There has been, for many years, valid questions raised pertaining to the consumption of animal flesh. These concerns are crucial in terms of physical, mental and spiritual health and adherence.
Under the best of conditions it is doubtful if meat digests adequately. And opponents of its use contend that it sits too long in the stomach and digestive tract where it putrefies and aggravates a host of ailments and illnesses.
There is also the disturbing fact that meat is often undercooked and thus amiable to a litany of dangerous bacteria and parasitic worms. The infestation of worms is especially true of pork but includes most other kinds of animal flesh as well.
Animal flesh is tougher and therefore more difficult to digest. In addition there is evidence that because of the massive assembly line process used in slaughter houses a large percentage of the animals are not dispatched quickly but are fully conscious and alive when dropped into vats of scalding hot water, cut into parts, or skinned.
Also, huge quantities of growth hormones are fed and injected into animals to speed up the growth process, which results in the development of deformities in the limbs because of the animals’ inability to support their grossly overweight bodies.
In animal slaughter and meat packaging facilities, animals are penned in tiny cages with hardly any room to move. Some go insane and attack the animals closest to them. The beaks of chickens (which are full of nerve endings) are clipped off with shearing machines to prevent them from pecking, mauling and killing each other in crazed frenzy. And pigs routinely have their teeth filed away and their tails hacked off, all without the benefit of painkillers or anesthetics.
Invariably, these places attract individuals with sadistic personalities who see unhindered opportunities to act out their most cruel and devilish propensities. The helpless animals are mercilessly beaten with metal bars and hammers. They are scalded and boiled alive with steaming hot water, and chickens are treated to a litany of abuses ranging from being kicked and stomped to death to having their heads unceremoniously yanked off their bodies, with the desperate fluttering of mangled wings, and the shrieks and screams of tortured animals adding to the nightmarish environment of the killing pens.
Not surprisingly, many of the animals develop abscesses, yet USDA regulations allow the rancid portions to be cut out and the rest to be packaged and sold to unwitting consumers. Even the worst portions are rarely discarded but ground into hamburger or minced and seasoned to make hot dogs and sausages.
Housed in the most fiendish conditions and literally tortured to death, the flesh of these creatures is saturated with a litany of poisons brought to bear by the stress of being treated so savagely. Fear, anger, and fright release adrenaline into the bloodstream where it mingles with the animals flesh, creating a vile and poisonous stew. Moreover, even in the best of conditions it is doubtful if the flesh of animals is healthy for human beings to consume. Dr. Imohotep Llaila Afrika explains:
“The blood of any animal is at all times half-filled with waste. In an animals body 1/4 of the cells are dead, 1/4 are being created and ½ are maintaining the body’s functions. The ½ of cells that are maintaining the functions are transporting waste and nutrients at all times. However, in the case of slaughtered animals, a toxic substance called adrenaline is released and this poi-sons the carcass before death. In any case, the animals blood pus and adrenaline gives animal flesh its taste. If it were protein the dead animal flesh-eater wanted, then the blood and pus could be soaked out of the animals flesh using soap and water. Whether it is cooked or raw, the blood, pus, and waste are delightful to the meat-eater’s taste buds.”
Meat is also much harder to breakdown and remains in the digestive tract longer
than does any other foodstuff (sometimes lingering for months or years). It putrefies in the stomach and intestines and pollutes the entire body. Animal flesh also produces uric acid, which damages the vital internal organs of the consumer. Harmful and potentially deadly bacteria are also present in the flesh.
