Halal Meats

I was just doing some research on this practise and why it’s becoming so popular.
I have no problem with it if it means we all benefit from the practise and no harm or negative impact is effected.
One thing troubles me though, and that is the definition of it and the opposition of the RSPCA to certain types of slaughter.
So what does it mean for something to be Halal Certified?
In the case of meats such as beef, chicken and Lamb, it means that a sharp knife is used to sever the throat (wind pipe and major arteries).
The RSPCA states that all slaughters should be performed with the animal being stunned first to ensure no pain or prolonged death is experienced by the animal.

From what I have been looking at, aside from Chicken, Halal calls for the throat to be cut before being stunned.
This creates concern for me in regards to the welfare of the animal.

Why am I posting this?

Well I also found an interesting quote from the Quran, it is listed below:

“a Muslim is allowed to eat non-halal food.[3] Surah 2:173 states:

If one is forced because there is no other choice, neither craving nor transgressing, there is no sin on him.”

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halal

This of course is not final and clear fact but the question I want to ask is; why is there so much concern for conforming to Halal practise for a population that is not a majority and isn’t really bound by it anyway?

My preference is to consider the animals welfare before all, including what i consider to be very questionable religious reasons.

Now before you all get upset over that, let me qualify the last part of that statement:

My personal views on religion are that the individual of course has a right of choice in what they believe. No problems there, where I do have a problem is when we see extremism or fundamentalism. This happens in Christianity and Islam and other religions.

I also have a problem when other peoples beliefs are being pushed onto me, ESPECIALLY when those beliefs may be harming either myself or other innocent lives.

Now I am not calling for a halt to this, I am merely raising the question of where our obligations lie. To the innocents or those who wish to have something they believe they have both a right to and an obligation too (and possibly not even have that obligation)?

Below is the link to some articles found while researching this:

http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-is-halal-slaughter-in-Australia_116.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halal

http://www.afic.com.au/?p=465

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