Friday, May 4, 2007

Hayom sh'nayim u'sheloshim yom, shehaym arbaa shavuot v'arbaa yamim baomer

"If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we'd all be vegetarians."
—Linda McCartney

Cows are supposed to be stunned before their throats are slit, but slaughterhouses' line speeds tend to be so quick that the animals are often still conscious when their throats are cut and their limbs are hacked off. Things are much the same for pigs: A typical pig slaughterhouse kills up to 1,100 pigs an hour, and pigs are often still alive and conscious when they enter scalding-hot tanks of water intended for hair removal. More than 95 percent of the animals killed in the U.S. each year are chickens and turkeys, yet these animals are excluded from protection under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. The common method to slaughter chickens in the U.S. is to force the birds into leg shackles and have them go down a fast-moving automated line where their heads are dunked in an electrified stun bath (which is often ineffective because the electricity is turned low in order to save money), their throats are slit (often while they're still conscious), and they are lowered into defeathering tanks (often while they are still conscious, thus boiling them alive). Shocking animal welfare abuses are frequently uncovered in chicken and turkey slaughterhouses. Alarmingly, while the ideals of kosher slaughter (shechita) are commendably humane, the industrialized slaughter that takes place in major kosher slaughterhouses also often involves hideous cruelty to animals.

No comments: