Approximately three billion ducks, cattle, lamb and turkeys are slaughtered to feed the hungry mouths of Americans each year . Unfortunately, while we Americans sit back and enjoy our hearty dinners, these animals are being subjected to conditions in farms and slaughterhouses that are harsher than us humans could even begin to imagine. If our society desires to pile our plates with the best poultry and meats, then the livestock that provides us with these delicacies deserve the best treatment. It is necessary for the government to enforce harsher regulations protecting animals raised for slaughter. It is necessary for the animals and it is necessary for us.
Although the United States government has implemented a great deal of laws regarding the meat industry, very few of these laws have been regarding the treatment of animals. Since 1967 and the passing of the Wholesome Meat Act, it has been required by law that all meat produced in the United States be inspected to set federal regulations. Today, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture succeeds at their job of testing samples of U.S. meat for microbial and chemical contaminations, but they do not succeed as well at enforcing the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978. This act made it in accordance that all livestock slaughtered in the U.S. be “made insensible before they are killed”. Slaughterhouses’ attempts at numbing the animals, though, often fall short, and each day hundreds of chickens are dunked alive into scalding de-feathering tanks and cows are still conscious while they are cut open. Arguably, the slaughter is not even the harshest treatment received by the animals; their entire lives, lived in captivity, are worse.
Livestock raised for slaughter do not live the life that animals were put on the earth to live. They will never be able to raise their own families, graze the fields at their leisure, and many will never even see sunlight. The animals are kept in extremely confined areas where it is difficult for them move around or lay down. The pens are rarely cleaned and animals are forced to live in their own excrement. The female animals who are responsible for reproduction are not only kept in gestation crates (extremely uncomfortable, tiny crates with no bedding in which mothers are kept in during their entire pregnancy), but are impregnated over and over again until the animal’s body gives out. Additionally, egg laying hens are imprisoned behind bars called ‘battery cages’, which are cages so small that the hens cannot even bat their wings. But just as all of these animals are at their threshold of suffering, they begin their journey to the slaughterhouse.
On the day of transport farm workers clear out the pens as fast...