Animals are not here for us to eat. True, they are not as intelligent as humans, but does this mean that humans should exploit them? Or rather, should humans take care of them, just as they should take care of the Earth? Animals are sentient beings. They feel and experience emotions, pain, and suffering. If we consider it crazy to eat our pets, who gives man the perverse authority to dictate which animals’ lives are more valuable. Does a dog feel more than a pig? The answer is No.
Each year, 9 billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption. That’s more people than are on the planet, yet we never hear about it or see it. Do you ever wonder why it’s so hidden? It’s because today’s farming practices are something to be ashamed of. The industry fears that if the public ever saw the inside of a meatpacking plant (a.k.a. slaughterhouse), that they would never want to eat meat again. They’re probably right.
Though animals are supposed to be protected by the Humane Slaughter Act, it is unrealistic to assume that something called the Humane Slaughter Act would actually protect an animal in any way. The Act’s regulations are poorly monitored and often ignored. Meatpackers like IBP (the world’s biggest slaughterhouse chain) maximize “production” by totally disregarding the cow as a living being. Production lines now move so quickly that employees from a Washington state plant estimated that 10-30% of cows get skinned and dismembered while still conscious. Complaints to both IBP superiors and USDA inspectors failed to improve these conditions.
Modern-day factory farming is a hellish holocaust. I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of chickens in one building, stacked 7-to-a-crate on top of each other, covered in feces, open sores and lesions- and pumped full of antibiotics (to prevent the spread of disease in such conditions). Thousands of pigs in one building, living in crates, inhaling foul air, involuntarily eating their friends… every single pig gets his tail and testicles sliced off without anesthetic. Similarly, the docile cow is branded, her horns cut off and her tail broken all without the use of anesthetic. They all wail out in pain.
At this point in time, to help the world may seem like an overwhelming and confusing prospect. It is sometimes difficult to know exactly where to put your energies. The elimination of meat from your diet is a good place to start. It is something that any individual can do and it is a decision that brings a person a greater sense of well-being. When one is disentangled from the meat industry’s web of suffering, a weight comes off the heart. Please stop eating animals… for ourselves, the people we care about, the animals, and for a brighter future on Earth.