Animal Killing









Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." - Albert Schweitzer 

In 2001, Senator Robert Byrd spoke on the floor of the United States Senate, stating:

“Our inhumane treatment of livestock is becoming widespread and more and more barbaric. Six hundred pound hogs . . . raised in 2 foot wide metal cages called gestation crates, in which the poor beasts are unable to turn around or lie down in natural positions . . . . Veal calves are confined to dark wooden crates so small that they are prevented from lying down or scratching themselves. These creatures feel; they know pain. The suffer pain just as we humans suffer pain. Egg laying hens are confined to battery cages . . . . They are reduced to an egg laying machine . . . . Barbaric treatment of helpless, defenseless creatures must not be tolerated even if these animals are being raised for food - and even more so, more so. Such insensitivity is insidious and can spread and is dangerous. Life must be respected and dealt with humanely in a civilized society.”

An anonymous slaughterhouse worker (as documented by the Humane Farming Association) stated, "[If a cow is unable to walk] they put a big long chain around her neck then drag her all the way up to where we are. Usually she's dead by then. Strangled. Sometimes a steer would get its head stuck in the restrainer. You couldn't stun it at that point so you'd end up cutting its head off while the beef was still alive."

Due to modern farming techniques hens are crammed into small cages; calves raised for veal are chained in narrow crates with no bedding or light; pigs are crowded and may never see outside their pen. The list of cruelties to animals is phenomenal. Killing animals for food is not a necessity; it is your CHOICE.

Methods of Slaughtering animals:

Farm animals are stunned by electricity or percussion, and killed by cutting the blood vessels in the neck, causing exsanguinations. The ‘halal’ and ‘shechita’ method, used by Muslims and Jews, involves cutting the neck without stunning the animals. Shooting may be at close quarters, e.g. of horses, or from a distance, e.g. birds and rabbits. Fish caught at sea or by anglers die of asphyxia, when they are taken out of the water; anglers sometimes throw fish back after withdrawing the hooks; the fish may then die of inability to eat, or microbial or fungal infections. Trapping, snaring and hunting are rarely used in Britain for animals which are to be eaten.

Can an Electrically Stunned Animal Feel Pain?

 There is evidence from human beings that electrical stimulation is painful. Electrical current is widely used to torture people in South America/ the Middle East and China; cattle prods or electric batons are used. Victims of torture attest that the larger the voltage or current, the more painful it is; they do not go unconscious immediately. The power used to torture people is of the same order as that used to stun animals. Greater energy used in the electric chair kills the victim after some minutes, or spoils the taste of meat. Of course, the voltages and currents experienced by the human beings or animals are much lower than those coming out of the devices they use, because the electrodes cannot be applied accurately and firmly and there are alternative pathways across the skin, through the skin and into the tissues. In the case of prisoners in the electric chair, the electrodes are moistened and bound firmly to the head and foot to ensure good contact.

 Burns occur at the sites of contact with the electrodes. Those due to torture of human beings may be very small. They have been detected histological in biopsies taken from victims at the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims in Copenhagen. Massive burns and charring are seen at the sites where the electrodes are attached when the electric chair is used. Patients, who are given electroshock for manic depression, are anaesthetized because of the stress and pain which would be caused. Other patients, whose hearts require defibrillation with large amounts of energy, are now anaesthetized because those who recovered, complained of the pain. Powerful muscle contraction causes painful cramps in athletes. Perhaps the most obvious evidence is that it is painful to touch the electric mains. Why, then, is it so widely believed that electrical stunning is humane?


Animals/Weight  per annum

Method of Slaughter

fish (commercial)

600 million
not known
35 million
10 million
18 million
2 million
12 million
14 million
4 million
3 million
0.05 million
0.03 million
5 million
650,000 tons
not known

electrical stunning and sticking
cutting carotids artery/ jugular vein
electrical stunning and sticking
electrical stunning and sticking
electrical stunning and sticking
captive bolt and sticking
cutting carotid artery /jugular vein
electrical stunning and sticking
captive bolt/percussion stunning and sticking
cutting carotid artery/jugular vein
shooting and hunting
asphyxia and homogenization
asphyxia and lacerations














Why Electrical Stunning is not Believed to be Painful?

Firstly, the public, the slaughterers, the farmers and the butchers, have not understood the division of the nervous system into sensory and motor systems. Secondly, animals and people subjected to large currents, being paralyzed, cannot exhibit the obvious sign of pain - evasive and violent movements. Thirdly, people believe that unconsciousness in animal slaughter (as in the electric chair) is instantaneous. Fourth, N Gregory and S Wotton of the Department of Meat Animal Science of the University of Bristol in 1985 applied the electric current to the heads of sheep for too short a period to stun or kill them; when the current was turned off, the sheep walked away, apparently without distress. They also saw no burns beneath the electrodes. Nevertheless the same research group was of the opinion that "electrical stunning does not cause de-afferentation of the visual cortex in a consistent and prolonged manner." Fifthly, no one wants to know that animals might have suffered severe pain every time they eat a ham sandwich, hold a barbecue or put on their sheepskin liberty bodices.

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