It is completely normal to see head of the animal on the street in Tunisia. It caught my attention since for me it is peculiar. I totally understand that butcher wants to advertise his meat and show everyone that it has been just killed! Fresh meat! Yeah!
However, walking next to the head of the cow looking at me with a tongue out is not a pleasant view. I spent few months in Tunisia and butcher’s shops were always grabbing my eye and lens. Various kinds of animals and their parts on the counter: legs, guts, heads, tails. I accepted that. There was something I couldn’t though.
Waiting to die vs Halal
Remarkably often I was seeing animals waiting in front of the shop for being killed. This fact was driving me nuts. Poor animals, seeing their brothers in parts, must feel so confused.
Tunisia obeys rules of Islam, therefore every meat must be Halal. That means animal has to be alive and healthy, furthermore a Muslim has to perform the slaughter in the appropriate ritual manner. The throat must be cut by a sharp knife in a single swipe to make as less pain as possible. Blood must be drained out of the carcass. Animal shouldn’t see blood or knife when its turn to die comes. What about seeing it just before? This is quite controversial. As I was told, many people disagree that this meat is Halal.
In non – ritual slaughter animal is stunned before, in order to not be conscious. Moreover, I heard meat from the animal which was in stress is much worse and not healthy.
I don’t want to judge ritual or non-ritual rules. Both are cruel. It is just sad to see animals waiting in the queue to die. I am not vegan but seeing various human acts on animals make me considering this step seriously.