Is it lawful to eat the meat of dogs and cats?

Question:

The Quran tells us to eat what is lawful, so how do we know what is lawful and what is not? We know that all foods are lawful except what is prohibited in the Quran. So do you think we Muslims can cook meat of dogs and cats in our kitchens? Example: If I cook meat of dog and cat and I invite you to dinner. Will you eat with me the meat of dog and cat which was slaughtered saying Allahu Akbar, in same way as we slaughter cow and goat?

Reply:

You must try to free yourself from your cultural pre-conceptions to be able to see the heart of this matter. Let me mention to you some interesting facts:

- In south east Asia, they eat the meat of dogs and the brains of monkeys

- In France they eat frog's legs.

- In Arabia they eat the eyes of sheep.

- In some rain forests there are Pygmy tribes who eat the big hairy tarantula spiders.

- In Peru they eat the meat of Guinea Pigs.

Naturally the culture we both come from makes it repulsive for us to eat any of these animals, but does that make it unlawful to eat them? The answer is no, it is all a matter of culture and what a person is used to.

So if you invite me to dinner and ask me to eat a cooked dog, monkey or spider I would not enjoy it very much and I would not want to eat it. This is not because these animals are prohibited by God, but because I am not brought up in a culture that accepts such meat as food.

Some people say: how can you eat a dog or a cat when these animals are kept as pets ? Well, in many countries of the world rabbits are kept as pets, and in others pigeons are kept as pets yet in those countries rabbits and pigeons are eaten everyday! They do not see anything wrong in doing so, even if they keep them as pets. So what preference is there for a dog over a rabbit? Does a dog have more rights to exist than a rabbit? You have to remember that it is not all about us humans, whether we keep an animal as a pet or not is totally irrelevant to the legality of eating the meat of such an animal. All animals, pets or no pets, have souls and are living creatures?

Ultimately, we return to the only issue that matters: The only animal whose meat is prohibited by God is the pig, anything else is not prohibited.