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If you have read any other posts from this blog, you know I love animals.  Horses and dogs primarily.  Although I think all animals are incredible in their own way.  I may not be a fan of some, but I don’t wish any of them ill-will.

It’s on that note that this post may take an odd turn.  A departure for me, but needed nonetheless (as far as I’m concerned).

I’ve been horrified at the brutality of horse slaughter.  For a wide variety of reasons that you can read my previous posts to see why.  I don’t need to rehash them here.

cowWhat I haven’t covered is that the slaughter process for all animals is horrific.  While slaughtering a horse using the same methods designed for cows is appalling, it’s not humane for cows either. Or pigs. Or chickens.

Don’t care about chickens? Does that still apply if they have to die by your hand? Think about it.

Don’t care about cows? What if you had to take it from the field, lead it and kill it? Still apply?

Define “Humane”:

Having or showing compassion or benevolence.
“regulations ensuring the humane treatment of animals”
synonyms: compassionate, kind, considerate, understanding, sympathetic, tolerant;

Showing compassion.  How can you be compassionate to an animal you intend to kill? Watch a video of slaughter and pick out what parts are compassionate and which aren’t. Stop the video the moment you see something that doesn’t meet the definition of humane or compassionate or benevolent. How far did you get?

I’m not asking for the government definition that a slaughter house needs to meet.  I don’t need to have compassion legislated to me.  Neither should society.  To rely on legislation to tell you what’s right and wrong is a cop out at its finest.  You don’t get to opt out of your responsibility to do what’s right.  It seems to me that we’ve been passing the buck for far too long to let others define right and wrong so that we don’t have to follow our hearts or inner voice.

Too new age for you?  Suck it up buttercup.

You see someone kicking a kitten.  The law says it’s okay.  Do you allow it to continue or do you act and protect the kitten?  Now make it a child.  They’re kicking a child.  The law says it’s okay.  Do you step in?  

Don’t hide behind some piece of paper or try to pass the responsibility to the police.  If you know it’s wrong, you step in.  Period. Our society needs to pull their head out of their collective ass and “man up”.

I do NOT subscribe to PETA and their ultimate goal – freedom of all animals (Food, Work, Companion) from all human influence.  Nor do I subscribe to any of their methods. However, you don’t need to go to PETA to watch an animal being slaughtered in today’s slaughter houses to know that this system is horribly dysfunctional.

I am not going to become a vegan or a vegetarian.  I freely admit that I like meat.  However I do not endorse the methods to which our society obtains that meat and separates themselves from that process.

Do I Endorse Brutality?

Actually, if I want to be honest with myself and you with yourself, we all do.  With our money.  I endorse it every time I purchase an animal product.  I just endorsed the method to which that animal was killed.  My money said “Thank you for this product, Business X. Keep up what you’re doing because you just gave me what I wanted.” It’s a sad and brutal reality.

Is it okay to terrorize them because we’re going to eat them? If you’ve never been involved with animals going to slaughter you’ve probably never heard this reasoning nor do you agree with it. Go into an auction house, stock yard or slaughter house and you’ll quickly hear “they’re going to slaughter anyway” to justify violent actions against that animal (kicking, punching, slapping, hitting with items, forcing movement of an animal in pain or distress, ignoring an animal in obvious need of veterinary care, etc.). The idea that the only thing, and the last thing they’re good for is only when they’re dead. So their current state of being alive is considered an inconvenience.

So here’s the question: Can slaughter be humane?

It seems odd – wanting to be kind to an animal we’re about to kill.  We as a society are so removed from the process, WE have allowed a grisly system to run rampant.  Individuals abuse the animals entering the system.  Either as a defense mechanism to the horrors they see everyday in order to protect themselves, because they’re sicko’s who are actually looking for that sort of thing or, due to production requirements, they don’t feel they can be kind and meet their quotas.

Slaughter of an individual animal is one thing.  You can create your own scenario, control the outside influences and provide the most humane process possible.

However when we’re talking about humane slaughter of hundreds or thousands of animals.  Can it be done?  Is it even possible?

Let’s Break It Down

If money were no object.  If time were no object.  How would you humanely slaughter an individual chicken, pig or cow?  Discuss why you would do it that way.

Creating that “best case scenario” would be our first step into this process.

Production Slaughter

Yes.  Slaughtering one animal is intrinsically different from slaughtering many.  However, my challenge to you is why does being humane also have to be slaughtered in the process?  Why is that suddenly acceptable?  What’s the tipping point? One animal?  Five?  Ten?  When does it become okay to sacrifice our morality, ignore our inner voice and allow an animal to be terrorized?  Define that for me.

I will never subscribe to “it’s too hard so it can’t be done”.  I have never accepted “that’s the way it’s always been done”.  My proposition to you is to not only “think outside of the box” but to ignore the box altogether. It doesn’t exist.  You have a clean slate.  Work from your best case scenario and work from the premise that it CAN happen.

Consider this step one.  Go:

If money were no object.  If time were no object.  How would you humanely slaughter an individual chicken, pig or cow?  
Discuss why you would do it that way.