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Today we have been looking at Halal VS Kosher meat; The cultures, similarities and differences. We often find people asking questions, showing pure curiosity and confusion towards the subject. “What is Halal meat and what is Kosher meat?” Well, let us break things down for you.
Halal meat belongs to the Muslim culture. The method in which the animal is killed is different from how most other cultures preform the killing. – It is frowned upon by other countries and there is a discussion in the UK on whether it should be considered okay or not, as there are now abattoirs which are to cater for Muslim traditions.
Once a year Muslims celebrate Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca) – It is called “The Sacrificial Feast” They sacrifice sheep every year in the Halal style, giving a third of the meat to poor. They kill more meat on this day than any other day of the year. Every Muslim man must at least once in their lives, take the “pilgrimage” to Mecca if they are physically capable.
The animals are not stunned before slaughtering – Every animal has a by-law ritual preformed before. Muslims also will only kill an animal if it is alive and ‘happy’. Then a sharp knife is applied to the throat of the animal and cut into the main arteries and jugular vein. The animal must be cut and killed once allowing all the blood to escape and drain out of the body. Anyone associated with the Muslim culture has the opportunity to-do this.
Kosher meat on the other hand, belongs to the Jewish culture and again what makes it different from other meats is the way in which the animal is killed. The process is similar to Halal. Many people believe that Kosher is exactly the same as Halal – they are in fact wrong but it does have similarities.
The word Kosher means “proper/fit” in the Jewish culture and is the name of their traditional meat however, a process between the killing and eating of the animal is called Koshering – And that is where the term comes from. After the animal is killed meat must not come in contact with blood drippings, after it is completely drained they are put through the Koshering stage.
Weirdly, not every animal is blessed before killing. Kosher meat must be blessed by a Rabbi, also known as Sachet. No other Jew would have the right to preform this task – They only worship the first and last animal during the slaughtering, for example, If they had 10 cows, only the 1st and 10th cow would be worshipped. It is preformed using a chalaf, to create on smooth cut along the main jugular veins and let the animal drain then be Koshered.
Now we know the different methods which the meat is slaughtered in, now it is time to start picking out the similarities and differences between the two.
From both cultures perspective they both preform a type of cut which kills the animal within seconds. They use a large sharp knife which has no edges or ridges on it to create a clean deep cut on the animal.
Although in the Jewish tradition they only do the first and last animal in the pack, animals still have some form of ritual preformed on them. It is said that animals need to be treated with compassion.
After the animal is killed it must be drained of any blood – Especially Kosher meat.
In the Jewish culture meat and dairy cannot be generated together and is forbidden however the Muslim culture allow them to be consumed together.
The Halal meat and alcohol, must not be contaminated or, again consumed together. – Where as Kosher meat is allowed to be consumed near alcohol, if it follows the Kosher meat dietary laws.
Although both cultures worship – The Jewish dietary law culture requires a Rabbi present and only he can preform the ritual on the animal – Where as the Halal meat dietary law states any Muslim can preform the killing and ritual.
There other minor differences between the two, but what can you expect from two different cultures. We hope you found this useful when looking into the two different meats – If you have any questions or want to join in the conversation Tweet us @Meatex1