Slaughter-Free Meat: Kosher and Halal Meats

The question is: Would slaughter-Free meat be accepted as substitute to Kosher and Halal meats?


The meat grown from animal cells is called in-vitro or slaughter-free meat. It is also known as Cultured, Synthetic, Lab-Grown, or Clean Meat. Using the animal cells, it takes about two days to produce a chicken nugget in a small bioreactor, using a protein to encourage the cells to multiply, some type of scaffold to give structure to the product and a culture, or growth, medium to feed the meat as it develops.

Slaughter-free meat is coming, and soon. San Francisco–based company Just — which already produces a range of eggless mayonnaise and eggless scramble — says it is planning to release a chicken product by the end of 2018. And the second-largest company in the field, Memphis Meats, which has produced slaughter-free meatballs and chicken strips, expects its first sales at high-end restaurants in 2019.

From 1990 to 2015, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen from 36 percent to 15 percent. The general trend for global growth rates year-on-year is upwards. With millions being lifted out of absolute poverty items such as meat, which could formerly be considered luxury items, will be consumed more readily. This gives rise to several problems: with meat consumption increasing exponentially in emerging economies, the ability for supply to keep up with demand comes under question in the absence of technological change.

Only improved technology will allow us to satisfy the world’s growing demand for meat. This new innovation is likely to be commercialised slaughter-free meat, and with that prospect comes a whole host of additional beneficial implications for society.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the emissions from livestock equates to 7.1 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent per year. This represents 14.5 percent of all total anthropogenic greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions. Whilst the FAO has stated that emissions from the agricultural industry can, with the right implementation of waste reduction and energy saving techniques, be reduced by a third, it does not make an overall difference owing to the increasing demand for agricultural products with a rising population. By the year 2050, it is estimated that the demand for meat and milk will increase by 70 percent.

Duncan Williamson, the corporate stewardship manager at WWF-UK, has stated that “A staggering 60 percent of global biodiversity loss is down to the food we eat.” According to the WWF the net loss in global forest area during the 1990s was about 94 million hectares (equivalent to 2.4 percent of total forests). It is estimated that in the 1990s, almost 70 percent of deforested areas were converted to agricultural land.

According to the government’s O’Neill Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, farming within the US uses up to 70 percent of antibiotics that are critical to medical use in human beings. These antibiotics are used in healthy animals to both speed up growth, and as a preventative measure to stop disease spreading due to the conditions in which animals are kept. As a result, the levels of antimicrobial resistance are becoming ever more prevalent, especially within countries that have massively developed economically over the past 20 or so years.

Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Koran.  The Islamic form of slaughtering animals or poultry, dhabiha, involves killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe. Animals must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter and all blood is drained from the carcass. During the process, a Muslim will recite a dedication, known as tasmiya or shahada.


The word ‘halal’ literally means permissible– and in translation it is usually used as lawful.

The Halal food Authority rules for halal are based on Islamic Shari’ah. The antonym to halal is haram, which means unlawful or forbidden.
It is well known in the meat trade that Muslims consume halal meat. However, at times questions are asked, what is halal? In Arabic it simply means permissible or allowed. Opposite to it is haram, which means forbidden or not allowed. Arabic is the language of the Qur`an, a scripture revealed to the Holy Prophet of Islam by the Almighty Allah to be followed in its entirety by the Muslims.

Now to make meat halal or permissible, an animal or poultry has to be slaughtered in a ritual way known as Zibah or Zabihah. To make it readily comprehended halal is somewhat like Jewish kosher and, Zibah is with some exception similar to Shechita. The Qur`an gives following underlined injunctions in chapter al-Maida 5:3 that:

Zabihah require animals to be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter, since carrion is forbidden and, jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe have to be severed by a razor sharp knife by a single swipe, to incur as less a pain as possible. Here the only difference is that a rabbi will read what is required by his faith and, a Muslim will recite tasmiya or shahada, which fulfills the requirement of dedication. The question of how to overcome the issue of recitation of shahada on individual bird whence we now have poultry being slaughtered at a rate of six to nine thousand per hour, has already been addressed. A Muslim is commanded to commence all his deeds in the name of Allah.
All the flowing blood (al- An`am 6:145) must be drained out of the carcass, as blood is forbidden
Swine flesh is also forbidden, and it is repeated in few other places in the Qur`an
Forbidden is an animal that has been killed by strangling or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall

What now becomes abundantly clear for halal purposes is that:

An animal should not be dead prior to slaughter
A Muslim should perform slaughter
Any flowing blood of the carcass should be completely drained
Choice of modern and in vogue method has to be considered with caution and, it should be in line with Islamic principles

Since pork is forbidden, halal slaughtering must not be done where pigs are slaughtered or in the vicinity of pigs slaughtering area. There are a few more edicts and rules that have to be followed in the interest of animal welfare. For example, animal has to be fed as normal and given water prior to slaughter, one animal must not see the other being slaughtered, knife should be four times the size of the neck and razor sharp, and as far as possible the slaughterer and the animal should face the Qibla or Mecca and the animal must not be suffering from any ailments or any lacerations.