Paul McCartney once said, “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, then we would all be vegetarians“. There is a tragic truth behind that statement because arguably, our current veil of ignorance is what underpins our continuous meat-eating. What this article looks to do is pierce that veil of ignorance and uncover some of the harrowing truths behind the animal slaughter industry. It will explain what a slaughterhouse is and then give you 8 acts about animal slaughterhouses that might have you re-think your meat-eating preferences.
What is an Animal Slaughterhouse?
An animal slaughterhouse is a facility where animals get slaughtered for human consumption. The main goal of the animal slaughterhouse is to kill animals quickly and efficiently to meet the demands of retail companies and butchers. The animals in these houses get abused and tortured before they are killed and chopped up.
Over recent years, an increase in city populations has underpinned the growth in slaughterhouses across the US and the world. New laws have even allowed slaughterhouses to become more remote and isolated, which only increases people’s ignorance.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of humankind.
Most slaughterhouses and companies associated with them want that disconnect because there is little controversy if they are away from the public eye. Hence, filming and recording have become strictly prohibited in slaughterhouses. After all, if the horrible truths about what happened were to become viral, the companies involved would face massive backlash.
8 Shocking Facts Surrounding Animal Slaughterhouses
- There are nearly 3000 slaughterhouses in the United States alone – In the space of three weeks in the US in early 2019, over 400,000,000 animals were slaughtered. Some states have more slaughterhouses than others because some states are more urban and densely populated. However, states like Nebraska, Texas and North Carolina are where the most prominent slaughtering occurs.
- Stun Guns get used to make cows move faster – Since slaughterhouses are all about supplying a demand, they look to do things in the most efficient and fastest ways possible. Often, if a pig or a cow is too slow on its way to slaughter, workers will be forced to use cattle prods or stun guns to shock and stun them into obedience. It is a cruel and sick practice.
- Animals are tortured and brutally beaten – This isn’t as much of a shocking fact as it is an obvious truth. Undercover videos and former slaughterhouse employees have evidenced that animals are not treated as sentient beings; they get treated like filth. What makes it worse is that government authorities turn a blind eye to it, issuing a “memorandum of interview” if anything is leaked, which is just a small and meaningless warning. The harsh reality is that the government and large agencies are blissfully ignorant of what slaughterhouses do.
- Many slaughterhouse workers experience PTSD and mental trauma – Many of the workers in animal slaughterhouses are from poor rural areas themselves and have no choice but to work there as a means to make ends meet. The reality is, for many people, they will never have been exposed to such horrid levels of brutality, and it takes its toll. The ability to disconnect from the fact that the animal that they must kill has done them no harm is often too much, and after a while, many workers report severe episodes of PTSD and psychological trauma.
- A typical chicken lives in a smaller space than your tablet – A regular chicken that lives on a battery farm must live in a 7″ x7″ cage with wire mesh flooring. This cramped space gives the chickens no room to stretch their wings, which can lead to deformities and often, the wire mesh floor causes pain on their feet because they cannot sit down either.
- 4 out of 5 pigs slaughtered have some form of lung disease when killed – with space being at a premium in all slaughterhouses, animals become crammed together. This leads to a high manure content amongst pigs in a small area, resulting in gases releasing toxins like ammonia. These toxins are terrible for pigs’ health and often lead to lung diseases like pneumonia
- Mutilation among newborn animals is common – Piglets and calves get mutilated within the first few weeks of birth. Chickens have their beaks removed, slaughterhouse workers will take out teeth, cut off tails and remove genitalia without anaesthetic. Mutilation happens to stop them gnawing out of their conditions or damaging themselves or other animals in a bid to escape.
- There is no veterinary care for sick animals in slaughterhouses – This fact should not come as a shock considering the troubling facts before, but animals have no access to proper veterinary care if they become genuinely sick. Often, they are given a general antibiotic hoping that they stay alive long enough to go to slaughter.