Sikh is generally a word used to refer to a learner or a disciple. The Sikh religion was founded in the Northern part of India by Guru Nanak in the 15th century. Sikhism religion is the world’s fifth largest religion with over 25 million believers worldwide. Most people confuse Sikhism for Islam or Hinduism and yet this is a completely distinct religion with its own believes and practices. Sikhs stress on the need for equality between all men and women.
There is however a lot of controversial information going on revolving around the question on whether Sikhs should eat meat or not. The general rule here is that Sikhs have the free will to choose whether to adopt a meat diet or go the vegetarian the way. Sikhs believe in a life of moderation and try all means possible to avoid actions and practices that may cause harm to one’s mind or body. Based on this fact therefore, all forms of animal sacrifices are shun from the Sikhism religion as well as eating meat from animals killed in a way that causes harm to their bodies.
A very simple answer to our question is that Sikhs are not allowed to eat meat that has been slaughtered through the Muslim way.
This form of meat that has been slaughtered and prepared the Muslim way is referred to as Kuttha in the Punjabi. They are however allowed to eat Jhatka meat. This is meat from an animal that has been slaughtered quickly without religious rituals or suffering. According to their ancient tradition, Sikhs believe that animals killed with one stroke of a weapon resulting to their instantaneous death is the only form of meat suitable for human consumption.
The reasons behind Sikhs not eating any other form of meat apart from Jhatka meat include the following.
Causing pain and suffering to an animal is not a justifiable act before God and they therefore believe that torturing an animal in the name of killing it to obtain meat is a sin before God. Based on this they believe that living things that contain a nervous system feel pain and it is therefore not just to have them as a diet. However, on the other hand plants or simply vegetables have no nervous system and therefore consuming them is not a sin and this is the main reason behind most of the Sikhs living the vegetarian way.
The almighty has blessed humans with a wide variety of foods and he requires them to be merciful too. Sikhs therefore believe that when other types of food are available, one should make a decision to have a vegetarian diet and leave the flesh for future hard days. This decision shows that they have mercy on the animals.
The decision on whether to consume meat or not is upon individual Sikhs to make. Consuming meat does not make one less or more of a Sikh and also a vegetarian diet does not guarantee one a sure pass to heaven. Other rules and practices also need to be followed as per the laid down Sikhism rules.