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Ethics Of Meat Essay

1065 words - 5 pages

Did you know that every year nine billion animals are relentlessly slaughtered for their meat in the United States (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)? Sadly, it doesn’t end there; the USDA’s statistics don’t account for the animals that are discarded, imported from outside the United States, or the many sea creatures that are also killed every year. If these other animals were factored in, the total figure is estimated to be around eighty billion animals killed annually in the name of human consumption (Animal Liberation Front). This massive commercial enterprise of butchering unwilling animals when there are other nutritionally adequate food sources available is unethical because it is inhumane, ...view middle of the document...

This is certainly due to the overwhelming number of animals that are slaughtered by factory farms on a daily basis. Slaughterhouse workers have to be very fast to keep up with the rapid pace of the production line; if they are too slow they can be fired. This dilemma creates unsafe working conditions and causes workers to have even less consideration for the animals. For instance, the method used to kill livestock is said to be pain-free, but the rapid pace of production often causes mistakes that can lead to the failure of the stunning process, which causes the animal to remain conscious while their throat is cut. This leaves them in a painful struggle as they slowly bleed out. An even more unpleasant method of killing livestock is the kosher slaughtering process where the objective is to keep the animal fully conscious while it’s killed and skip the stunning procedure altogether. Factory farms provide the bare minimum to care for the animals, which causes them to endure horrendous living conditions throughout their short lives, and then when it’s time for them to be butchered, a pain-free death is not even guaranteed. Given these considerations, it follows to say that the meat industry is inhumane.
There is yet another victim of factory farming: Earth. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), cattle and their manure are responsible for 32% of all methane gas released in the United States. Methane is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. Methane is also twenty-three times more conducive towards global warming than carbon dioxide—the gas released by automobiles (Jacobson 107). The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports increasing global temperatures will disrupt ecosystems causing extinction to those species that cannot adapt. The NRDC conducted a comprehensive assessment of the extinction risk from global warming, and found more than one million species could become extinct by 2050 if the current conditions continue. These facts of reality have already pushed a lot of industries to begin looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, including...

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