The first public slaughterhouse appeared in France at the beginning of the nineteenth century. However, we have been killing and eating animals for over 2.6 million years. Advancements in the American railroad system between the 1870s and the 1930s aided the meat industry's lightning growth.
Our nation eats a lot of pork, chicken, beef, and dairy products. We have over 2,785 slaughterhouses throughout America. Throughout the past few years, many people have questioned how humane the ways people butcher our animals are. Slaughterhouses have been changing their practices to make sure the animals don’t suffer.
Slaughterhouses do many different methods to butcher animals. One of the many ways they butcher pigs is by using CO2 gas on them. Carbon dioxide gas is used to induce unconsciousness. As the animal inhales the carbon dioxide gas, its blood oxygen level decreases resulting in a loss of brain function. People can tell when animals haven’t been knocked out since they might move around and/or blink. However, you don’t want to confuse this with postmortem spasms. Sometimes after animals are butchered their muscles can still move due to the memory that muscle has. Slaughterhouses also know the method they use is humane because the federal government does humane audits to make sure animals are treated the best way possible. In the audits, the people teach the butchers how to properly butcher animals and how to handle them.
One of the biggest myths about slaughterhouses is that the animals cry before they are butchered. When people say animals cry they mean the animal is making loud, high-pitched wailing sounds. However, they only make those sounds when they are scared or grieving. Due to those facts, animals are perfectly fine before being slaughtered if handled humanely.
I believe that slaughterhouses try to butcher animals as humanely as possible and only want the best for their livestock. We nourish our animals when they are alive and after their life, they provide nourishment for us. I raise pigs and every year we bring the barrows to the locker. We always ask how they put the animals to sleep to ensure they are taken care of humanely. I have gone to many lockers around the area and my favorite is Kitt’s locker in Dedham, Iowa.
Do you think slaughterhouses are humane? And why?
Do you think there are better ways to butcher animals?
Have you ever taken an animal to a slaughterhouse?