Thanks to Stacey at ‘Our Compass; https://our-compass.org/author/ourcompasses/ for sending this latest over. Mark.
Warning: Graphic Content
A particularly disturbing scene illustrates one method of “euthanasia”, a euphemistic term describing a person sliding a chick’s head off with no hesitation, no remorse.
Animals are “produced” en masse under a human-manufactured moniker of “welfare”. To subject animals to such dismissively indifferent procedures as normalized violence substantiates the fact that “welfare” is only meaningful to humans, and not to the animals who are controlled, violated, and violently killed, in direct contradiction to anything remotely resembling or defining “welfare”.
Please note that exploitation is endemic on all farming sizes, be they small or locally owned 20-animal operations, or CAFOs confining 125,000 animals. And all animals exploited for food in the United States are specifically exempt from the Animal Welfare Act.
Meat processing plants, or slaughterhouses, have been making headlines these past months as epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic. Outbreaks of positive cases amongst workers have caused the industry’s rapid processing lines to slow or stop for days on end, resulting in a pileup of tens of millions of animals who have reached slaughter weight with nowhere to go.
Much of this burden falls on the farms, which are designed neither to kill nor dispose of animals en masse, and the methods many resort to are truly disturbing. One farmer reported shooting all 3,000 of his pigs over the course of a day. Tanks of carbon dioxide are pumped into barns to gas and suffocate chickens by the thousands. Recently, undercover footage from a pig farm in Iowa documented a deliberate ventilation shutdown followed by the release of hot steam into a barn full of live animals. With temperatures in excess of 140 degrees, the animals inside were slowly roasted.
As a practice, the culling and subsequent disposal of animals en masse pre-dates the current Covid-19 outbreak. It’s the unfortunate answer from a system whose scale defies logic to the challenges presented by unanticipated supply chain disruptions. As factory farms continue to grow in size, and supply chains become increasingly monopolized, times of crisis reveal troubling vulnerabilities in the American food system. The close confinement of factory farmed animals is a death sentence when lethal strains of swine or avian flu spark an outbreak. Rescue is not an option for the millions of chickens or tens of thousands of pigs who become immediately trapped in the face of catastrophic events like hurricanes, tornadoes, or fires. Each time any one of these indisputable disasters strikes, massive numbers of animals are killed, yet each time the numbers are reported, they still continue to astound us.
The number of animals that have and will continue to be culled in the wake of Covid-19 represent a mere fraction of those who are killed for our consumption every single day. Their deaths, now newsworthy, reveal the failings of a system destined to repeat itself.
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