Under the label of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, few non-Muslims dub the Islamic way of slaying the animals as pains' giving cruelty. I shall see if their concocted accusation confirms to the modern science or their opposition is simply a grudge to the Muslims.
To judge what pain is felt by the animal undergoing a slaying operation under Muslim Law, we have to consider the following:
- Probable pain in cutting the skin of the neck.
- Probable pain in the wound of the neck.
- Probable pain during bleeding.
- Probable pain on convulsions.
We shall discuss the above for points one by one.
a) In our day today experience, if we cut our skin while shaving we don't feel from the cut till the wound starts bleeding or smarting. He feels the pain only after the cut because the bleeding from the tiny capillaries is not severe enough to render us unconscious. The animal likewise will not feel the pain on the cutting of the skin by a very sharp knife.
b) Does the animal feel pain in the wound resulting from the cut in the neck? The answer is, No. The sharp knife while cutting the tissues in the neck cuts open the four big blood vessels. As a result, a profuse quick loss of blood renders the animal unconscious.
Any pain that the operation of zabh (slaying) may cause can be guessed by considering the similar operation of making a hole in the windpipe TRACHEOTOMY-performed in cases of respiratory obstruction. This operation can be done under local anaesthesia. However, it can be said that the pain from cutting the neck and the pain from wound in the neck associated with a massive hemorrhage shall not cause any pain. Further, the slaying in the Islamic way involves less than 5 seconds in case of a goat and less than 15 seconds in case of a cow. The sharp blade slides down very quickly in the neck and the profuse bleeding makes the animal immediately unconscious.
c) Blood flowing from the wound of the neck of the animal slain by Islamic method gives an impression of cruelty to those who are ignorant of the physiology of pain. The process of bleeding is pain free and this can be ascertained by any blood donor. Further, more the animals unconsciousness deepens as the bleeding proceeds.
d) Convulsion occurring in the animal lying with an open neck wound and with blood around also imparts in impression of pain and suffering. The method used therefore, seems cruel to the eyes and mind of the onlookers who are unaware of the physiology of convulsions. They should note that convulsions occur when the animal is unconscious and their occurrence confirms that the animal is unconscious.
It is widely known that a human can be rendered unconscious by compressing the carotid arteries from behind. In a wrestling match, we call it a sleeping hole. So if mere compression of the carotid artery can produce unconsciousness, then section of both carotids will induce unconsciousness very much faster. Therefore, I have slain many animals can say it safely that the carotids are cut within five seconds and the animal gets unconscious immediately. The question of its feeling pain does not arise.
The American, European and other non-Muslim countries use mechanical, electrical and chemical stunners. The history of half a century of their use tells that there is not a single one that can be considered humane or safe in use. Electrical stunning has been shown to cause fracture in the spinal column, pelvis and shoulder blades of animals. Stunning produces neurogenic shock.
The only beneficiaries of electrical stunning etc. of animals are the meat industry, making for a high throw out and a greater economic advantage. But the method, without any doubt, is harmful for human health as the animal dies of stunning before the maximum blood is extracted. Even it may die of stunning before the bleeding take place. The Holy Quran, therefore, forbade the believers to eat the meat of the animal died of stunning that may be caused from the hit of a stick or by a shock of electric.