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Vegetarianism – To Meat Or Not To Meat Essay, Research Paper As children, one of the first things we learn is to recognize the friendly barnyard animals. We easily can spot the furry cow with the gentle eyes, the feathery chickens who run wildly about, and the pink pigs that roll in the mud. We may also sing about that nice farmer, Old McDonald, and all of his nice animals. The truth is that Old McDonald with a straw hat has been replaced by a business man in the hard hat. Ninety-five percent of the meat we eat does not come from Old McDonald’s farm. Hens, chickens, turkeys, and over half of beef cattle, dairy cows, and pigs come from an "animal factory" (Sussman, 95) which is a mechanized environment. This new farming method finds blue skies, tall silos, and

grassy hillsides good for calendars but, bad for business. Those pictures are not cost effective. Animals are not treated with the loving care of a farmer but, are treated like inmates on death row. Poultry, pigs, and calves are forced to live in total confinement never to see the light of day until they head to the slaughter house. Hens are frequently crowded into small cages which they may not leave for a year or two. Pregnant sows are often put in stalls that are their homes for three months at a time. After having her piglets, a sow may be pinned to the floor for four to seven weeks in order to keep the sow from rolling over on her babies. Cows may be fed steady diet of molasses laced saw dust, shredded newspaper, plastic pellets, poultry manure, and processed slaughter house

wastes in order to gain weight faster. Confinement is so complete that the animals do not have room to move (206). Not only are the animals forced to live in this unnatural environment, they are also pumped full off antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and are dipped in pesticides. Over half the cattle and nearly all pigs, calves, and poultry are fed a steady diet of antibiotics and related Jarboe 2 medications to help control diseases. No one is sure what the long term side effects may be for people who consume these meat and dairy products (145). Have you ever seen a big rig driving down a highway hauling cattle? A trucker hauling livestock can legally drive two to three days nonstop leaving the creatures without food or water. Truckers who do stop to rest or water their cargo do

so because they choose to, not because the law requires it . It is not surprising that much livestock is driven through days of suffocating heat and below zero nights uncared for, crowded, and sometimes literally frightened to death. Some of the animals arriving alive at the slaughter house have broken limbs or other injuries due to crowding and piling. At the journey’s end the cattle are already confused and frightened at their treatment and strange surroundings. Now they must be sent through such procedures such as castration, dehorning, branding, and injections and various chemicals (Null, 86-87). The four slaughtering methods the government has declared humane are captive bolt, carbon dioxide, electrical stunning, and gunshot. The methods were devised from the Humane

Slaughter Act of 1958. The Act says that all livestock must be unconscience before slaughtering. Unfortunately, the act has not provisions for punishment of those who choose to use an inhumane slaughtering technique (Sussman, 223). Captive bolt gun, which is usually used on cattle, uses compressed air or blank cartridges. The device fires a thick bolt into the animals’ forehead. Some bolts are designed to stun the animal by concussion rather than penetration of the skull. Carbon dioxide is used on swine and sometimes sheep and calves. The animals ride on a conveyor belt into a pit filled with 65-75% concentration on carbon dioxide. The gas causes the animals to become unconscience. The electric stunner is handled by a packing house worker on any kind of animal. The stunners are