Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: I recently watched a documentary on slaughterhouses and the treatment of animals and was horrified with the conditions. From there on I had made a decision to go vegan.
Is adopting a vegan diet permitted in Islam?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
There is nothing wrong with adopting a vegan diet as long as one does so without believing that eating animal products is interdicted in Islam.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “God has prescribed excellence in all things… and so if you slaughter, slaughter well.” [Muslim]
There are a number of aspects to slaughtering well, which include the pre-slaughter treatment of animals. It is disliked to crowd animals together, to slaughter them in front of each other, or to confine them in a manner that harms, startles, or causes suffering to them. This not only goes against the explicit commands of the Prophet to treat animals well, but also effects the wholesomeness of the food we consume.
Of course, with the rise of large-scale slaughter houses slaughtering hundreds of animals on a daily basis, contraventions of what our religion has recommended in terms of treatment of animals will occur.
As a community, we need to have a serious and constructive discussion on the logistic aspects of our slaughter houses that would allow them to follow the guidelines that God and the Prophet prescribed. The issue is not only one of the permissibility of consuming the animals being slaughtered, but the wholesomeness of such food as well.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.