Agonizing screams, blood spattered walls, floors coated with blood and guts, cries of terror and the smell of death in the air. This may sound like a horror film to you but what you just read describes the true horrors that can be found on the kill floor behind the closed doors of a slaughterhouse hidden away from the public eye.
The happy farm imagery of the big red barn, free range smiling animals and a farmer who loves and cares for each and every one of them is merely a facade. In reality animals are grown by the billions for nothing more than the dollar sign attached to their flesh. From the time meat industry animals are born, up until the day they are murdered for their flesh they are exposed to nearly unimaginable pain and suffering.
Steroids and growth hormones are pumped into factory farmed animals to fatten them up for slaughter. This practice causes growth at such an alarming and unnatural rate that many of them are often unable to move. Many deaths are a result of such methods. Once they have reached the proper size or age for processing they are prodded, hit, kicked, beaten, and then shoved into large and overcrowded transport vehicles. These vehicles are always packed beyond their intended capacity. Standing in their own feces and crying out in pain, they fight for their very survival. Each animal knowing exactly where they are headed, and trying so desperately to get away.
After a long and excruciating travel they arrive at their final destination, the slaughterhouse. It is here each poor being will endure a death so wretched few humans can even stand to witness it. Pigs are shocked with an over-sized pair of tongs to render them unconscious. It has been documented that workers are coerced into using voltages below the regulated standards to save the company money. This causes many pigs to go into violent seizures, many fully aware and capable of still feeling every bit of pain from their final moments. They are strung up by their heels on a conveyor belt and their throats are then slit. Blood will spill from the bodies until they become silent and motionless husks of the creatures they once were.
Not every animal is killed the exact some way. Different methods are used which are equally ineffective at rendering animals unconscious. Cows are killed using a captive bolt gun which fires a bolt into the brain of the cow. Due to the number of times these devices are used throughout a day they are extremely inaccurate.
It is not uncommon for a cow to be fully conscious through the entire process from bolt gun to the final stage of processing all the while with a hole in their head. Sometimes cows are killed in the same fashion as pigs, hung up with their throats slit, while others are shoved into a machine that rotates the animal upside down and severs its throat. Supposedly this causes less suffering and a swifter death, but at what cost? There is still pain, there is still suffering.
For many birds in this industry there is no difference in their treatment. From the moment they are hatched they endure a grim fate. They are de-beaked on often dull machines which sever and then sear their beaks. This is done so that they cannot harm each other as cannibalism and mental illness is common due to the overcrowding of their confinements. Males chickens are of no use to the industry so they are tossed into trash cans and grinders where they are ground up.
Birds raised for food are pumped so full of hormones and steroids they grow so fast their bodies cannot keep up and many die before even reaching the age of slaughter. Some cannot even move from the weight. Just like any other animal they are beaten, and shoved into transport trucks when they are shipped off to slaughter. Strapped onto a conveyor belt, they are then put into a tank of boiling water to remove the feathers. They do not always die from this process. Many suffer an even more agonizing fate as their throats are slit on a commercial machine as they bleed out what little life they have.
These animals are all fully aware of their fate they understand that their end is coming. Every time they kick, scream, and fight trying so desperately to get away it is because they do not want to die and will do anything to avoid it. This simple fact cannot be allowed to be ignored any longer. We cannot simply line up sentient beings and systematically slaughter them and then assume their counterparts do not understand what is happening.
Regardless of whether you feel any sympathy towards animals or not the treatment of these creatures from birth to death still has profound influence and far reaching effects on everyone. From pollution to deadly flu strains, there are numerous health hazards associated with these processes and the sheer number of animals slaughtered. It is our duty to protect this earth and participating in such violent acts of desecration against our neighboring species in such alarming numbers violates our natural obligations. The amount of food needed to raise such vast quantities of these animals and the resources it takes is so tremendous that we are practically killing ourselves and condemning our future on this planet.