The purpose of this article is not to go into detail about what halal meat is & how it negatively effects non Mohammedan lives. If unaware, we recommend that people this well-made video by Ravilochanan Iyengar which deals with this before reading the article. They may also read Nassim Taleb’s paper “The Most Intolerant Wins” where he uses halal as an example of how a small but determined minority is able to impose its will on a clueless majority.
Rather the purpose of this article is to suggest some ways in which the Hindus can counter the menace of Halal slaughter. The means discussed have been classified into realistic, semi realistic, & unrealistic based on the present circumstances Hindus face.
Creating awareness: Many Hindus are simply unaware of Halal meat & what it means. So the first step is to create awareness about the fact that Halal is a method of Mohammedan slaughter that gives them a monopoly on the meat industry while depriving non Mohammedans of employment, that it involves needless suffering of the animals, & that it involves the butcher saying an Islamic prayer where Allah is invoked as the only “true” God meaning all others including our deva’s are “false” Gods. All of these negative effects of the Halal meat industry need to be publicized together in easy to reach formats such as the video made by Ravilochanan Iyengar or through short tracts among Hindu masses. It is especially important that members of Hindu jAti’s such as khatik’s traditionally involved in meat industry are made aware of these facts as they more than other Hindus are negatively affected by the halal meat industry.
Promotion of seafood: According to Islamic scripture, all seafood in general is held to be halal as is & is thus not subject to the halal method of slaughter. Keeping this mind alongside the fact that seafood is a staple part of the diet of many Hindus in coastal states, it is extremely realistic to promote the idea that if non-vegetarian food is consumed then it is better to consume seafood such as fish, shrimp, crabs etc. It is also a fact that a majority of fishermen jAti’s remain Hindu despite substantial conversions to Christianity in certain Southern states & therefore such promotion will also provide employment opportunities for them. In the present circumstances, this remains the most realistic option available to Hindus which is why we placed it in the opening half of this article.
Gov’t mandates & labeling: The gov’t can bring in a law that businesses which are involved in the meat industry need to either have equal representation of halal & jhatka (or other non halal methods such as electric stunning) along with explicit labeling. The enforcement of such a law will of course remain a challenge considering the famed corruption of Indian bureaucracy but on balance, a law might be better than no law at all. The gov’t can argue that it is merely establishing parity while also restoring employment of communities such as khatik’s who were traditionally involved in the meat industry before being driven out by the government’s own promotion of halal. It could also argue that it is catering to the needs of another religious minority i. e. the Sikhs whose tradition forbids them from eating halal meat.
Promotion of vegetarianism: It is a fact that vegetarianism has hoary history among Hindus & many jAti’s have been vegetarian for a long time. It is also true that many scriptural statements hold vegetarianism in high esteem. So promotion of vegetarianism remains an option & historically we have had cases where entire jAti’s slowly adopted vegetarianism or reduced their meat consumption following their adoption of specific sampradaya’s or on the advice of Guru(s) that their jAti follows. However in our view, this is only a semi realistic option at this point because a majority of Hindus have always been omnivores & that is not about to change anytime soon. India already consumes very low amounts of meat per capita by world standards with many omnivore jAti’s adhering to restrictions limiting meat to certain days of the week. Further reductions are not very realistic with rising per capita incomes & availability of cheaper meat due to factory farming.
Promotion of pork: We have seen this idea thrown about by Hindus on the net & the idea does have a certain appeal given the fact that the Mohammedans hold pork to be haram. Thus, there is 0 chance of them ever getting a foothold of any sort in a meat industry that is centred around pork. However we have noticed an aversion to pork even among Hindus of jAti’s that have traditionally eaten meat & it is a fact that the Dharmashastra’s hold pork to be impermissible, wild boar being an exception. On the other hand, as in many other issues the situation on the ground was never entirely reflective of prescriptions of the Dharmashastra’s & certain Hindu communities such as Kodavas have always eaten pork. Another good e. g. are the Hindus of Bali who have pork as a staple part of their diet & used this fact to try & retake the fast food industry from Mohammedans as the below excerpt demonstrates:
Walking the streets of Denpasar, you will probably notice small food stalls and carts bearing red and white banners that read ‘Bakso Krama Bali’ (BKB), meaning bakso (meatball soup) sold for and by Balinese. Previously, bakso was most commonly made from chicken and sold from carts by Javanese migrants. The new BKB often uses pork, thus violating halal (Islamic dietary) requirements, meaning not only that Muslims can’t eat BKB, but also that they can’t sell it. Non-Muslim Balinese therefore have a monopoly on the market.
BKB arose in an attempt to take back control over the Balinese economy from the perceived economic threat of Javanese transmigrants. Even non-BKB food stalls and carts will often paint ‘Bakso Ajeg Bali’ (literally, ‘Bakso Strengthening Bali’) on their signs, or advertise that they use pork, in order to benefit from the rising popularity of BKB. BKB is a reflection of what could be interpreted as the rise of Balinese nationalist or Hindu fundamentalist sentiment in Bali.
So we hold that this is a semi realistic idea because not all Hindus have traditionally eaten pork & many are averse to it. Nonetheless it remains an attractive option for those Hindu communities who have traditionally consumed pork to popularize it. The Hindus of Bali should serve as an inspiration in this regard as the below photo of a 100% Haram Balinese food stand serving pork shows (we also suggest people read Dr. Arya Wedakarna’s hyperlinked Facebook post using Google translate to understand the background):
Complete ban of Halal slaughter: This is the ideal solution preferred by many Hindus including myself but the chances of it happening are remote for the foreseeable future going by the record of Indian government since 1947. Any such ban will provoke immediate domestic & international backlash & a government that has trouble handling open flouting of pandemic related laws by so called “farmers protests” & followers of Tablighi Jamat will not be able to handle such a backlash. Of course countries such as Belgium & Denmark have restricted halal & kosher slaughter without sedation & stunning citing animal welfare & the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has even upheld the Belgian law despite Mohammedan & Jewish backlash. But we all know the Western media which doesn’t have much to say on these bans will on the other hand go into overdrive painting the same laws in India as being a Hindu nationalist plot to deprive poor Mohammedans of protein & worse. Hence this solution is being deemed as being unrealistic in the present circumstances.