Editor’s note: this is a really short post, but I thought it would be good to show anyway.
More and more people are becoming aware of animal cruelty bit by bit. Basically, farm animals before their slaughter are suffering from close quarters, and other cruel measures. Factory farms have small confinement containers for hens, pigs and calves which give them little mobility, which the Humane Society of the United States calls “simply wrong.” [i] Specifically, breeding female pigs “eat, sleep, and defecate in the same [confined] space” as their manure sits below their living areas, while beef cattle live on “feedlots of up to 40,000 animals [and] stand…in piles of manure and fitted with growth-hormone ear implants.”[ii] But before calves are slaughtered, they can be subjected to “painful mutilations, including dehorning, castration, and branding” with rare pain relief while enduring long, stressful trips to slaughterhouses.[iii] This is just like the experience of chickens in the U.K, where“27 per cent of…chickens [that are slaughtered] have significant or serious walking difficulties because their legs cannot support their abnormally large bodies genetically bred for meat.”[iv] [v]Such practice is not uncommon, as Food Inc noted, it occurs in America, where chickens are made bigger, so more meat can be harvested from them. Even as these animals face growth deformities, they also are slaughtered in an accelerated manner. Chickens that are “raised for meat production…have been bred to grow muscle at a rate faster than ever” and become the size ready for slaughter in half the time it took in the 1940s.[vi] Of these chickens, the ones killed have a hard time standing and more cruelty ensues when their “beaks and toes are cut off…to prevent fighting among the birds.”[vii] Many of these measures are illegal. In 2001, the Organic Consumers Association wrote that “some slaughterhouse operators are violating federal law by failing to properly knock out animals before they are put on assembly lines for processing.”[viii] The Humane Slaughter Act of 1958 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, both laws that were made to protect animals before they are slaughtered are not being followed. Workers are slaughterhouses “admit to deliberately beating, strangling, boiling, or dismembering animals alive”[ix] and animals on their way to the slaughterhouse are being “beaten and severely tortured.”[x] Luckily, there has been some vigilance in recent years of the USDA as slaughterhouses in Vermont[xi] and California[xii] have been closed because of inhumane treatment to animals. In the end, hopefully the recognition of these horrible conditions can be realized by the people of the United States which will spur actions like people not becoming meat-eaters and becoming vegetarians instead.
[i] “Cruel Confinement of Farm Animals : The Humane Society of the United States .” The Humane Society of the United States : The Humane Society of the United States . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. <http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/>.
[ii] “Meat consumption and factory farm suffering – the facts | Vancouver Humane Society.” Vancouver Humane Society | Dedicated To The Humane Treatment Of Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <http://www.vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca/campaigns/eat-less-meat/factory-farming/>.
[iii] “Cows Used For Beef | Farm Sanctuary.” Farm Sanctuary. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. <http://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/cows-used-for-beef/>.
[iv] Hickman, Martin. “The true cost of cheap chicken.” Home News - UK - The Independent. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-true-cost-of-cheap-chicken-768062.html>.
[v] D’SILVA, Joyce. “Adverse impact of industrial animal agriculture on the health and welfare of farmed animals.” Compassion in World Farming . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. <http://www.ciwf.org.uk/includes/documents/cm_docs/2008/a/adverse_impact_of_industrial_agriculture_on_animal_welfare.pdf>
[vi] “Animal Welfare, confined animals - The Issues - Sustainable Table.” Sustainable Table. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/animalwelfare/>.
[vii] “Facts: Factory Farming.” In Defense of Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. <http://www.idausa.org/facts/factoryfarmfacts.html>.
[viii] GAY, LANCE. “”Humane Slaughter” Is Often An Empty Promise.” Organic Consumers Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <http://www.organicconsumers.org/irrad/insensibility.cfm>.
[ix] “Slaughterhouse exploitation and inhumane treatment of the animal kingdom…” the Greenspun family server. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. <http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=004TsW>.
[x] Murtle. “An Inside Look at Slaughter Houses: An All Creatures Animal Rights Article: justice, peace, love, compassion, ethics, organizations, Bible, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ, Holy Spirit, grass roots, animals, cruelty free, lifestyle, prolife, pro life, pro-life, abortion, capital punishment, war,.” all-creatures.org: Working for a Peaceful World for Humans, Animals, and the Environment. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-aninsidelook.html>.
[xi] Gram, Dave. “Vermont Slaughterhouse Closed For Inhumane Treatment Of Calves (VIDEO).” Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/03/vermont-slaughterhouse-cl_n_343934.html>.
[xii] Associated Press. “USDA closes slaughterhouse, eyes recall - SFGate.” SFGate: San Francisco Bay Area - News, Sports, Business, Entertainment, Classifieds - SFGate. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/USDA-closes-slaughterhouse-eyes-recall-3805593.php>.