Linda McCartney once said, “If a slaughterhouse had glass windows, nobody would eat meat.” One must wonder if this is simply progressive vegan rhetoric, or actually the truth. Regardless of where each of us falls on the meat consumption scale, do we really know where the food we eat comes from, how it is produced, and more importantly; do we care? I believe we would.
The problem is, there isn’t a collective awareness of the answers to these questions, so blissful ignorance remains the norm.
Turn on your television, and within a commercial or two you will see the vibrant colors, happy, bright smiles, and glorious closeups of a hamburger just waiting to be enjoyed, followed by a very confident county-judge-like voice demanding, “Beef…It’s what’s for dinner.” Soon you will see a carefree mom joining her children in a local McDonalds buying them their favorite Happy Meals, feeling content that the chicken nuggets will provide the protein her 3rd grader needs to stay strong and energetic. After all, every local fast food chain now has the nutrition “facts” conveniently posted on their website, don’t they? 20 grams of protein and only 350 calories with 9 grams of fat. Seems like a good deal. Really?
What’s the problem? Everyone eats chicken, right? And bacon, well, bacon has become as big a fad as bell bottoms were in the seventies. It’s literally t-shirt fashion and has even made its way into your chocolate bar.
Look around at the majority of the country. Are we healthy, happy and fit? I beg to differ, and I think you do, too.
Trace your 6 dollar Starbucks roast beef panini back to its origin, and you will find the most nauseating, horrifying and gut wrenching line of assembly you will ever witness in your life. Should we be so surprised considering the description is directly in the name?
SLAUGHTER-HOUSE. Think about that word for a few seconds. Slaughter. What actually happens to the animals in this process, and how does it affect YOU?
Calves, including ones raised for dairy, suffer painful procedures, and again, this is done without any pain relief. These procedures include branding, disbudding (where the sensitive horn tissue is scraped out of their skulls with a knife or scooping implement), de-horning, tail docking and, for male calves, castration.
“Humane” practices require for animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered. This means a metal bolt is shot into their skull and then retracted. This is supposed to render the cow unconscious. However a big struggling cow is not easy to stun, and often they miss, repeating the painful process until the cow is unconscious. But time is money, and sometimes they do not repeat the process, so the cow is completely conscious as they endure the excruciating pain of being slaughtered.
Hogs are stunned with an electric device, and when panicked, are also difficult to hit. If the jolt is too high, then the hog ends up bruised, and this ruins the meat so often the jolt is too low and doesn’t properly “knock out” the hog. So whether or not the hogs and cows are stunned, their throats are cut — and before they have a chance to bleed to death, they hung up by their back legs and sent to the “skinners” to have their skin peeled off from their bodies starting at their heads.
Often cows and hogs are kicking and screaming, feeling everything. Pigs are often put into boiling water sometimes still alive, and as they struggle for their life, they are pushed down into the water, where they are left to burn and drown to death.
Stated above is just a tiny portion of reflection into the constant daily practice performed to deliver the pepperoni pizza to your door, or the ham sandwich you pack in your daughter’s lunch. The pain, fear and tortured state that animal was in transfers itself directly into the human body that consumes it, leaving our population saturated with cancer, depression, and fatigue.
We live in a time where food production allows us to create so many healthy yet tasty options, a cornucopia of choice. God has made the most wonderful food for us to eat; beautiful and nutritious fruits and vegetables, whole grains and seeds combined with the culinary artistry we’ve applied to keep us all satisfied and thriving without the butchering of innocent lives.
Let’s move in the right direction to save these animals from destruction; and even more importantly, ourselves and our children.
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