Muslim and Vegan: 4 Common Questions Answered
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Many people think that being Muslim and Vegan is uncommon, weird or incompatible.
Some may think I’m not a true Muslim for being vegan, or that I’m a fake vegan for accepting that animal slaughter is allowed to a certain extent.
Beliefs aside, Islam and Veganism have a common thread, which is the value of kindness and compassion towards all beings.
But of course, you’re not convinced.
It’s understandable. I know not many would take my words seriously unless I hold the title of a PhD or ulama – despite being vegan for over 3 years and having practised Islam for most of my life (albeit imperfectly).
And yet here I am addressing four common questions that would hopefully quell any misconception.
Is animal slaughter compulsory?
No, it’s not. And there’s really nothing more to it.
There’s not a verse in the Quran that says animal slaughter is mandatory, not even for the Qurban ritual during Eid Adha.
It’s also important to note that it’s not wrong to forgo eating meat.
Didn’t God give us animals to eat?
God put animals on earth because he wants to, just like how he puts us, humans, here. In fact, animals have lived long before humans ever did. So to even think that God specifically made animals for us humans to consume is just plain arrogance and egotistical.
However, in the Quran, God has mentioned instances where animals were used as well as their benefits to our ancestors. Those were the times when cars, phones and advanced farming technology did not exist. In some communities, arable land might have been scarce at a certain point of the year. The people had to depend on animal meat to survive. For this instance, yes, God allowed humans to eat animals, but only of certain kinds and for realistic reasons.
Is veganism making a halal practice haram?
The more I look over this question, the more ridiculous it sounds, to be honest.
If you’re wondering if saying no to eating meat is indirectly making the meat haram, then you should stop wondering. It doesn’t.
But if you’re thinking that one automatically implies that all kinds of meat, including halal meat, is haram by virtue of being a Muslim Vegan, then you need to take a chill pill.
Vegans may give the impression that eating meat is like a sin. In a way, it is if you think about the modern factory farming practice.
Personally, even though I condemn factory farming and the merciless slaughter of animals, which also bring about negative environmental and health impacts, I still accept the slaughter according to Islamic law. Like the legit one, not the one you see in the media. Slaughter in Islam is super strict and it actually puts importance in the well-being of the animal first and foremost.
If Islam teaches compassion, why is animal slaughter allowed?
I look at the religion of Islam as a way of life that
reminds us humans that we’re mere mortals created by a God so we need to give thanks for all the blessings and lessons in life.
eases our daily operation so we may go about our lives as they are while still being able to worship God and show compassion to others.
Islam strives to accommodate all kinds of communities til the end of time.
Knowing that not all communities live the same way or with the same opportunities, God makes eating only certain kinds of animals permissible. God being God, He knows what humans are like. We could just kill off any animals, including humans, as we wish. But God wants us to embrace our compassionate side and intelligence rather than our base desires.
And for those communities that depend on livestock due to lack of arable land or nomadism, God decreed for their animals to be slaughtered within certain conditions. This is mainly to ensure that the animals were shown respect and care all their lives and that their deaths are swift with as little pain as possible.
So animal slaughter is permissible to accommodate the people who literally depend on animals for survival.
For most of us now in the 21st century living in cities, we don’t really need meat to survive. And most of us, if you dare admit, eat meat for pleasure. And the way that animals are treated in factory farms nowadays most certainly do not align with the values of Islam.
All good that came from this is from Allah and all errors are my own.
Thank you for your time.