THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE: THE HORRIFYING CRUELTY

Introduction

The horrors that go on in the slaughter house are something the meat industry do not want you to know.

The meat industry likes to portray happy farm animals, but how could any animal feel anything but terror and pain when faced with the suffering of factory farming and the slaughter process?

Beating, boiling and dismembering animals alive is common-place in today's slaughter houses.

Human demand for meat has led to quicker production demands, which means the meat industry's production line stops for nothing, especially sick, disabled and not effectively stunned animals.

This ordeal is happening RIGHT NOW, EVERY SECOND to innocent animals, and is funded by each person who buys meat. See what buying meat pays for.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

By clicking on the headings below, you will be taken straight to that section of the page:

  1. Animal Welfare on Farms and Ranches
  2. The Journey to Slaughter
  3. What Happens in Slaughter Houses?
  4. Animal Abuse In Slaughter Houses
  5. Illegal Slaughter Houses
  6. Meat and Your Health
  7. How Do We Know Animals Suffer Like Humans?


Animal Welfare on Farms and Ranches

Misery for the animals often starts long before the slaughter process begins, and even before the transportation to the slaughter house. Factory farming involves animals stored in cramped, hot, disease ridden cages, crates or other confined spaces to produce eggs or other food for humans to consume.

There are an estimated 16 million battery hens in the UK alone!

Below: Battery Hens in a typical broiler House. They spend their whole lives in these tiny cages, hardly able to move. only being taken out to be slaughtered.

Slaughter House: Factory Farming Battery Cages

As soon as they are born, chickens in the egg industry are sexed and accepted, or rejected. The rejected chicks are disposed off by either being suffocated, or being ground up alive in a grinding machine.

Below: A rejected chick is just about to fall off the conveyor belt in to a grinding machine that will grind him up alive.

Calves of dairy cows, forcibly impregnated so they keep producing milk, become victims of the slaughter house.

Animals on Farms and Ranches often don't get the veterinary help they need because it costs too much and the farmers and ranch owners do not want to cut in to their profits.

Many animals are known to have died of dehydration, have frozen to death, or suffered other horrible deaths due to inadequate care.

Cows are often branded so farmers and ranchers can identify their cattle. This method is agonising for the animal, just as it would be for a human.

Below: Cow Branding in America
Look are the Pain and Terror in this Cows Eyes.

Slaughter House: Cow Branding

Cows that are 'Downed' - a term used by cattle ranchers for cows that are so traumatised, exhausted or injured that they cannot stand, are often beaten to force them up again, and dragged to slaughter. This of course causes them even more pain.

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The Journey To Slaughter

Go on the journey of a farm animal being transported to the slaughter house:

You and your friends are unexpectedly forced, by being beaten by an impatient worker, in to a truck. You don't know what is happening and are confused and frightened.

You are very hot and have had no water to quench your terrible thirst on this long journey. You see others dying of thirst and starvation on the way.

Below: Worker Kicking a Cow On Her Way To Slaughter

Worker Kicking A Cow On Way To Slaughter

Finally, the lorry stops. You hope you will be given a drink, but instead you and your friends are forced in to a building. The unfamiliar and disturbing sights and smells terrify you and your friends.

You are all trapped. You are forced forward by someone poking you with a stick that gives you horrible electric shocks. You panic as you see a person hold a bolt gun to your friends head. In horror you see you friend fall.

Now it is your turn. You have never felt such terror. The stun gun fires a bolt into your head, causing you extreme agony... but you are still conscious. The workers don't care as they hoist you upside down for your throat to be cut...

Below: Helpless cow hung upside down having it's throat slit.

Slaughter House cow Slaughter

Below: Frightened pig about to be stunned. It is sometimes not carried out effectively, leaving lots of animals fully conscious throughout the agonising slaughter house process.

Common Slaughter House Abuse

It could be said that the ones that are stunned effectively are the lucky ones in the slaughter house, considering around 40% are not and feel every moment of the agonising torture.

Live Export conditions are horrific. As in all areas of farming and the meat industry, animals are seen as commodities, or money, rather than living, breathing fellow animals.

The abuse continues every day. Even in Countries such as the USA and the UK, Companies break laws all the time with regards to how animals should be treated.

In Asian countries such as China, Korea, Thailand and Philippinnes, the cruel Dog Meat trade claims many victims. For more details about this, click here.

Below: Nothing Protects these innocent Dogs, crammed in to cages victims of the barbaric and cruel dog meat trade.

Meat Trade Dogs in Thailand

Below: The buyer of these live dogs will take them home and slaughter them for meat in any number of horrific ways. Many dogs are boiled alive.

