It was in 2013 when a friend of mine invited me to come along with him on a deer stalking trip in the Yorkshire Dales. A local farmer had invited him to stalk 2 deers which were causing considerable damage to his crops. After searching for these deers for nearly two hours, these deers finally turned up on the farmers land, and within 15 minutes both were hunted down with precise shooting. My friend took 1 carcass and I took the other one home. After filling my freezer with some cuts and sharing some of the meat with my family and friends I still had some left. So, I had the remainder cooked by a catering company and served it at a local community meeting. A week later, I was inundated with phone calls from people from all over the country “Where can we buy Halal Venison or Haran Meat”.
In 2012 I had seen a programme on TV, which showed how broiler chickens are commercially raised in warehouse like buildings, each packed with as many as 20,000 chickens. To reach the market weight within a quick time, how the birds have to be injected with chemicals on a regular basis so they grow very quickly. When I discussed this with a local scholar, and how this can be allowed in Islam, he explained to me this practice in words of wisdom which touched my heart. He said in the Quran, Allah instructs us to eat Halal and also Tayyab. Tayyab means animals are reared in a natural and ethical way. In the same way that we as human beings prefer to live a happy life, it is the right of every animal that it is also made to live a happy life. Today we are very much concerned about the “Halal” but very few people are concerned about the “Tayyab”. Then the scholar gave me an example that when a child is born, first Allah will develop the bone structure of the child, then Allah will develop the child with weight and height. However, these birds have not even developed their bone structure yet, and they are forced to develop all this meat on them within a short period of time. This is unnatural and unethical.
These words of his left me emotionally scarred. Within a week I decided with a few friends of mine to start an online business retailing venison and free-range chickens. Halal Exotic Meats was incorporated on 16th May 2013, and we started our journey to source Halal venison and free-range organic chickens. Through the grace of Allah, we now have a network of farms in Yorkshire where we rear most of our products listed on our website.