Originally Posted by Balthazar
first of all I want to say thanks for the useful tips and encouragement from the last thread I posted.
as I mentioned previously, I'm slowly going veggie. I've pretty much eliminated beef...anyways, here is my question:
I still haven't seen anything that convinces me that most
animal "processing" plants are as violent as the ones seen in Meet Your Meat. can anyone point me to another resource that backs up that claim? (PETA's done some good stuff, but I'm still not sure I trust their data completely). Aren't there laws and regulations that tend to result in a "quick and painless" death instead of torture?
It is commonly believed that farm animals must be treated well, since sick or dead animals would be of no use to agribusiness. However, as Bernard Rollin explains in the book Farm Animal Welfare, it is "more economically efficient to put a greater number of birds into each cage, accepting lower productivity per bird, but greater productivity per cage...Chickens are cheap, cages are expensive."
In the United States, virtually all farmed birds are raised in factory farms.1
Under these crowded and stressful conditions, birds peck each other. To combat this, workers cut off the ends of the hens' beaks with hot knives, causing severe pain for weeks.2
Some birds are not able to eat after being debeaked and starve.3
The federal Animal Welfare Act excludes farmed animals, and most state anticruelty laws exempt standard agricultural practices. These practices include castrating, dehorning, and tail-docking without anesthesia.4
Also, federal law requiring slaughter houses to kill mammals humanely has been increasingly ignored as meat plants grow bigger. According to Steve Cockerham, a USDA inspector at Nebraska slaughterhouses, and former USDA veterinarian Lester Friedlander, some U.S. slaughterhouses routinely skin live cattle, immerse squealing pigs in scalding water, and abuse still-conscious animals in other ways to keep production lines moving quickly. Cockerham said he often saw plant workers cut the feet, ears, and udders off cattle that were conscious after stun guns failed to work properly. He said, "They were still blinking and moving. It's a sickening thing to see."5
In a 1996 USDA survey, the stunning procedures in 36% of sheep and pig and 64% of cattle slaughterhouses surveyed were rated either "unacceptable" or a serious problem."6
1. Peter Cheeke, PhD, textbook Contemporary Issues in Animal Agriculture, 1999.
2. BR Poultry Sci, 1989;30:479.
3. Bernard E. Rolin, PhD, Farm Animal Welfare (Iowa State University Press, 1995).
4. USDA, Animal Welfare Issues Compendium, 9/97.
5. Reuters, 4/2/98.
6. Meat & Poultry, 3/97.