Skip to Main Content

The Cruelty Behind Muslim Ritual Slaughter

Written by PETA | December 8, 2009

I’m going to be frank—after a minute and a half of GAIA’s latest undercover video footage from a halal slaughterhouse in Belgium, I had to stop watching.

But while I was able to hit a pause button, the more than 250,000 cows, sheep, and goats who are slaughtered while they are still conscious must endure prolonged torment. Animals killed halal (according to Islamic law) cannot be stunned before their throats are cut, which means that many animals—including the cow shown in this video—fight and gasp for their last breath, struggling to stand while the blood drains from their necks.

Belgium forbids slaughter without prior stunning, but the law does not apply to ritual slaughter practices, even though much of the halal meat produced in the country is distributed both to religious and nonreligious markets. Islamic teachings encourage kindness and compassion toward all creatures, which is why many Muslims make the humane decision to go vegan. Visit to learn more about cruelty-free alternatives to halal meat.

Written by Logan Scherer

Commenting is closed.
  • Emma de la Cruz says:

    Why no outcry about the selling of Halal Meat in California? Opening this weekend in Milpitas, “Jakes ” Wayback Burgers. Disgusting, vile practices. Even omnivores should be outraged! We strive for humane farming practices, but turn a blind eye to cruel ritual slaughter excused because of “religious sensibilities “. Boycott Wayback Burgers, Milpitas!

  • Laura Dean says:

    Please stop this I could not finish watching it as my mind could not grasps the truthfulness of this barbaric behaviour!!!!! These needs to stop this must stop must stop !!!!!! How the hell is this allowed….. Barbaric and these images are now in my head how the hell can this be..! It has to be stopped . Never have I seen something so un humane im discusted

  • om prakash gurjar says:

    Please stop it

  • amitvikram deka (@amitvikram108) says:

    I could not watch it longer than 2:14 minutes. How can one say mankind is the most superior creature of all? I am ashamed of being born as a human. Stop this cult. STOP IT NOW.

  • Gail Anderson says:

    I want to know how this can be stopped. It is cruel and is happening all over North America!

  • Nick says:

    That just wrong.It must end includes the kind of torture

  • Facepalm says:

    For all the people discussing ‘methods’ of slaughter and arguing about the best/kindest/most compassionate/*insert any word that makes you sound like a saint* method to slaughter an animal – How can u use slaughter and any of those words in the same sentence? Slaughter = taking the life of the animal = what gives us the @#$&!#$ right to?. So does the @$&!$# method matter at all?!?

  • DB says:

    I dont know what to say on this matter. I desided to stop eating Halal food due to being an Atheist and not wanting to eat meat that had been preyed over in a language i dont understand and to a god i dont believe in. I Live in a highly muslim populated area and felt like my option to eat meat that was not Halal, was clearly not an option to me via local takeaways. This strengthens my case as there is no way on this earth that those poor animals are dead and thats just reflexes…. For goodness sake when that goat is being hung and convayered up in the first feew minutes, hes still bleeting and moving about.It is an old third world tradition brought into the 21st century westernised world.

    • Ascot says:

      DB: I stopped purchasing Kelloggs products several years ago after seeing the minute halal logo (halal food authority or the like) beside the ”V’ for veggie symbol, and you could not pay me enough to make eat them now… The kids piped up but there’s no meat in cornfalkes, BUT i corrected them by saying “Any company who submissively bends the knee and kow-tows to a barbaric form of animal abuse that is alien to all that British people believe in (except for the spineless politicians and law-makers) will not get another penny of my money. Thought I would struggle BUT there are plenty alternatives out there…
      NEVER support Animal Abuse of the worst kind!!!

  • Lynne Wheatman says:

    We have strict welfare laws in this Country that should be across the board. I have seen a video of this barbaric way of slaughter and it is no way humane and should be banned. When in Rome and all that.

