Animal flesh comes to us in a nice neat package we call meat without the face attached, but each piece of flesh an individual consumes represents the death and misery of another animal. Their stomach essentially becomes the final resting place for a decaying corpse... a once living, feeling, being.
Every year, countless farm animals are murdered in the United States, usually in modern day factory farms, where the animals are treated like disposable machines. Like any other factory, factory farms are geared for mass production and use machinery and assembly line-type techniques to achieve it. This means disregarding any of the animals natural needs and tendencies, including genetics, diet, digestion, sexual behavior, and their ability to move about. In this system, animals have been reduced to tools, slaves, and commodities, that can be bought, sold, and simply tossed aside to rot when not profitable.
A LIFE SENTENCE BEGINS
On todays modern farms, death begins at birth for the majority of animals. The day after calfs are born, they are separated from their mothers so that they will not drink the precious milk nature intended for them and are instead shipped off to veal farms where they will spend their premature lives in crates too small to turn around in or they will face the same fate as their parents: the horrific dairy farm or the feedlot where they will be raised in misery only to be murdered.
In egg factory farms, so-called useless male chicks are literally weeded out and are thrown in plastic bags, as though they were garbage, and either die from suffocation or starvation. Then the useless chicks are ground-up dead or alive, decapitated, or put in a machine which causes the bodies of the baby chicks to explode. They are then used for fertilizer or feed. The female chicks have their sensitive beaks cut off without any anesthesia and are transported to a cage, slightly larger than a folded newspaper with four other egg-laying hens for the rest of their lives. After the chickens become useless, they are taken to the slaughter house where they are hung by their feet on a conveyor belt and await their fate as they systematically have their throats slit.
A large majority of the pigs born in the United States will spend their entire lives in cramped factory conditions from day one of life, never seeing the sun, until they finally meet their bloody death. Sows are forced into small slated stalls where they are injected with progesterones or steroids to increase the number of piglets in their litter. As soon as they are born, newborn pigs receive injections, their teeth are clipped, their tails are cut off, and their ears are notched, all without anesthetics, causing excruciating pain for the newborns. After the sows are no longer useful, they join their male counterparts in the slaughterhouse where they are either stunned with an electric rod or knocked unconscious with a hydraulic sledgehammer. They are then hung by their feet and have their throats slit to drain the life out of them.
Other species of animals are also meeting this fate. Sheep, rabbits, emu, turkeys, alligators, and even green sea turtles are raised in intensive conditions similar to these where the main goal is to make more money from more animals with less labor, time, and money spent. This is just where the misery begins for these animals.
These animals, living, feeling, breathing like people, are born with a natural need and instinct for companionship with other animals. But, in the industry where money is more important than life, and butchering innocent beings and then consuming their decomposing carcasses is the norm, these animals lives are completely regulated and destroyed. Their food, laced with antibiotics, is formulated to make them grow as quickly as possibly. Animals are artificially inseminated (RAPED, often mechanically) and fed chemicals to make them produce more offspring more often so that those babies may too be killed. All instinctive desires and needs are ignored, and the entire life of these animals is determined by machines controlled by the callous human who is claiming power over their lives.
Factory farmers simply call this management or maintenance, as if they are overseeing the production of machinery. The animals are kept in conditions so crowded and confined that the entire living space reeks of ammonia and other gases from the animals wastes. The animals are treated as a collective whole, not as individual lives that need specialized attention. Despite the fact that crowding the animals induces problems such as fighting amongst the animals and increased death rates, the profits still rise and the animals that arent profitable are simply sold to stockyard auctions, where their almost lifeless bodies are sold for a mere dollar. And the animals who remain unwanted are discarded and left to die.
After a short miserable life of crowding, physical abuse and deformation, and deprivation of natural instincts, farm animals are forced onto trucks via beatings, electric shocks, prodding, kicking, and dragging to be transported in extremely overcrowded conditions to a building where they will be hoisted upside down on meat hooks connected to conveyor belts and have their throats slit while fully conscious. Even if the animals are stunned (which is extremely painful) before they are slaughtered, they often remain conscious and are thus slaughtered as they scream and struggle in terror for their lives. Often times animals do not die for several minutes after they meet the knife wielding murderers and are often boiled or skinned alive or left to die in a pool of their own blood.
The entire slaughterhouse is filled with the stench of blood and death and the screams of animals struggling in vein for their lives echoes throughout. But the producers keep raising these animals in the same miserable conditions, the butchers keep murdering the animals, and the consumers continue to purchase and gorge themselves with the decomposing corpses of innocent animals despite the cries.
How can anyone justify reducing animals to mere commodities that we can simply force into miserable conditions and murder to satisfy the appetites of selfish human beings? How can we call this society and its inhabitants humane or civilized when we are engaged in so much misery and killing? Animals are not simply things or food. They can feel pain, stress, and fear.
The choice of consuming animals is of consequence: a miserable life and terrifying death for animals, poisoning of the Earth and her inhabitants (including you, the consumer), and the continuation of world hunger. Consuming meat is condoning the death of an innocent life for which there is no excuse.
The meat industry thrives off the worlds hunger for a bloody, cruel diet while 90 percent oats, 85 percent corn, and 80 percent soybeans grown in the U.S. are fed to livestock. Lets not forget about all the grains that are imported from poor and starving third world nations, grains that could have been used to feed the starving children of those poor nations. If everyone consumed plant foods instead of animals, there would be enough food to feed the entire world several times over.
Raising animals for food: consumes one-third of all raw materials, causes more water pollution in the U.S. than any other industry, consumes more than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S., and consumes 87 percent agricultural land. Not only is an animal-based diet bad for the animals and the environment, it is harmful for people. The animals are pumped with antibiotics, hormones, and medication. And so as you consume their flesh, those chemicals go right into your system. We are pushed by the meat and dairy industries to believe that flesh is a natural and necessary part of our diet. These ideas are pushed on us by groups such as McDonalds, which thrives off the dairy and meat industries.
Ask yourself: when you are hungry, do you have the urge to, using your bare hands, kill and rip apart another animal? Does your mouth water at the sight of a screaming, struggling, animal being slaughtered? Eating meat is not natural or healthy for the human body. In fact, those who do choose a non-animal based diet have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers, osteoporosis, obesity, and many other diseases.
When you consume the flesh of an animal carcass, you are consuming the drugs and hormones fed to the animal during its miserable life, as well as the adrenaline that surged through the body of the animal in its last moments of life before the slaughter.
In school and at home, we are socialized to believe that animals are a commodity, easily grown and harvested, just like the corn we grow and eat. But how many times have you heard a vegetable scream in pain? How many times have you seen a vegetable try, with all its strength, to escape a knife wielding murderer?
Animals in slaughterhouses can hear the screams, smell the stench, and often see those ahead of them being murdered. All of these animals fight for their lives and struggle to get away. But to no avail: societies bloodlust keeps the slaughterhouses thriving on death.
When you pick up a package of meat, think of the cruelty and suffering that comes along with it. That steak is not just another piece of food-it is a chunk of bloody flesh and muscle. It is edible suffering, pain, struggle, and misery of another being. We each have the capability to choose a vegan (animal free) diet and life-style and end the misery and suffering of countless animal beings raised in a miserable environment only to be ultimately murdered.