Meat Trade Dogs Bought on a Thailand Market

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What Happens in Slaughter Houses?

Below:
Hen about to have her throat cut in a slaughter house

Slaughter House: Chicken Getting Slaughtered

Animals that are not stunned correctly are butchered when they are fully conscious.

Pigs are submerged in tanks of scalding water whislt still alive and conscious. In the words of one slaughter house worker:

"These hogs get up to the scalding tank, hit the water, and just start screaming and kicking. I'm not sure whether the hogs burn to death before drowning. The water is 140 degrees."

Please take a moment to review the book Slaughter House (Opens New Window) and learn the truth about slaughter houses that the meat industry do not want people to know.

Top vets condemn the high number of animals being slaughtered without any attempt being made to stun them first. Halal meat (for Muslims) and Kosher meat requires that the animal is not stunned first.

Below: Slaughtering machine typically used in Kosher slaughter houses, where stunning is not used and the animal is fully conscious and terrified when it's throat is slit. The animal is forced in to the machine by people giving it shocks with an electric prod, then it's throat is slit. Nearly all of the animals attempt to stand up and after their throats are slit.

Animals slaughtered to provide Halal meat is also done without stunning. Muslims believe that as long as the knife is sharp and the slaughter can be done in one go, it is the kindest way and acceptable. I wonder if they would think the same if they themselves were faced with this death?

A huge number of animals are killed this way and top vets, such as Professor Bill Reilly (past President of The British Veterinary Association), suspect that even when the meat does not have to be halal or kosher, animals are still not stunned, simply so the slaughter house can save money.

Even when attempts to stun animals is made, by firing a bolt gun in to their head, or electrocuting them, around 40% of the time the stunning is ineffective. This means the animals feel every agonising moment.

This is happening every minute of every day because people who buy meat are paying for it to happen.

Animal Abuse In Slaughter Houses

Because slaughter house slaughter of farm animals is legal, it is not considered animal abuse in the eyes of the law.

There are countless documented cases of other behaviour that IS considered to be animal abuse in slaughter houses. This is where the workers willfully cause the animals more suffering than is legal.  Many of these cases are not reported and go undocumented.

Here is just one example of a slaughter house where animal abuse was uncovered:

In 2011, Abattoir Staff at a Slaughter house in Essex, UK, run by a Cheale Meats, where up to 6000 pigs are killed every week, were seen striking the pigs with paddles and stubbing out cigarettes in their faces.

Another worker punched a pig in the face, and others were filmed kicking them. Often the pigs were not stunned correctly, leaving them in screaming agony as they bleed to death.

Unbelievably though, the Food Standards Agency in the UK refuse to prosecute those involved.

In other cases such as this, pigs are repeatedly electrocuted with iron prods, by laughing workers. The people who do that kind of job lack compassion for animals, otherwise they could not do it. Their actions demonstrate their lack of respect and empathy for animals.

Below: Pig being abused in a slaughter house by having
cigarettes stubbed out on her face

Cigarettes Stubbed Out on Pigs Faces In Slaughter House

Below: Abuse of animals during the slaughter process is all too common. This Piglet was viciously jumped on Before Being Electrocuted

Meat Industry Common Slaughterhouse Abuse

Below: Pig being abused in a slaughter house
crying out in pain from electrocution

Pig Cries Out in Pain In Slaughter House

Below: pig being abused in slaughter house
bleeding to death after having throat slit whilst not properly stunned.

Pig Bleeding to Death In Slaughter House

The following is an account of a visitor to a slaughter house slaughtering hogs. With slaughter house workers aware that vistors are watching, everything is done by the book. However, it is still an awful experience for the hogs:

The uproar was appalling, perilous to the ear-drums. There were wails of agony; there would come a momentary lull, and then a fresh outburst, louder than ever, surging up to a deafening climax. It was too much for some of the visitors and the tears started in their eyes.

Meantime, the men upon the floor were going about their work. Neither squeals of hogs nor tears of visitors made any difference to them; one by one they hooked up the hogs, and one by one slit their throats.

There was a long line of hogs, with squeals and life-blood ebbing away, until each vanished into a huge vat of boiling water. The hogs were so innocent, they came so very trustingly, they were so very human in their protests. They had done nothing to deserve it.

Now and then a visitor wept, but this slaughtering-machine ran on, visitors or no visitors. It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight.”

Australian Cattle have been subjected to the most horrific abuse in Idonesian abbatoirs, all in the name of the meat industry.

