Halal vs. Kosher Slaughter
29 SEP 2017
Both Islam and Judaism teach prescribed rules related to what followers can and cannot eat. Part of these rules dictate how certain animals are slaughtered for consumption. In both Islam and Judaism, adherents believe that practicing a ritual slaughter helps them live in accordance with God's will, and preserve their body and spirit.
In the Islamic faith, believers call the ritual slaughter of animals for consumption Zabiha. This procedure requires a person to invoke the name of Allah out loud before killing the animal, since Muslims believe that only Allah has the right to grant permission to kill another creature. He then uses a sharpened knife to quickly cut the veins and arteries in an animal's neck, minimizing contact with the nervous system and spinal cord. This process minimizes the amount of pain an animal feels and leaves the animal to bleed out completely in a few seconds.
Shecita is the Jewish slaughter procedure performed by an experienced professional called a shochet. Like Zabiha, this process entails a person using a sharpened knife to quickly sever the veins and arteries in an animal's neck, leaving the animal to bleed out. It's particularly important that all blood leave the animal's body before consumption, since Jewish law forbids adherents from consuming blood in any form.
The main difference between the two procedures is the ritualistic aspect. By invoking the name of Allah, Muslims turn the slaughter procedure into a religious procedure, but this ritualistic aspect is absent from the Jewish slaughter procedure. Although Jews believe Moses handed down the rules of the slaughter procedure, the main purposes of the tradition are not strictly related to God. Jews do, however, believe that by following this law, they are obeying God's will.
Both Shecita and Zabiha attempt to minimize pain felt by the animal. Similarly, these religions teach that completely draining the blood from the animal makes the meat safer for human consumption, since blood causes the meat to rot more quickly. Both Jews and Muslims believe that consuming meat butchered in any way other than their own respective methods is forbidden.