Yes, your meat is Halal – but sadly this doesn’t guarantee it was reared ethically
‘Halal’ is Arabic for permissible – food which adheres to Islamic law. The Islamic form of slaughtering animals or poultry involves:
- killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe.
- A recitation of a dedication, known as tasmiya or shahada.
Unfortunately, the rules around halal meat are only really concerned with the slaughter itself, and not the living conditions of the animal prior to its death. Surely both are just as important?
So, we can’t always assume that the halal meat from our local butchers was reared with true compassion. Generally, the cheaper the meat we purchase, the more likely it was unethically reared - forced to live shortened lifespans in highly crowded and highly unnatural environments
What is factory-farming, and how does it relate to the meat that we buy?
The overall aim of factory-farming is to reduce costs for the farmer, so that they can charge lower meat prices to attract more customers. It does so by using:
- a large number of inputs, such as fertilisers, chemical pesticides and – the harsh reality - a great deal of cruelty in terms of animal operations
- growth-promoting hormones into poultry and beef (this converts feed into muscle and fat quicker so that farmers have more meat to sell)
So, even if meat is labelled ‘halal’, we can’t be certain both whether it’s cruelty-free or hormone-free. Although there is extensive scientific research proving that drugged meat is safe for human consumption, this is beyond the point. It is from such farming methods where cheap and unethical meat comes from.
How does Saffron Alley resolve the problem of unethically reared meat?
Firstly, none of our meat is factory-farmed. This means that:
- none of our animals experience constricted or unnatural environments
- No type of growth-promoting hormone is used
- All of our farms are completely chemical-free – we do not use any form of fertiliser or pesticide which can have negative environmental impacts
At Saffron Alley, we appreciate the importance of intensive farming to meet the surging demand for meat globally. However, farming can be productive without having to compromise ethics. There has come a point now where the disadvantages of factory-farming outweigh the benefits – we strongly believe that Saffron Alley is now the socially-responsible way forward.