  • SlavesOfOneAnother says:

    The video shows some un-Islamic practices indeed but the spasms of the animal and gushing of blood are reflex actions. The animal in unconscious. Is Islamic slaughter cruel? The question of how an animal should be slaughtered to avoid cruelty is a different one. It is true that when the blood flows from the throat of an animal it looks violent, but just because meat is now bought neatly and hygienically packaged on supermarket shelves does not mean the animal didn’t have to die? Non-Islamic slaughter methods dictate that the animal should be rendered unconscious before slaughter. This is usually achieved by stunning or electrocution. Is it less painful to shoot a bolt into a sheep’s brain or to ring a chicken’s neck than to slit its throat? To watch the procedure does not objectively tell us what the animal feels. The scientific facts A team at the university of Hannover in Germany examined these claims through the use of EEG and ECG records during slaughter. Several electrodes were surgically implanted at various points of the skull of all the animals used in the experiment and they were then allowed to recover for several weeks. Some of the animals were subsequently slaughtered the halal way by making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck, cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides together with the trachea and esophagus but leaving the spinal cord intact. The remainder were stunned before slaughter using a captive bolt pistol method as is customary in Western slaughterhouses. The EEG and ECG recordings allowed to monitor the condition of the brain and heart throughout. The Halal method With the halal method of slaughter, there was not change in the EEG graph for the first three seconds after the incision was made, indicating that the animal did not feel any pain from the cut itself. This is not surprising. Often, if we cut ourselves with a sharp implement, we do not notice until some time later. The following three seconds were characterised by a condition of deep sleep-like unconciousness brought about by the draining of large quantities of blood from the body. Thereafter the EEG recorded a zero reading, indicating no pain at all, yet at that time the heart was still beating and the body convulsing vigorously as a reflex reaction of the spinal cord. It is this phase which is most unpleasant to onlookers who are falsely convinced that the animal suffers whilst its brain does actually no longer record any sensual messages. The Western method Using the Western method, the animals were apparently unconscious after stunning, and this method of dispatch would appear to be much more peaceful for the onlooker. However, the EEG readings indicated severe pain immediately after stunning. Whereas in the first example, the animal ceases to feel pain due to the brain starvation of blood and oxygen – a brain death, to put it in laymen’s terms – the second example first causes a stoppage of the heart whilst the animal still feels pain. However, there are no unsightly convulsions, which not only means that there is more blood retention in the meat, but also that this method lends itself much more conveniently to the efficiency demands of modern mass slaughter procedures. It is so much easier to dispatch an animal on the conveyor belt, if it does not move. Not all is what it seems, then. Those who want to outlaw Islamic slaughter, arguing for a humane method of killing animals for food, are actually more concerned about the feelings of people than those of the animals on whose behalf they appear to speak. The stunning method makes mass butchery easier and looks more palatable for the consumer who can deceive himself that the animal did not feel any pain when he goes to buy his cleanly wrapped parcel of meat from the supermarket. Islamic slaughter, on the other hand, does not try to deny that meat consumption means that animals have to die, but is designed to ensure that their loss of life is achieved with a minimum amount of pain.

    • Virendar Nagpal says:

      god has given such a sharp brain to the man that he misuses it very cleverly to hide all his inhumane acts of cruelity. Had you used your mind power with kindness you would have been a farishta but you chose the negative cruel way so such arguments have been presented.

      Killing is cruel; can not be justified for any reason; pl ask that poor animal which way it would like to be slaughtered:

      It is shame on mankind which despite having so much options to fill his stomach is brutally killing animals;

      May God almighty shows the right path to the human beings.

    • John Cross says:

      An Intelligent and informative response! Thank you!

  • JOEY!! says:

    cmon!!how inhuman ca we get in the name of religion!! oh gosh! this is sooo barbaric & inhuman..!!

  • Raj says:

    Islam is the religion of peace. try it in

  • Pjay says:

    Hope PETA brings hope!

