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.