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Exploring the Notion of 'Humane' Slaughter
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Exploring the Notion of 'Humane' Slaughter

I am strongly opposed to the killing of animals, which is one of the reasons I resolve not to eat meat. One of the things that really sets my blood pressure soaring is when people tell me that it’s sometimes okay to consume meat. Their reason? If the animal died gently.

Apparently, there are some farms that institute more 'caring' methods to slaughter their animals. Sheep and other animals will not be shackled before the day of their deaths, while using the proper knives can help to get the job done quickly. These are just some techniques that are adopted. For some people, this humane killing makes the issue much easier to stomach.

But as for me, it’s making me more upset. What is 'humane' slaughter is really just another way to get around the root issue? First, we were bombarded with pro-meat reasoning such as, "Hey, I didn’t kill the animal. I’m just cooking it." Then we often hear statements such as, "But we have to eat animals because we need the protein and iron from them!" Now, we are being told that if an animal is killed humanely, then it’s okay to kill them. 

From an environmental perspective, this puts tremendous pressure on the planet from the sheer act of rearing such animals to be ready for their humane slaughter. This increases carbon emissions and uses up a large amount of resources, such as land and water. From a moral point of view, we need to understand that we don’t possess the right to kill animals as we please. I do not believe that animals live so that they can become our food.

If it makes people feel better to think that the animals they are consuming died in humane ways, perhaps it should be asked whether the public is being misled. This has been said to happen. Reports have shown that even 'cage-free' egg suppliers were found to de-beak their hens. It is therefore not a guarantee that animals said to have been reared and slaughtered humanely have really been.


*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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  1. Robert Daniels
    I have to agree with you. My children have rabbits, chickens, dogs, cats, and one horse. We consider all these our family pet. When one passes we are so sad that we have a place in our yard they are laid to rest. Each is marked with their name so they will not be forgotten. One time a friend visited and wanted one of the baby rabbits to cook and eat for dinner. My children refused and told him what if we wanted you to eat for dinner. How would you feel about this? Needless to say the friend did not take the rabbit and my children were happy to run outside to see their babies. Our chickens are not in cages and are free to roam the yard. Each morning the children run out to feed them and chase them around the yard. If the Mother decides to lay eggs we leave her be and let her have the her babies. This is life and I know we have too many chickens in our yard but the neighbors love them and at times come to adopt a few to take home. As for our rabbits we only allow the Mothers to mate once a year and the babies are given to good homes. The schools here love to have the rabbits in their classroom and we donate them for the children. They learn how to love and respect the animal and most of all how to take care of them. This is what is important in life. Our family grows all the time and our children learn that having animals around is a responsibly and most especially learn how to love them and take care of them. They are not here for us to eat but for us to cherish, love and adore. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post with us.
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    1. Giulia Simolo
      Giulia Simolo
      Thank you for your wonderful comment, Robert. I really enjoyed reading it. :)
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  2. Marcia Mueller
    The concept of humane slaughter is an oxymoron that people use to absolve their conscience and feel better about eating meat. It is not euthanasia which is a compassionate act to end the suffering of sick or injured animals. To end a perfectly healthy animal's life for pleasure or profit is not humane in any sense of the word.
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