  • Khan says:

    To my fellow brothers and sisters, That is not the Islamic way of slaughter! Research before you judge! In Islam the slaughter must be done with your own hand and you cut a vein to kill the animal instantly without pain! You must also do it in the name of Allah. The Animal must also be well fed and if it is raising a young calf let it raise the young if you had to kill it. The process is suppose to be clean so this video defies the Islamic way of slaughter! I just want for all this hate towards Islam to end.

  • Genoveva says:

    The day mankind stop killing other creatures, it will also stop the killing among men. When men kill each other, they have a choice for peace, and they don’t follow it; When men kill other creatures, these creatures don’t have a choice, because they are depraved of that right. I am sorry to say I don’t feel sorry for humans we are the only stupid creature, so greedy for everything such as eating other living beings. As for religion I don’t give a crap about it since all religions are as corrupted as all governments. “Every animal has certain fundamental rights. And the very basic fundamental right of every animal is the right to live. For you cannot take away what you cannot give. And since you cannot give life to a dead creature, you have no right to take the life of a living one”.

  • Gelareh Hojjati says:

    As a Muslim i can say that i hate all this kind of cruetly agains animals , its not about just sheeps and cows and cammels, we should all fight against animal abusing , skining alive , rape, fur, etc…. Stop stop stop , enough enough enough

  • آرین خ says:

    stop animall cruetley

  • marjanak says:

    UN LIKE ….!!!

  • dawn meyers says:

    I could never ever imagine the horrible smell! Actually man was NEVER meant to eat meat ever! It is so unhealthy for us to consume read. Predator’s were to eat meat with their big teeth Where the hell is your respect for these animals? “God why is this allowed”? So much pain and suffering here why???????????? I vomited and never even watched the whole thing

  • May says:

    In the name of Allah, torture, abuse, hurt, devour and laugh? With practices like this, who needs the Devil?

  • Sickened says:

    I am completely sickened by the attitude of supposed human being treat animals before slaughter.I no longer buy Butterball turkeys and only buy meat from places where I know animals are treated in humane way. People are degenerating to levels of pre-stone age man and not only treat animals this way, but treat other human being much the same. There’s nothing civilized in modern civilization at all.

  • innocent animals says:

    those jerks lieing to you that this is the best way to kill..and pain free… you are so full of it! you are telling me the cow is dead after one second? this is simply not true, and even scientifically proven false. Halal is in fact painful torture!!! the death occurs about 20-40 seconds later. The brain registers pain on British tests…refute science you scum.

  • Jen says:

    How disgusting. This is animal cruelty, plain and simple. And before you cry “Islamophobia!!!!!” in my face, why should religions be given special privileges for the sake of not offending them? Animal cruelty is animal cruelty, religious or not.

  • angela says:

    If there are Muslims who are against halal, then why aren’t they loudly protesting against it? Being vegetarian is simply not good enough. I know. I think these Muslim vegetarians are scared of Muslims who eat meat, and that’s why they’re silent about it.

  • C. W. Mills says:

    But it is O.K. for our governments to order the inhumane slaughter of our own young? Your moral priorities need realignment.

  • sarahh says:

    Peta pse correct Sarah (above) and Mark Baker’s ignorant comments. Educate them so they can see the truth. Wish people would stop using god and religion to justify cruelty. Statements such as ‘But being a Christian myself I wanted to correct that statement cause cause God would NOT be happier if you didn’t eat meat.Trust me when I say God would be happier if we as humans would just be kindcompassionate in all our doings and treat all how you would want to be treated.’ are so conflicted I just wonder how the author is unable to see the confliction…treat as want to be treated…..let me kill you and eat you then Mark, but it wouldn’t be me, I’m a veggie and won’t participate in it. Ignorance is not bliss for these animals – Peta you have so much more work to do with our species unfortunately….

