First of all there is a question of sticking to the faith.
Haram means disapproved in quran. It could be anything ranging from taking interest to drinking khamar to eating tobbaco or even eating pork. Haram and halal is clearly differentiated in shariah (islamic way of life). Now even if you consume any food that has not undergone zabiha its still haram even though it is chicken or meat or beef.
If it says that chicken is halal it means that it has undergone the zabiha practice. Now I will list all those animals that are halaal (edible) but only after they have undergone zabiha:
- Fishes whose scales are not visible
- Wild animals who have claws or sharp teeths (canines) coze they tear there prey apart with claws
- only those birds who have sacks which are scientifically known as wattles under there beaks are halal those who dont are not.
- offcourse pig is haraam coze for a any animal to be halaal it has to be cut from the neck and pig has no neck.
Now three important things that has to be considered for food to be halaal:
1. How is tha animal raised ?
2. Process of slaughtering ?
3. Who is doing the slaughtering ?
1. Raising of animals
An animal to be halaal it has to be raised on organic food like vegetations and grains. Some animals that are raised in cramped up conditions are raised on bones and animal remains are haraam. Any animal that consumed such things have consumed blood and its haraam in islam to consume anything that contains blood. The animal has to be a herbivore.
For an animal to be Halal it should not be given any hormones.
In the meat industry, beef is given female sex hormones estrogene. This is meant to increase the weight of the animal in a short period of time.
The effect of consuming an animal with injected female hormones is a reduction in the masculine appearance of boys and men and early puberty in females.
2. Process of Slaughtering
On large farms, it is a standard practice to electrocute the animals, and then drain the blood. This method affects the central nervous system of the animal, and interferes with the drainage of blood. It is clearly stated in the Qur'an that Muslims should not consume blood, so we should make sure that any organic meat we buy has been slaughtered on a small scale by hand.
On the contrary, if an animal is slaughtered in accordance with Islamic guidelines, the central nervous system works properly, and all of the animal's blood comes out.
Remaining blood in the animal is a source of fermentation and destruction of meat quality. This means bacteria can grow easily on the meat.
3. who is slaughtering ?
there are lot of farms that employ non-muslims for slaughtering who arent bothered to say allah hu akhbar or recite vajjahto vajiha before slaughtering.
there is no way that you can make alterations to a religion and to something as important as sharia. So ppl either try to switch to organic food or go to a trusted zabiha market and I am sure with such rampant spread of islam its not a problem finding zabiha meat. For instance i saw a halaal chineese food restaurent in Chinatown located in downtown Manhattan.