Animals don’t run merrily to a slaughterhouse, lie down on their backs yelling “Here you go, make chops” and die. The sad truth that all carnivores face is that if you eat meat, animals will continue to be killed.
For the production of meat products, mainly chickens are used. In the UK alone, 676 million birds are killed every year. They are transferred from broiler cages to special processing units, it does not sound as terrible as a slaughterhouse, but the essence remains the same. Everything goes according to schedule, the trucks arrive at the appointed time. Chickens are pulled out of the truck and tied by their feet (upside down) to a conveyor belt. The same thing happens with ducks and turkeys.
There is something strange about these technological installations. They are always well lit, separate from the slaughter site, very clean and slightly damp. They are too automated. People walk around in white coats and white hats and say “Good morning” to each other. It’s like filming a TV show. A slow moving conveyor belt, with fluttering white birds, that never seems to stop.
This conveyor belt actually works very often day and night. The first thing suspended birds encounter is a tub filled with water and energized. The conveyor moves so that the heads of the birds sink into the water, and the electricity stuns them so that they reach the next stage (throat cutting) in an unconscious state. Sometimes this procedure is performed by a person in blood-splattered clothing with a large knife. Sometimes it’s an automatic machine all covered in blood.
While the conveyor is moving, the chickens must bleed to death before being dipped into a scalding vat of very hot water to facilitate the plucking process. It was theory. Reality is often terribly different. While taking a hot bath, some birds raise their heads and go under the knife while conscious. When birds are cut by a machine, which happens more often, the blade is located at a certain height, but birds of different sizes, one blade falls on the neck, the other on the chest. Even when hitting the neck, most automatic machines cut the back or side of the neck and very rarely cut the carotid artery. In any case, this is not at all enough to kill them, but only to seriously injure them. Millions of birds enter the scalding vat while still alive and are literally boiled alive.
Dr. Henry Carter, past President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, stated that a 1993 report on chicken slaughter said: fall alive and conscious into a scalding vat. The time has come for politicians and legislators to stop this kind of activity, which is unacceptable and inhuman.”