This is an issue that really bothers me. There was a story last year about this which obviously the sun et al used to fuel racial tensions. I had a discussion with a guy at work who was disgusted that he had possibly eaten halal meat. This guy (and the public at large) seem to think that a bolt gun kills the animal outright.
AFIK the bolt gun is not used to kill the animal outright, and rarely does. It's meant to basically make the victim braindead/unconscious. The animal is kept alive - their heart needs to be beating so they can be bled. However, sometimes it merely paralyses the animal and they still feel pain. (please correct me if I'm wrong).
Now Halal slaughter sometimes involves slitting the throat while the animal is still conscious. However, in the UK, 4 out of 5 halal slaughters involve stunning the animal first which means they are essentially the same as what people regard an "ethical" slaughter - apart from one detail which is saying a prayer before the throat is slit. True, there is still 1 out of 5 which isn't stunned - but how many bolt gun's fail in their purpose?
I just feel that the media exaggerate the difference and this has indeed caused more resentment to muslims. But what sickens me is that people sit there eating their red meat while somehow taking the moral highgound.
Off topic but in my opinion, halal slaughter is irrelevent when it comes to industrialised meat production. It was originally meant to be a sacred ritual in which the animal to be slaughtered was shown a degree of respect (they would not allow the animal to see the knife, it was done out of the sight of the other animals etc., still wrong but it's not what I'm getting at). When it comes to a conveyer belt of murder, why bother? There is no respect in this situation.
I'm an Atheist, but I get really annoyed by this ignorant hate against muslims/ethnic minorities.
Edit: http://www.rspca.org.uk/servlet/Satelli ... inary=true
I may have underestimated how many halal slaughters involve stunning - The MHS "Animal welfare review" (2004) showed that "90% of halal slaughter involved pre-stunning".
Also this is quite interesting (but probably not reliable):
Experiments for the objectiﬁcation of pain and consciousness
during conventional (captive bolt stunning) and religiously
mandated (ritual cutting) slaughter procedures for sheep and
By W. Schulze, H. Schultze-Petzold, A.S. Hazem, and R. Gross
I came across it on a pro-halal site which used this as "evidence" that halal is more ethical. But it was released in 1978 so is probably irrelevent really, if you're going to cite journals they should be as recent as possible with the best possible technology/method.