  • Party for Freedom PVV Volunteermember says:

    @ Erik you are right Halal slaughting is pure animal cruelty. Ive seen it many times when i lived in Qatar. When you are discussing it with a muslim they will scream they are insulted. While they insulting us also but thats normal.This ridiculous slaughtings are an ideology. Many muslims has to begin by their selve. And by the way if its for the poor,why muslims dont collect like zakat/money and give it to the poor. Money seldom expired meat is a very sensitive product. But really halal slaughting is horroric and a bloody ashame if your hands are contaminated you ve to ashame yourself. Islam is peace hahahahaha far from peace. im happy with PETA and with most of the reactions here but really this is soo sick ASHAME YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! LETS FIGHT TO BAN THIS 4 EVER

  • erik says:

    islam is shit and Europe is weak to allow this level of cruelty in their own land.

  • Mark says:

    As a civilized society we must ensure that the slaughter of animals for food in as humane possible. As technology increases the pain and trauma should be reduced. Religion should have nothing to do with it. I’d like to see a United Nations provision outlining minimum standards for animal slaughter.

  • sad says:

    This is unwatchable. Halal slaughter is torture to these animals. Of course Muslims do this to humans too. Beheading is their thing. As much as I like “kabobs” I think I am changing my menu.

  • rija says:

    when muslims cut the blood vessels of the neck the blood supply going to the nerve which is responsible for pain is severed so the animal doesn’t feel pain. it dies instantly. it only kicks because it’s muscles contract and release because of the sudden flow of blood leaving the body. nonetheless even though i am a muslim in most places animals are kept in horrible conditions as we all know and still called halal. we have to show love and respect to the animal until its last breath so even if its slaughtered correctly that meat should be deemed haram. but yeah. i’m trying to go vegetarian. its better for everyone.

    • Jack Spratt says:

      You are wrong. Your explanation is quite simply anatomically incorrect. The animal suffers MIGHTILY, and would be SCREAMING bloody murder if the air could reach its vocal chords.

  • christian says:

    GUYS all of the animal when it already slaughter they already dead in a second did you still asking why they keep moving and make sounds?? because the arteri still moving after death their soul already gone but the arteries keep moving the muscle and produce voiceit always happen with mamals and chicken. believe me

  • Sara J. says:

    I’ll admit I didn’t start being a vegetarian because of the cruelty I started to become healthier. Now it’s much more then that such as animals having to suffer in so many different ways and the effects of farming animals on the environment. I’m not vegan yet but I’m trying. Meat and eggs are easy to give up dairy is harder for me but it’s more and more making it’s way out of my diet as I find alternatives not soy though it doesn’t taste great and it’s not really good for you or outright keep some things out of my diet. I hope to be completely vegan by the end of the year. I hope someday people will realize our bodies were made to live just on plants and compassionate people don’t hurt animals just so we can taste them. How did these people get to the point in their lives that they could slit an animal’s throat and feel no remorse or sympathy?! Maybe if they needed a job but I don’t think I could do the job even if I did need the money.

  • animal says:

    nordin what was that? gentle slaughter? WHAT!? what a pathetic way of trying to defend your religion’s slaughtering technique.

  • kiki nordin says:

    As a muslim i think it’s religeously bias to say that halal slaughering is cruel as it does it quickly with the sharpest knife and cuts through jugular vein and the carotid artery which will cause the animal to “go” quickly rather than just slitting the throat. I respect other religous values but for one to say that islamichalal slaughtering is cruelty is just unacceptable because it is our religeon. who are you to say that which religeous slaughtering is the best?? Vegan is a choice and i respect that. But as muslims kindness to animals is a must so by the way we do it it is the most gentle slaughter for the animal.

  • Shannon says:

    WHY? this is so absolutely horrifying. I cannot watch it. people in this world are so vile i am ashamed to be part of it. i hate watching the videos becuase all i do is sob for the next hour. i can’t wait until i am old enough to volunteer and really make a difference. Why are people so cruel? what did the animals ever do to them? if only we knew.

  • Muslim Vegan says:

    Excuse me Logan this is not Muslim slaughter there are strict laws related to animal slaughter none of which were adhered to in this video making it NOT halal. For one thing animals are never to be slaughtered in front of one another and the animal is never supposed to see the knife. I am disgusted with these practices it is inhumane and barbaric do not call it halal there’s nothing halal about it.