Kutha meat or Kuttha meat is defined as "meat of animal or fowl slaughtered slowly". Abstaining from Kutha meat is one of the requirements for a Sikh to be an initiated Khalsa or Sahajdhari according to the code of conduct (Rehat Maryada) of Sikhism.
Both the Hindu and the Sikh communities view slow methods of killing animals negatively and forbid adherents from consuming such meat. The objection to Kutha meat has been the belief that the slow death by bleeding the animal is an inhumane way of killing animals to prepare meat. The Sikh tradition recommends the jhatka method instead, where the animal is killed in a single strike.
Kutha meat is any meat produced by slow bleeding or religious sacrifice of animals. For a Khalsa (baptised Sikh), eating Kutha meat is considered sinful. These four sins are part of the Sikh Code of Conduct (Sikh Rehat Maryada). These four transgressions (taboo practices) must be avoided:
- Dishonouring the hair
- Eating the meat of an animal slaughtered the Muslim way or the Jewish Kosher way (Kutha)
- Cohabiting with a person other than one's spouse
- Using tobacco
According to Singha, Kutha meat is forbidden in Sikhism as one of the kurahits, although there is no clarity on encouraging or discouraging meat consumption in general. The rejection of Kutha meat was initiated by Sikh Gurus:
According to the ancient Aryan Hindu tradition, only such meat as is obtained from an animal which is killed with one stroke of the weapon causing instantaneous death is fit for human consumption. However, with the coming of Islam into India and the Muslim political hegemony, it became a state policy not to permit slaughter of animals for food, in any other manner, except as laid down in the Quran – the kosher meat prepared by slowly severing the main blood artery of the throat of the animal while reciting verses from the Quran. It is done to make slaughter a sacrifice to God and to expiate the sins of the slaughter. Guru Gobind Singh took a rather serious view of this aspect of the whole matter. He, therefore, while permitting flesh to be taken as food repudiated the whole theory of this expiatory sacrifice and the right of ruling Muslims to impose it on the non-Muslims. Accordingly, he made jhatka meat obligatory for those Sikhs who may be interested in taking meat as a part of their food.— HS Singha, Sikhism, A Complete Introduction
While jhatka meat is acceptable in Sikhism, not all sources of meat is acceptable. According to Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair, the cow, the buffalo and the ox are an integral part of rural Sikh livelihoods, and these are never slaughtered for consumption by any method, treated with respect and beef is strictly avoided.
- Karen Pechilis; Selva J. Raj (2013). South Asian Religions: Tradition and Today. Routledge. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-415-44851-2., Quote: "The Sikh Rahit Maryada forbids hair cutting, adultery, the use of intoxicants, and the eating of kutha meat, or meat of an animal or fowl slaughtered slowly. (...)"
- Opinderjit Kaur Takhar (2016). Sikh Identity: An Exploration of Groups Among Sikhs. Taylor & Francis. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-1-351-90010-2.
- Singha, Dr. H.S. (30 May 2009). "7 Sikh Traditions and Customs". Sikhism: A Complete Introduction. Sikh Studies. Book 7 (Paperback ed.). New Delhi: Hemkunt Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-81-7010-245-8. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- Niir Board Of Consultants & Engineers (2009). Medical, Municipal and Plastic Waste Management Handbook. National Institute of Industrial Research. p. 214. ISBN 9788186623916.
Halal is the method preferred by Muslims and jhatka by the Hindus/Christians/Sikhs, etc.
- Rayall, Gurbachan Singh (31 Dec 1998). Punjabi University English-Punjabi dictionary. Foreign Language Study (in Punjabi and English). Punjabi University. ISBN 81-7380-095-2. Retrieved 28 November 2010. The Sikh Rahit Maryada forbids hair-cutting, adultery, the use of intoxicants, and the eating of kutha meat.
- Pashaura Singh (2013). Karen Pechilis; Selva Raj (eds.). South Asian Religions: Tradition and Today. Routledge. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-415-44851-2., Quote: "The Sikh Rahit Maryada forbids hair cutting, adultery, the use of intoxicants, and the eating of Kutha meat, that is Muslim halal meat, obtained through the slow bleeding or religious sacrifice of animals".
- Jamie S. Scott (2012). The Religions of Canadians. University of Toronto Press. p. 320. ISBN 978-1-4426-0516-9.
- Dharam Parchar Committee (July 1997). "Sikh Reht Maryada Section Six" (in English and Gurmukhi). Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee, Amritsar. pp. Article XXIV p. Archived from the original on 2 February 2002. Retrieved 22 November 2010.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
- Scott, Jamie (2012). The Religions of Canadians. University of Toronto Press. p. 320. ISBN 978-1-4426-0516-9.
- Dr. H.S. Singha (2005). Sikh Studies. Hemkunt Press. pp. 81–82. ISBN 978-81-7010-245-8.
- Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair (2013). Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 171–172. ISBN 978-1-4411-0231-7.
- The Politics of Sikh Identity: Understanding Religious Exclusion, Paramjit S. Judge and Manjit Kaur (2010)
- The Myth of Goat Sacrifice and Hazoor Sahib
- Sikh Scholar Views on Diet