Today, when literally billions of animals are slaughtered yearly and huge food corporations control and facilitate the packaging and distribution process, there is a rush to get the butchered carcasses to market before the meat spoils or begins to rot. This is a race that meat packers, transporters, and storeowners do not always win. And the loss has dire consequences for consumers, resulting in a litany of ailments and illnesses, as one researcher writes:
“Despite the proliferate use of antibiotics by livestock breeders, a disturbing incidence of cancer and diseases among animals raised for slaughter continues. According to the meat handbook, there are over seventy known animal diseases that can be transmitted to man. One government report stated that over 90 percent of chicken from most of the flocks in this country are infected with leucosis, or chicken cancer. The poultry processing industry has been listed by the Bureau of Labor as one of the most hazardous occupations due to the dangers of contracting diseases. Moreover, leucosis occurs in carrier form, without tumors large enough to be spotted by even the most conscientious inspector. And what if cancers or others signs of disease are visible to inspectors? Often if not usually, the growth is simply cut out and the rest of the carcass that nurtured the malignancy or disease sent through. Still, consumers can be grateful when even part of a diseased animal is rejected, for it is not uncommon for carcasses to pass before a meat inspector at the rate of up to 11,000 an hour.”
Adherents to the religion of Islam often face a daunting challenge of whether to eat the flesh of animals or to abstain. For although the Qur’an (the Muslim holy book) allows the eating of meat, the permission rests upon several requirements, conditions and procedures. In Surah 2 ayah 168 of the Qur’an, Allah (God) commands. “O believers, eat of the lawful and good things from what is in the earth.’
The lawful foods that a Muslim is allowed to eat are specified in 2:172, 173:
“O you who believe, eat of the good things that We have provided you with, and give thanks to Allah, if He it is whom you serve. He has forbidden you only that which dies of itself, and blood of the flesh of swine, and that over which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked. Then whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring nor exceeding the limit, no sin is upon; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
In today’s animal slaughterhouses and meat processing industries, there is little doubt that the flesh of such animals does not satisfy the legal and religious requirements of Islam. As previously mentioned, it is well documented that millions of animals are tormented into insanity by being caged in the most outrageous and despicable conditions. They are routinely beaten with meat clubs, thrown against walls and kicked and stomped to death by sadistic handlers and “caretakers.” They are systematically mangled because of brutal housing and transport conditions, and often die solely as a result of these conditions. Many acquire lethal diseases because of contaminated feed and filthy living conditions and die even before they reach the slaughterhouses. In fact the lives of the animals are one long hellish journey from birth to death.
All of these factors make the flesh of such animals both unlawful and vile for consumption by Muslims. Sadly, even meat that is labeled Halal and butchered in the prescribed Islamic way, is sometimes “not good” because the animals have, again, been brutalized and traumatized either while housed, transported or while being slaughtered. Moreover in today’s unscrupulous, money-grubbing, and fast paced world, it is far from clear whether every company or business that marks its meat as Halal is, in fact, careful enough, pious enough, or knowledgeable enough to ensure that it is indeed so.
Many Islamic scholars reason that any animal that is tortured, either through physical trauma or through prolonged fear, is unfit and unlawful to be eaten by Muslims. Their rulings are within the spirit of the directives of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (or example) set by our beloved prophet, Muhammad.
The messenger of God was always kind to animals. There are numerous traditions where he is recorded to have considered the good treatment of animals so crucial that it directly determined a person’s status in the Afterlife. In other words, a person that mistreated animals (even through mental torment or neglect) could be punished with Hell Fire; and a person that showed kindness, respect, and consideration to animals would have his sins forgiven. Prophet Muhammad also made laws and issued decrees whereby animals were not to be overloaded, overworked, mistreated or struck. And dogs and cats were afforded similar rights of humans to walk along the thoroughfares unencumbered and unmolested.
In today’s world, the housing, transport and slaughter of animals is facilitated by huge corporate food conglomerates. The number of animals that are killed and processed every year is mind-boggling. In the United States alone, billions of chickens are killed and butchered in the industry’s extremely inefficient and incredibly horrific meat packing process. It is literally impossible for such a astronomical number of animals to be properly and adequately monitored in the institutionally profit driven and blatantly immoral meat industry.
Regardless of how you examine it the eating of meat is almost always synonymous with the eating of the diseased and tainted flesh of tortured and murdered animals.
Notes and References:. Llaila O. Afrika, “Nutricide: The Nutricidal Destruction of the Black Race,” Golden Seal Publishers (1995) p. 211 . “Meat is no Treat,” accessible online at: http://www.alternatehealth.co.nz/cancer/meat.htm