Animals

 

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor

Posted December 1, 2013

Published in Animals, Food, Lifestyle

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Grass-Fed, Humanely Slaughtered Meat

Read More: grass-fed beef, humane slaughtering, Vegan

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It seems to me that Americans are waking up at a faster and faster rate.  The idea that the vegan diet is just for Berkeley hippies is a very old idea indeed; as you’ve probably heard, even Al Gore has finally gone vegan.  More and more people from all walks of life understand the issues behind veganism, and more and more people are beginning to care.

I particularly appreciate the people who are willing to go way out of their way to not only get “grass-fed, humanely slaughtered” meat, but actually seek out a local supplier so that they can verify that the animals are living a happy life on a grassy pasture, rather than just trusting the sticker on the cellophane wrap in their trendy grocery store up the street.  To me, these people are caring enough to really go the extra mile to make sure they are spending their money the way they want, rather than just trusting the stickers on the cellophane wrap so they can feel good about their choices. 

Over the past couple of years, an increasing number of people have told me that, while they are not vegan, they are very serious about finding a local supplier of beef or other meat that they can verify comes from happy and healthy conditions.  I think this is such a huge, huge step in the right direction … almost every vegan knows that the animals in factory farms don’t just die an horrific death in the slaughterhouses, they live horrific lives of brutality, neglect and disease in the factory farms for all the years leading up to their slaughter.  It’s absolutely unconscionable.

But I think what people may be forgetting to consider when they seek out these more humane suppliers of meat is what, exactly, constitutes “humane slaughtering?”  My friend Carlos told me that an acquaintance mentioned that he only buys “humanely slaughtered” meat.  Carlos respectfully asked him, “How does one humanely slaughter meat?  Is it possible to humanely take life?  If I wanted to humanely slaughter you, for example, what would that look like?”

Carlos’ questions are very thought-provoking, and I expect many people who buy this meat haven’t thought about these questions.  Even if you can put an animal “to sleep” in such a way that it never feels pain or fear, is it “humane” to rob the animal of it’s life?  In fact – is it humane to rob an animal of its life just so that we can have steak or turkey for dinner, when we have so many other options for dinner that don’t involve taking a life

Think about what we do to keep our own lives … how hard we would fight for our lives or the lives of our loved ones … how we might risk our lives to save another’s life.  Whether we consciously think about it or not, we cherish our life and revere life above all (or almost all) else. 

So perhaps it’s time to consciously think about it.  If we cherish our own lives, isn’t it fair to assume cows, pigs and chickens and all animals cherish their lives too?  If we cherish not only human life, but also our pets’ lives, why wouldn’t we cherish all life?

While I understand the desire to eat meat, maintain traditions that involve meat, and fit in with society by eating meat, is it really worth taking life to do so?  The question at hand is not whether to inhumanely or humanely slaughter meat … the question is whether it’s humane to take life or not.


With Peace,

Sarah


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It's interesting that for children, the purity of life is an essence they need never ponder. When a child sees cruelty or death, they react instantly with horror. Once adulthood is attained it appears that we then begin to debate who and "what" is deemed good enough for life. As vegans it is clear to us that no life should be taken ever, period, end of story.

There cannot be any such concept as "humane killing". Euthanizing a pet is still killing. Therefore killing for food is unacceptable. Since non human animals have no voice, they cannot communicate with us whether its actually ok for us to murder them. I would think by their release of fear hormones and terror they are NOT giving anyone their permission.

As to vegans "owning" pets which under the law are still considered property, all vegans should always very seriously consider this. We consider ourselves highly superior to all other species and pet owning particularly if they are part of the slaughter house industry is a huge NO NO. Vegan fed pets are somewhat acceptable however, the euthanasia issue remains a sword of Damocles.


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I also wonder just how humane these farms really are. Do they castrate without anesthesia? What do they do if they have too many males born to dairy cows for their farm size? Are the males automatically veal calves, or do they use these as beef cows, or are they sold or slaughtered?
Where do they get their beef cattle? Do they purchase them as calves? Were the parents artificially inseminated from a captive breeding breeding facility?
There are just so many questions unanswered and so many possibilities of cruelty even on "humane" farms.

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