Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

Are You A Muslim — By Diet?

Shafeeka Hafeez
4 min readSep 30, 2019


Why are people associating meat with Islam?

In my country, at least.

This isn’t about halal (permissible) and haram (prohibited) meat. This is about “Muslims and meat.”

I’ve had this question on my mind for quite sometime now.

It has gotten to a point where I feel like islamophobes are determined to save cows — hoping to rub on Muslims the wrong way.

Or maybe I’m just overthinking as always.

But based on my observations, I had a few conclusions myself.

  • a) It could be because of the livestock sacrifice during the holy month of Dhu al-Hijjah (According to the Islamic calendar) whose flesh is then given in charity.
  • b) Or because of the rise in Islamophobic narratives across the globe.
  • c) Or simply — because we eat a lot of meat!


Are we really the “meat-eaters” everyone claim us to be?

Can Islam encourage a diet that can potentially harm the environment and lead to mass-scale species extinction?

Because not only is the livestock industry one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, but also have replaced some of the most distinct animals in the wild. Animals like elephants, jaguars and penguins — to name a few- face extinction in the hands of humans who have cleared their habitable land for animal agriculture.

Fast food chains that have sprung up in the recent past compete with different varieties of meals from chicken wings to boneless chicken sandwich to orange chicken — I’m surprised that chicken feet aren’t on the menu yet (or are they already!)

But they all have one thing in common — i.e. a lot of meat!

Are we 1.8 billion Muslims the ones feeding the meat industry? Do we consume more meat than everyone else?

My curiosity was piqued. I wanted answers. So I went after data — the only thing that doesn’t lie.

And here’s what I found.

According to statistics from The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), United States is the biggest meat-eater by country. An average American eats around 97 kg…



Shafeeka Hafeez

I write about startups building a more sustainable world | #SolveDifferent