One of two things will happen by the end of this article. One, you will feel sadness and make an attempt to change how and what you eat. Or two, you will put it aside and continue doing what you have been conditioned to do, and you will live with the reality that you most definitely are what you eat, a compassionless, hard hearted person.
There is a saying that "If slaughterhouses had glass walls we all would be vegetarians". What will be presented in this article is what happens behind those windowless walls. One of two things will happen by the end of this article. One, you will feel sadness and make an attempt to change how and what you eat. Or two, you will put it aside and continue doing what you have been conditioned to do, and you will live with the reality that you most definitely are what you eat, a compassionless, hard hearted person.
All animals go to slaughterhouses. While there they can hear, smell and hear the death around them. And while these animals struggle to keep alive, the workers' production and output is of the utmost importance, with the animals being seen as pending profits, devoid of life or feelings.
The government, in their compassion, requires that an animal be stunned prior to its being murdered. How do they do this? With a method called captive bolt stunning. A gun is put against the animal's head that shoots a metal rod into its brain. What if the animal struggles and the rod misses? Easy. Do it again and again until it hits the right mark.
Then there's electrical stunning. This electrically zaps the animal creating a grand mal seizure. But, what if the electrical charge is not high enough? Then the animal will become paralyzed but will not lose sensibility. Whatever it takes, right?
Next is ritual slaughter where the animal's throat is cut while fully conscious. Supposedly, the animal will become unconscious within seconds. The reality is that because of blood flow through the back of the neck the animal can remain conscious and bleed up to a minute, all the while screaming in pain.
There was an article in the Washington Post that revealed that hogs are immersed in scalding water after they are stunned to soften their hides for skinning. Most of the hogs are scalded and drowned while conscious, and they are kicking and squealing while being lowered into the water. The same applies to chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese that undergo electric stunning. They are usually conscious as they are boiled or drowned.
Many times: the animals are punched while alive; eggs are ripped out of a hen's body and used in egg fights; or the heads of turkeys that got their feet stuck in the transport truck cages, have their heads ripped off to speed up their slaughter. Likewise, if a bird misses the throat-cutting machine, its head is simply ripped off so as not to slow down production.
Sometimes, to break the monotony of routine slaughter, live chickens are thrown into a wall, or picked up by their feet and swung head first into walls or the floor, or thrown on the floor, while alive, and workers jump up and down on them.
The USDA, which oversees the treatment of animals and birds in the slaughter houses says, "drastic increases in production speeds, lack of support from supervisors in plants, new inspection policies, which significantly reduce our enforcement authority, and little or no access to the areas of the plants where animals are killed, have significantly hampered our ability to ensure compliance with humane regulations."
The good news: "even when problems are reported to the inspectors, the government ignores them." A case in point was that no action was taken against a Texas beef company for chopping the hooves and ears off live cattle.
It's up to you to look into your heart and decide if you want to be a part of the problem or part of the solution.
Hesh Goldstein: Vegetarian since 1975, vegan since 1990. Moderator of a weekly radio show in Honolulu called, "Health Talk" since 1981. Obtained a Master's degree in Nutrition, in 2007, to silence the so-called "doctors" that called in to my weekly radio show asking for my "credentials." At 71, I am in perfect health, have no illnesses, take no meds, play 4 on 4 half court hoops 2 hours a week, body surf, race walk, do various cardio and weight exercises, teach women's self defense classes based upon 30 years of Wing Chun training and play in a softball league twice a week.