People have been slaughtering animals since the very beginning of time for food. Before factories and machinery became prevalent, farmers had no choice but to grass feed their farm animals and then slaughter them near home. The animals were able to roam freely and grow naturally in their own time. They received vitamins and nutrients from the sun and the earth. In many situations people needed the meat to survive.
Over time, the meat farming business changed in multiple ways. One change was that the demand for meat became much higher and pressure was laid on meat farmers to produce much more and faster. Another change was the way in which the animals were raised. Because of the pressure to produce more meat, more animals had to be raised and faster. This made it nearly impossible to raise a large bulk of animals outside because of the space they would take up and the slower pace it would take them to grow.
Although it seems that many meat farms are still treating and raising their animals with dignity and health because of the way the companies are advertised, the demand for more meat and the demand to produce it faster has brought on many significant changes for the animals themselves. Animals began to be seen less as a survival tool and more as a production in order to get paid. As animals became more of a means to get paid, the way they were treated began to severely decline. In a recording caught on a meat farm, the footage this person saw was written down. This is what they saw, “A worker demonstrated the method for euthanizing underweight piglets: taking them by the hind legs and smashing their skulls against the concrete floor—a technique known as ‘thumping.’ Their bloodied bodies were then tossed into a giant bin, where video showed them twitching and paddling until they died, sometimes long after.” Stories like this are much more common than the majority of people in America realize. The problem is that instances like these are hidden from the common eye frequently, for two reasons. The first reason is that meat farmers do not want anyone finding out about these unorthodox ways and trying to change things because that would harm the farmers’ fast rate of production. The second reason is that many consumers do not truly want to know that horrific things like this happen.
If animals continue to be raised this way, the quality of meat will continue to decline and the health of those that are eating this meat will be endangered. In order to produce quality meat, be conscious about our environment, and continue to help our economy there needs to be a change. Animals need to be raised organically and treated humanely and consumers need to be made aware of what is in their food and how their meat was raised.
- Figure 1, “Farm Cows.” Photo taken from https://www.pinterest.com/alaynesanmarco/cows/
- Ted Genoways, “Animals Suffer Needlessly for Food Production.” Vegetarianism, 2015