Undercover footage for a programme called Four Corners Tonight on the Australian ABC1 Channel showed animals being kicked and beaten.

Their throats were hacked at, their eyes gouged and their tails broken. Some of the cattle were conscious when they were dismembered.

Below: Indonesian slaughter house abuse video still
from the video that was shown on the Four corners Tonight Programme

Indonesian Slaughter House Abuse

Iowa's agricultural Industry are trying to make undercover filming of farm animal abuse illegal. This means people trying to protect farm animals from cruelty by filming abuse can be prosecuted! See details on the Teddy Hilton website (Opens New Window). Such laws will only increase animal abuse and protect animal abusers.

To learn more about Animal Live Export and the Four corners report take a look at the Piaberrend website (Opens New Window).

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Illegal Slaughter Houses

Illegal slaughter houses are used by the illegal meat trade. The illegal bush meat trade is the is the horrific treatment of both endangered and companion animals.

Illegal slaughter houses can also slaughter farm animals and are active in all countries, including the US and UK. The animals are slaughtered in unsanitary conditions and are not fit for human consumption.

This meat then goes on sale to the general public and can be extremely damaging to the health of unsuspecting consumers, or even fatal, as it has been in some cases.

Below: Live Chicken Mercilessly Getting Its Throat Slashed
This Happened in an Illegal Slaughter House.

Meat Trade Chicken Throat Slashed

Meat and Your Health

It is scary to think that the meat trade is booming when modern science proves not eating meat or other animal produce such as dairy, is a much healthier and less risky way to live.

As far back as 1961, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that a vegetarian diet could prevent 90-97% of heart diseases. There is also a strong link between consumption of meat and bowel cancer.

Scotland in the UK eats a large amount of meat, much of it processed`, and it has the highest rate of bowel cancer in the world.

The kidneys of the meat-eater has to work three times harder than the kidneys of the vegetarian, putting more pressure on that organ.
(Source: Piaberrend.org)

In addition, when people think they are eating one type of meat, it can actually be a different type of meat that is cheaper to produce. This was discovered during the UK's horse meat scandal. This as where horse meat was being labelled as beef and sold to millions of unsuspecting customers through well known and trusted retailers all over the UK. The retailers were oblivious to what was happening.

Furthermore, meat truck drivers have told of how, when meat is rejected by one retailer because of its sub-standard condition when delivered, it is simply offered to another retailer, and another, until it is accepted. There, it is packed and sold to the public. The drivers also revealed that the meat is often unlabelled and not identifiable as one particular type of meat, and it's packaging is so poor that it is exposed to a whole host of dangerous germs and contamination.

Records from investigations show meat packers often marinate rotten meat to disguise the smell.

A 2011 study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that half of the U.S. supermarket meat sampled contained staph infection bacteria, including the hard-to-kill MRSA. Turkey products were most likely to harbor staph bacteria, followed by pork and chicken products. MRSA kills more people than AIDS. Beef burgers can contain bacteria from 1000 different cows.

Lazy employees leave hair, ear canal debris, and teeth in products.

Chicken and ham are soaked in chlorine baths to remove odour, and red dye is added to beef to make it appear fresh when it is not.

Contaminated meats from slaughter houses, legal or illegal, and from the illegal Bush Meat industry, can be dangerous. All meat is contaminated before being cooked, and if not cooked properly, remains contaminated. This contamination can lead to devestating health problems for humans.

Fact: American animals raised for meat eat more than 30 million pounds of antibiotics a year, even though they are perfectly healthy. Most supermarket meat today comes from operations that routinely feed animals antibiotics. This creates dangerous strains of hard-to-kill superbugs. It is thought that the consumption animal produce is a main reason that humans are becoming so resistant to anti-biotics. Food animals raised in North Carolina alone ingest more antibiotics each year than the entire American public.  Antibiotics are needed because the animals treatment and their filthy, confined conditions stress them to the point where their immune systems are depleted. The drugs are given to farm animals to help speed their growth, as stress slows their growth. This all means that when the animals actually need them when they are ill, they are resistant. This is also the case with humans who consume the drugged meat.

Fact: Prozac may have been part of your chicken's diet. In 2012, Johns Hopkins University study studied the feathers of imported chickens to figure out what the birds ingested before slaughter. They found traces of antidepressants, painkillers, banned antibiotics, and allergy medication. According to scientists, Prozac is sometimes used to offset anxiety common in factory farm conditions. (Stress can slow birds' growth, hurting profits.) Scientists also uncovered caffeine in about 50 percent of samples taken. Why? Caffeine keeps chickens awake so they can grow faster.

