Food that involves cruelty to animals

Food that involves cruelty to animals and horrific slaughter methods. That’s halal.

Hi @cheryl.tonkin,

Thanks for your question regarding halal food and cruelty to animals. We’ve heard from a lot of consumers that animal welfare is an important factor to purchasing decisions. It’s one of the reasons CHOICE developed the CluckAR app, for those who wish to support true free range eggs.

Regarding the comments on halal, while you are correct that there are animal cruelty issues associated with ritual slaughter, it’s not just limited to halal. In fact, many Muslim authorities permit slaughter in conjunction with electrical stunning, as noted by the food and agriculture organisation. Kosher slaughter has similar requirements to halal but typically does not permit any form of electrical or percussion stunning.

You’d have to check with individual abattoirs about their practices, and my suggestion is to review all types of slaughter and animal welfare concerns (such as factory farming) if animal cruelty and animal slaughter are concerns for you, rather than just focusing on halal.

I’d like to acknowledge that this is a sensitive subject for many people, and to remind people that this is a place for civilised and meaningful debate. It’s also a consumer forum, so please keep any conversation focused on your personal consumer choices and be polite to each other. We’ll be removing or editing comments that don’t conform to the aforementioned standards and our Community standards in general.


And the RSPCA website has some facts on Halal meat as well.

The RSPCA website acknowledges that ‘There are a small number of abattoirs in Australia that have been granted permission from the relevant State or Territory food authority to conduct religious slaughter without prior stunning – for either Halal or Kosher (Jewish slaughter) purposes. These ‘approvals’ are effectively exemptions to standard Australian slaughter practice. The proportion of animals slaughtered under these exemptions is very small, but nevertheless that any animals are slaughtered without stunning is of concern to the RSPCA.’

I have had the ‘pleasure’ of attending an cattle abattoir which processes its meat as Halal…for one of the major supermarket chains and other markets…I can say that while watching the death of any animal is confronting, the animals were not conscious during that part to comply with the meat being halal.


Many moons ago, I worked for the industrial commission and attended more than a few feedlots and abattoirs. I might add, this was back in the 1990s.

Cattle back then were slaughtered first by the knocking box rendering them near as dead, after which the Halal person would perform the ritual prayers and slit the throat with a knife. Its cost effective for the meatworks to broaden the base of their sales, domestically and abroad.

This whole halal outcry is funny when you think, its been happening the whole time - you just didnt realise :slight_smile: A side note about cattle, they dont smell fear like chickens or pigs. They will stand docile in the queue for the box without the slightest signs of unrest. They arent stressed much less tortured.

Im an animal lover by the way, actually witnessing the above the first time was a complete turnaround on what i had expected/built up in my own mind. I had been absolutely dreading it. While the process may sound brutal, its far from it. Its quick and far from cruel.

Can someone tell me, what would an ethical/humane way be ? Or is there none?


In fact if any animal/s is/are stressed it/they is/are removed from the queue and put in a settling pasture for a couple of days. No abattoir wants to kill a distressed animal as it taints the meat with stress hormones and makes it tough and unpleasant to eat. The only time a distressed animal may be still slaughtered is if it is suffering from injuries where it would be cruel to allow it to continue suffering. Meat in this case is used for other purposes other than human consumption.

I worked in a number of abattoirs on and off the kill floor over a broken up period of 10 years and this was standard practice even in the 70’s.


If you don’t like the killing of animals, choose not to eat meat or fish. Fish suffocate to death. Lobster are plunged into boiling water. Animal welfare on a day to day basis in factory farming is another contentious area with regard to animal welfare. Do you eat chicken, and if so do you ensure that they’re proper free range? And one could argue that much of the suffering of many animals come with being transported over long distances on the back of crowded trucks in the heat, and then the fear of being shuffled around an abbatoir before slaughter.

However, I’m not here to argue for a vegetarian lifestyle - that is up to the individual.

Most of the complaints about halal killing are agenda-drive and sensationalised, not to mention that kosher is conveniently forgotten about. And Coles has sold kosher meat for a long time, probably decades.

Here’s some further reading:


I have a deep interest in all things Halal and Kosher. According to the Qu’ran and Kosher Certification, animals are bled, that is their throats are slit and they are left to bleed to death. This is cruel to say the very least.
Halal only applies to meat products and not anything else, where as Kosher applies to all foods.

Hi @mmelnika.

In relation to throats being slit and allowed to bleed to death. Please read the information from the RSPCA website and you will realise that a generalised comment about Halal meat preparation can not be made as most abattoirs in Australia stun the animal before the animals are slaughtered. There are a very limited number of abattoirs which don’t use stunning before slaughter, but these don’t produce a large amount of products are are not representative of the industry in Australia.

It is also should be noted that traditional slaughter includes the bleeding immediately after stunning (also see the RSPCA website).

Also read this related post as it also contains information which will allay your concerns.


Halal applies to a variety of foods, including fruit and vegetable. For example, Vegemite is Halal friendly.

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There’s Halal water as well…

Hardwick’s kill fully conscious animals for Halal and Kosher.

I must point out, @mmelnika, that bleeding to death is actually quite humane. Other than the pain of the initial incision, you just gradually get tired, weak, and drift off. It was a popular means of suicide in ancient Greece.

No, I am not going to tell you how I came by first-hand knowledge of this.