October 28, 2010
Yesterday I watched a video on PETA’s website titled ‘Glass Walls’. It is narrated by Paul McCartney, and the premise is “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian”. Well today I watched another video on their website, called ‘Meet Your Meat’. It is narrated by Alec Baldwin, and is just as bad.
Here are a few factoids from the video:
Many chickens & turkeys become crippled by the added weight. They often starve to death because they cannot even walk far enough to reach the food. Their lungs are crushed by excess weight. Heart attacks and broken legs are common. They are often killed by being beaten with a metal rod. This practice is deemed legal and standard by the industry. Several are scalded alive in the feather-removal tanks.
Egg-laying hens are unable to do anything natural. Their beaks are full of nerve endings, and are seared off. When egg production slows, farmers shock their bodies back into egg production by starvation. 90% have broken bones and are hemorrhaging by slaughter time.
Cattle are castrated, branded, and have their horns chopped off without pain killers. Electric pods get them to move at auctions. The USDA allows meat from cows with cancerous lesions & pus-filled wounds to be certified USDA pure, so injuries & illnesses go untreated. Many have their throats slit, and are skinned & dismembered while still fully conscious at slaughter.
Dairy cows are treated like milk machines. The mothers are impregnanted annually. 40% are lame by the time they reach the slaughterhouse. More than 100,000 are unable to walk off the transport trucks per year, but they are still slaughtered for food. They are killed at a fraction of their natural life span. Most burger meat comes from dairy cows. Many male babies are sent to veal farmers, where they are kept in confinement so tight that they can’t even sit down, because this causes the muscles to atrophy and keeps the meat more tender. They are also fed an anemia inducing diet, which creates softer meat.
Many pigs go insane from a lack of stimulation. Stalls are so small that mothers can’t even turn around. Baby pigs are castrated, and have their ears & tails cut off without pain killers. Pigs grow so fast that their limbs cannot support their body weight. Pigs that don’t grow fast enough are called “fall behinds”, and are killed by pounding their heads against the floor. Many that are injured/ill are not put down because if they can live long enough to make it to slaughter, they can still bring a profit. Pigs are often crushed in transport. 400,000 can’t walk off the transport trucks each year, and 100,000 arrive dead. (These are industry figures, so the numbers are probably higher). Some are burned alive in the scalding tank used for hair removal.
Alec Baldwin finishes the video by saying that every time we sit down to eat, we make a choice. He asks that we please choose a vegetarian diet for the sake of the animals, the environment, and our health.
Now between Food, Inc., ‘Glass Walls‘, and ‘Meet Your Meat’, I have made a decision. I cannot in good conscience contribute to the industry of factory farming anymore. The way animals are treated is just too awful. The whole system is so inhumane. These films/videos had me literally sobbing, and left me traumatized. Now that I know what really goes into the food on my plate, I can see that my desire for chicken, steak, or bacon, is not more important than those animals lives. It’s just not that serious. But I urge you to make an informed choice for yourself.
I can’t help but think back to a comment my friend made when I told her I had recently embarked on a journey to live more consciously. I believe her exact words were: “Watch. You’re gonna become a vegan.” At the time I scoffed at the thought of me switching to a vegan diet. But clearly she knew that the process of becoming more aware of what is really behind my choices, was going to eliminate my option to live by the “ignorance is bliss” method. She knew the knowledge I would acquire would be life-changing. And she was right.
For more information on PETA, visit their website. (www.peta.org)