I live in Shanghai, China. It has become harder to buy halal meat. Can I buy regular meat, if halal meat is unavailable?
Based on Sura Maidah‘s verses, the main difference in discussing and determining what is halal comes down to the fact of whether Bismillah is wajib (must) or mustahabb (desirable) before the actual slaughter takes place. The Hanafis, Malikis and Hanbalis all agree that uttering Bismillah is wajib. Only modern Shafiis consider uttering of Bismillah as recommended but not required. However, all scholars agree that red meat in the West and other developed countries should be avoided on the account that it comes from animals that have died from stunning. Allah knows best.