Saturday, March 8, 2008

okay class, can someone tell me how "slaughter" can ever be "humane"?

Today is a little lesson in history:

The Humane Slaughter Act (1978)

Just a note to put things into context first - as a libertarian, I am certainly NOT a fan of the great majority of laws which our country enacts....that notwithstanding...

The Humane Slaughter Act is the only - ONLY law that does anything to protect animals used as livestock in the United States. Upton Sinclair's Jungle first brought the horrors of the slaughter industry to the public, and they were horrified (rightly fucking so). Why we are still not horrified, I do not know. We just had the largest meat recall in US history, and yet people continue to devour carcasses. but anyway....

This act allows for two methods of "humane slaughter" -
The first applies to "cattle, horses, mules, sheep, swine, and other livestock." The proceeding creatures must be "rendered insensible to pain" with a single blow or gunshot before being "shackled, hoisted, cast, or cut." The second applies to ritual slaughter, as in the Jewish and Islamic faiths. Here, anemia of the brain is induced by severing the carotid artery, and then proceeding with the slaughter.

Humanely Delicious.

Most of the time, there simply are not enough USDA inspectors to constantly oversee the millions of creatures being slaughtered. Corners are cut - as we saw with the stories recently of downed cows being ground up for our pleasure (and our dollar).

There are four approved methods of "stunning" - these are often ineffective.
These are chemical (by means of CO2 gassing), mechanical (either hitting the brain with a captive bolt or gunshot), and electrical (normally by attaching electrical current to the spine).

HOWEVER, the act does absolutely NOTHING for chickens, turkeys, or fish. Every year there are nearly 10 BILLION chickens slaughtered. 10 BILLION - that's 23 MILLION killed every single day.

Yet nothing is protecting these innocent creatures. Nothing.

Spring is coming up soon now. There will be countless numbers of baby chick images used to represent the season. Take a good look at one when you see it - along with it, there will be 22,999,999 others of its species killed that day. Happy Spring Murdering!

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