Fact: You could be eating animal worming medication. The U.S. Department of Agriculture discovered traces of harmful veterinary drugs and heavy metals in U.S. beef, including:

  • Ivermectin, an animal wormer that can cause neurological damage in humans.
  • Flunixin, a veterinary drug that can cause kidney damage, stomach, and colon ulcers, as well as blood in the stool of humans.
  • Penicillin, a drug that can cause life-threatening reactions in people who are allergic to it.
  • Arsenic, a known carcinogen that is allowed in some nonorganic animal feeding operations. (It is commonly fed to chickens, and chicken litter, or feces, is sometimes fed to feedlot cattle -- and the majority of supermarket and fast-food beef in this country comes from feedlot operations.)
  • Copper, that is harmful when too much accumulates in our bodies.

Fact: The majority of beef is more likely to harbor deadly E. coli germs. It's natural for cows to eat grass, but not grains. Still, most cows today chomp down lots of grain to speed growth. This changes the natural chemistry in a cow's gut, making it easier for potentially deadly E. coli O157:H7 strain to survive.

World Starvation is also connected to mat production. If the USA stopped feeding grain to cattle, Half a Billion people could be fed the excess grain - life saving food for nations such as Africa.

Fact: Chicken could be fueling urinary tract infections. Investigating disease-causing bacteria on grocery store meat and comparing it to urine samples of women diagnosed with UTIs, researchers found that in 71 percent of cases, the E. coli bacteria collected from women with UTIs matched the strain detected on supermarket chicken. "People are eating a lot more chicken because it's often perceived as healthier," says Amy Manges, PhD, associate professor in the department of epidemiology, biostatistics and occupational health at McGill University in Montreal. "But what people don't realize is that chicken is pretty heavily contaminated with bacteria in general, and those bacteria tend to be drug resistant."

Fact: All the antibiotics that are pumped into cattle, and other modern-day farming practices, lead to tough, chewy steaks, says Sarah Klein, a senior attorney in the food-safety program at Center for Science in the Public Interest. So, increasingly, slaughterhouses have adopted the process of mechanically tenderizing steaks and other high-quality cuts of beef. Doing so involves driving blades and needles into steak -- which in turn, drive any bacteria living on the surface of a steak deep into the flesh. When you get an undercooked steak, for instance, if you like to order yours rare or medium, all that bacteria inside the meat is still alive, whereas before, it would have been seared off when the outside was cooked, she says. More than half of the 82 outbreaks linked to steak in the past ten years can be linked to E. coli, a bacterium that's usually only found on the exterior of whole cuts of meat.

Fact: Increasingly, slaughterhouses have adopted the process of mechanically tenderizing steaks and other high-quality cuts of beef. Doing so involves driving blades and needles into steak -- which in turn, drive any bacteria living on the surface of a steak deep into the flesh. This is because all the antibiotics that are pumped into cattle, and other modern-day farming practices, lead to tough, chewy meat, says Sarah Klein, a senior attorney in the food-safety program at Center for Science in the Public Interest.  When your meat is cooked, it has to be 75 degrees centigrade in the centre, otherwise all that bacteria that has been pushed in to the centre of the meat is still alive. More than half of the 82 outbreaks linked to steak in the past ten years can be definitively linked to E. coli. Meat packaging does not tell you whether the meat has been mechanically tenderised or not.

(Credit: Rodale News - Yahoo Health)

Facts such as these are widely known, but people choose to ignore them, just as they ignore the horrific suffering that happens in slaughter houses and throughout the meat industry.

How Do We Know Animals Suffer Like Humans?

People would never think it acceptable to put humans through the slaughter process, yet people support and fund putting animals through this every time they buy a meat containing product.

Studies of farm animals' physiology leaves us in no doubt that they feel pain just like humans, but animals and humans are also alike emotionally. Humans are, after all, just another species of animal.

Research has shown that farm animals are happier and less anxious if they are with friends. The study found that when put on their own with animals they didn't know, there was a rise in heart rate and cortisol - the chemical animals produce when they feel stress.

The stress level of sheep rises sharply if they are separated from the herd, even by just a few feet.

Studies also show Chickens are capable of displaying empathy when fellow chickens are stressed or in pain and grieve for ones that die. See this Piaberrend article (Opens New Window) for more details.

Although animals look different to humans, they have the same capacity to suffer pain and terror. Anything a human would suffer terribly by being put through, animals suffer the same.

Some day humans will look back in shame and disgust at the sickening and disgraceful way today's selfish humans treat innocent animals.

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