Killing Animals

I had planned to not write about this subject until I felt I could write totally objective. I also wanted to do some more research about it first, but I changed my mind.
Actually I woke up at 3.30 after a nightmare, and I just had to write, it couldn’t wait. I needed to get it out of my system. Since I had no time for research all the following fact are taken from the book Eating Animals and Wikipedia.

We all know that there’s nasty things going on when it comes to conventional animal farming. We all know that animals suffers in different ways during ”production”, especially in animal factories like the ones in US and China.
But what about when they die?

I always thought that when an animal died – it died. Like that. Paw – bong – dead. How difficult can it be to kill an animal without the animal having to suffer?
But that is not how it is, at all.

Capital punishment is an issue that’s been debated quite a lot through time. If, say we can’t avoid capital punishment, the least we can do is to make it painless isn’t? Whether different methods of execution involves suffering and how much have been subject to many discussions and is taken up by the press nearly every time a prisoner is executed in US. The electrical chair is only used very little now a days, mainly because of lacking efficiency. There’s been incidents where the subject had to be choked several times, subjects that bursted into fire and people that were clearly conscious and in pain for minutes before dying. The most used method now is lethal injections and also that method have it’s problems. The injection need to be done very precisely, the right amount of medicine needs to be used. Human error have resulted in many painful executions with lethal injections too.

My point is: it have proven difficult to kill humans in a civilized and humane way, even though it is a very limited amount of people who is executed annually in western countries, and even though it is ”professionals” that performs the execution.
How then with animals?
In the big slaughterhouses in US thousands of animals are killed everyday. A worker on the kill floor can kill thousand cows during one shift. How can we even think that it’s possible to do that without the animals suffering, when we can’t even execute our own without pain?

Cow’s in a typical slaughter house is ”killed” using a bolt-gun. The gun is pressed against the cow’s head between the eyes and when fired shoots a steel bolt into the animals skull and retracts it. If used correctly the cow will die instantly. If not, the cow might only be knocked unconscious or temporarily stunned. The gun have to be operated correctly, the blow needs to be hard enough and it needs to be fired precisely. If it goes wrong the first time and the cow is still alive and kicking, it can be extremely difficult to keep the cows head still enough to give it a second blow.
After being shoot, the cow is being hanged from the hind legs and hoist into the air. The neck is cut and the cow is drained for blood. This will kill the cow because of lack of blood to the brain, but it takes several minutes, which is why the animal is supposed to be unconscious or death already.
After bleeding the animals are being skinned and thereafter dismembered.
If the cow dies from the blow of the both-gun, it is lucky. If only a limited amount of cattle were killed in the slaughterhouse, it would properly be possible to kill every cow in that way.
But thousands of cows are being killed everyday and a big percentage of them are not being killed by the first blow. Cows are being hanged to bleed while still fully conscious. Sometimes on purpose – the bleeding goes faster if the animals is alive and it’s all about time and money. Because of that some cows will still be alive when the skinning starts. Some cows are lucky, their miserable life is ended by the bolt-gun, but for other cows even death is several minutes of suffering.

Chickens are being decapitated, which properly is the most humane way to kill. It is as fast and painless as it comes. The chicken are hung by the feet and first dragged through a electrified water bath to knock them unconscious. After that they go through the automatic throat-cutter and from there to the scalding-tank. The voltage in the water bath is often not high enough to really knock the chicken unconscious. And the automatic throat-cutter always miss some animals that will have their throat slit by backup-slaughters instead. But they will miss some of them too. 180 million chicken are improperly slaughtered every year, according to the National Chicken Council. Some chickens will still be alive when going to the scalding tank.

(Fish ought to be mentioned here too, but I’ll talk about that in a separate topic later on)

Gail Eisnitz researched cruelty towards animals over a ten year period resulting in her book Slaughterhouse. The book consists of interviews with slaughterhouse workers and is the definitive proof that something is wrong, other than just the inhumane slaughter of the animals.
Hitting, stomping, cutting, kicking. Workers letting their frustration out on the animals. They’re going to die anyway, Some of the workers might be sadistic already, and the rest are made sadistic from their work. Normal people putted under extreme pressure. It might be normal and natural to kill animals, but to kill hundreds of animals everyday?

This is how it works in US. I am still looking for information about the situation in Denmark and Finland, but it is not that easy to find. I like to think that we’re doing better than over there!

I know that they are only animals, but it feels wrong. I know that they’re are born and raised to become meat on my table, but it still feels wrong. They are living and breathing creatures. Don’t they deserve a decent life without suffering, or at least a quick and painless death?
I don’t know if killing animals is wrong, I’m still thinking about that one, but how can it ever be okay to cause pain and suffering to a living creature whether it’s a human or an animal?

I’m not completly sure about what my opinion is – I just know that reading the fact about how these animals are treated makes me feel sick.

I am not a vegetarian.

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