Fri, October 13, 2006
Part of my curriculum is to learn about "food animals"- cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens. We don't even call them just animals, we call them food animals.
Well today we were learning about the USDA food inspection service... they are desperate to hire vets for this. So they showed us a video of what happens at the slaughter plants- videos the USDA uses as part of its' training protocol; complete with obnoxious elevator jazz and a jaunty, confident male voice over describing each of the acts.
I was in tears. Completely bawling. And alone in this.
Oh, everyone was stunned, and silent; no one likes to see animals killed (unless you are psycho). But a lot of people are immune to it, either from anatomy class or whatever. But watching the animals nose to rump, croweded as the voice over said
"According to the Human Slaughter Act, all animals have access to fresh water". The trough was at one end and no one could move. Who exactly has access?
The are moved into a chute, scared, stressed, and get a bolt between the eyes; or electro-shocked. Some wake up as they are hung by one leg and having a knife thrust into their chest to bleed them out. They kick. The professor said; "that's just reflexes" Maybe... maybe not. How do we know? How do we KNOW they aren't scared, painful, desperate???
I feel so sick inside. I know that the american population likes its meat, and that this is a huge and established business. The people in the assembly line (haha, disassembly line) are moving so fast they can't even properly concentrate on what they are doing- working in wet conditions, moving quickly... they too are immune to the death, and the animals get no thought, no respect at all for the life they have given up. They leave as chunks in a cooler truck, completely unrecognizable as what they once were...
A hunter once asked me: "Do you hate me because I hunt?"
My answer was, "I hate no man who tries to put meat (food) on his family's table. If it is done humanely, fairly and with respect, it is the oldest spiritual interaction known to life. The dance of the prey and predator. I would eat your venison if I knew you did it correctly, you felt sadness in your heart and gladness for your own survival, if you did not waste and were conscious... I would eat it then." He did not know what to say to that.
There is no respect in this. None at all. These animals lead a crappy life right up until they die, and the meat isn't even good for you because their diets before they are killed are bad for them.
My tears today are for them, and not nearly enough.