The myth of “humane slaughter”
Regarding your front page article of February 9, “The Humane Slaughterhouse:” who the heck anointed Temple Grandin with the angelic ability to experience what an animal feels? Cutting an animal’s throat and hanging them upside down to bleed to death, whether their backs are straight or hung on a rail, will never be “humane.” All animals, including the human species, are sentient beings that feel pain, fear, terror and the whole spectrum of existing emotions. All animals raised for meat, whether grass-fed on a peaceful country farm or in the horrific hell of factory farms, suffer unspeakable pain and suffering.
Have we all become anesthetized by the neatly wrapped plastic packages of animal body parts that fill our supermarkets? Is it because we cannot hear their screams or see them bleeding? Have we disassociated by labeling a slaughterhouse a meat “processing” facility? Certainly the word “processing” is much nicer than “killing,” isn’t it?
Regardless of the so called “welfare standards” followed at any farm, all animals killed for food are killed at a young age: broiler chickens at 42 days when their natural life span is four or more years, pigs at only six months of age when they are capable of living nine or more years, dairy cows at four to six years of age when their normal lifespan is 25 years and last but not least, veal calves at only five months of life. In effect we are creating life to take it away for our own perceived needs.
When animals are seen as production units or commodities for sale, whether on factory farms or “humane” operations, the animal’s welfare is secondary to economic concerns. According to Webster’s Dictionary, “humane” is defined as “characterized by kindness, mercy or compassion.” Commodifying and slaughtering sentient non-human animals can never, by any stretch of the imagination, fall into the category of “humane.”
I recommend that readers order the documentary “Earthlings,” available online.