What Happens to "Food" Before It Becomes Your Food

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Do "you deserve a break today?" Every time that you order a hamburger or cheeseburger, you are in fact contributing to some of the horrors below. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity." Out-of-Sight/Out-of-Mind? Horrors!
  • A USDA employee once contacted the Humane Farming Association and told them that animals at a plant were sometimes having their heads skinned while they were fully conscious. Investigations revealed that not only were his concerns true, but animals were "routinely" being dragged, strangled, beaten, scalded, and dismembered alive.

  • The reason that such things are happening is primarily Factory Farming. Since the post-war prosperity in this country, small family farms have been replaced with huge operations run by corporations. Recently the biggest move has been to slaughterhouses that can kill (industry buzz word=process) as many as 1100 animals per hour. Essentially, one worker is required to kill an animal every three seconds.

  • Slowdowns in the assembly line can not be tolerated. Per the Humane Slaughter Act, animals are required to be unconscious (w/ the exception of Kosher). But, when the equipment isn't working properly, workers sometimes pound away at cow's heads to beat them unconscious or repeatedly shock pigs. To avoid a slowdown, animals are just shackled, hoisted and processed alive!

  • Autonomous investigations have revealed that downed animals (those too weak to move) are routinely beaten with lead pipes, are dragged (strangled) to the kill area with cables. Saws and one occasion, a blow torch were used on live animals whose legs were caught in chutes or trucks. Workers routinely skinned, heads, bellies, sides, rumps; removed legs ears, horns and tails; and even began eviscerating cattle that were alive. Per one witness, "An animal with a leg caught in a holding pen is often dragged out with a hook while you hear bones breaking."

  • These statistics do not include chickens, who are exempt from any coverage by any animal act. They are regularly starved, have beaks and legs cut off with no anesthesia, and are even immersed in scalding tanks while alive.

  • Pigs are also immersed in scalding tanks (140 degrees) to loosen their bristles. Another regular problem, is that they are transported on the backs of trucks at sub-freezing temperatures. The animals on the rails of the trucks routinely freeze to the sides of the truck. No problem, workers use chains to rip them off, leaving chunks of flesh stuck to the truck. To keep the line moving, workers would jab meat hooks into their mouths or anuses to drag them along. Some were run over by tractors. One worker was discovered cutting the noses and eyes out of live pigs to pass time while the line was down.

  • The environmental impact is also overwhelming. A) Producing one pound of meat requires 2500 gallons of water. B) A large chicken factory can go through 100,000,000 gallons of water a day. C) Per Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the number of animals in the U.S. raised for food produce 68,000 pounds of manure per second and 130 times as much fecal matter as the entire human population.

What can you do to help stop this? Easy. Stop eating meat. There are already over 13 million vegetarians in America alone. Encourage others to do the same. As long as you buy a product from this industry, their ways will not be changed.

Back If you want to verify this information, I'd recommend purchasing a copy of Slaughterhouse, by Gail Eisnitz. Send $29.95 to the Humane Farming Association, PO Box 3577, San Rafael, CA 94912.