that could be possible in an abattoir when they are working at full speed.

  • William Ainsworth commented on May 30, 2014 at 7:36 am

    The ritual slaughter of animals needs to be completely stopped in this country. PETA should be campaigning to have it banned. Or perhaps your scared of the backlash?

  • Brian Williams commented on June 25, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Dave Winters is right. This is a misleading title. I am willing to debate separately the reasons that I am not vegan, just that I want to minimise my use of intensive farming and the needless cruelty that brings to the animals’ short lives.

    Given that there are many, many people who will not stop eating meat, the ethical treatment of meat animals demands that ritual slaughter methods are banned. To talk about botched stunning is a strawman. Proper regulatory control should be able to stop accidental / incompetent cruelty, but unstunned throat slitting is planned and deliberate and very, very cruel.

    I think you would be living up to your name, “Ethical Treatment of Animals” if you campaigned for the banning of ritual slaughter. Either that or you should be more truthful and call yourselves “People for the legal imposition of veganism”.

    • Bernie McGinlay commented on March 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Spot on

      PETA are hypocrites

  • Terry Carter commented on October 12, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    OK can someone clear this up for me as I am a little confused….

    So are we saying that halal is barbaric because the animals are alive when they are killed? But the fact that this goes on as an industry (presumably) is OK because when the animals are killed for meat in the UK’s mainstream(?) abbatoirs the stunning is sometimes ineffective and they die while awake (as well as being subjected to the other cruel things peta have mentioned)?

    So are we saying that two wrongs(??) make a right and we should all just be vegan etc?

    This is what confuses me, people are not going to stop eating meat so shouldnt groups such as Peta, etc be lobbying the government to stop practices such as halal (or at least label them for consumers) if they are indeed deemed to be cruel to animals? As well as lobbying for higher and better standards in the UK’s general abbatoirs, etc (which I am guessing they already do?).

    The subject of halal has come up today and I am intrigued to find out more, which is why I came to this website.

    I am a little surprised by the ‘well so and so is doing such and such anyway so it doesnt really matter, just all become vegan’ attitude. Is it cruel or not?! I have seen a pig killed by having it throat slit and it wasnt pleasant i.e it knew and it suffered, so what do Peta have to say about this and what, if it is deemed cruel are you doing about it??

    • Dan commented on October 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      Hi Terry,

      Animals slaughtered according to Halal regulations come from the same unhygienic, miserable factory farms as animals killed in standard slaughterhouses. On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, crates, and other confinement systems. These animals will never raise their families, root in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural to them. They won’t even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter.

      Out of almost 900 million land animals slaughtered for their flesh in the UK each year, only approximately 10 million are slaughtered according to religious law. Every year, however, millions of animals slaughtered in conventional slaughterhouses in the UK are improperly stunned and face the fatal incision awake, alert and terrified.

      That is why PETA fights to help all animals who are slaughtered for their flesh and we do not particularly differentiate between killing methods in our vegan campaign. Having said that, so long as slaughter continues, we are in favour of the least inhumane slaughtering methods, which render animals unconscious before they are killed.

      • Joanne Nugent commented on July 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm

        Dan,I don’t eat meat now,but are there factory farms in the UK? I have travelled around Scotland and am pleased at least to see that the animals can roam wild in the fields.

      • Ruby commented on July 4, 2016 at 4:13 pm

        Please see the truth about where most British meat comes from:

  • Kot commented on May 13, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Please update your website PETA – Subway is not a place to go. If we care about animals we need to BOYCOTT it!!!
    There are selling only meat from Ritual Animal Slaughter!!!

    • Anne commented on May 13, 2015 at 3:30 pm


      While it would be great if we all had the option to shop in vegan-only businesses, we recognise that that’s not possible for many people. For that reason, we encourage non-vegan companies when they decide to offer vegan options and cater to compassionate eaters. Like you, PETA would like to see fast-food restaurants stop serving animal-based products entirely, but such progress will never be made if we don’t encourage their first attempts.

    • NM commented on July 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks for the update. Time a website or similar was set up to list the companies who support this uncivilised barbarity…
      As mentioned above I have not bought a Ke***gs product for many years… Also aware that McCaine frozen products have also reduced themselves to that level as well. No prizes for guessing I’ll be giving them a wide berth in the supermarket as well…

  • Mat commented on November 4, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    How incredibly disappointing. PETA do not have the stomach to fight for animal welfare people. You heard it here. Mealy mouthed excuses that amount to more animals suffering and you will do NOTHING about it.

    You don’t care about animal welfare, if you did you would know that the Halal industry has increased suffering immensely. Do you not care? Or is it too political for you? Either way you have ceased to be of any use.

    • Anne commented on November 6, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Hi Mat. We are – and always have been – an animal rights rather than an animal welfare organisation. We work to help ALL animals who suffer at the hands of the meat industry.

      • NM commented on April 25, 2016 at 3:41 pm

        Yes Anne,
        But you should NOT have to be told… Some animals suffer more than others.
        That should not be beyond your comprehesion. From someone who many years ago felt privileged to support PeTA and SSPCA…

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