How Humane is “Humane Slaughter”?
The video was submitted anonymously to the NSW Police, as well as Aussie Farms, and was shot at an Australian abattoir. The disturbing video showed a group of thrashing and screaming pigs as they were lowered into a gas chamber that would render them unconscious before slaughter. As if this scene was not distressing enough, the video also shows what happens to the pigs who refuse to enter the gas chamber. Electric prods are used to shock them excessively, forcing them to move towards their own demise. One pig who was lame was even dragged and shocked with the metal prod when it was unable to move.
Even more disturbing than the actual footage of this animal cruelty was the fact that today, gas chambers are considered the most “humane” method of slaughtering pigs.
CO2 AS THE HUMANE CHOICE
The gas chambers at the abattoir contains high concentrates of CO2. Because pigs are highly intelligent and are aware when they are in danger, it was established that gassing them before the actual slaughter was a more merciful way to kill them. This way, the pigs will not spend their last moments in panic and terror. A CO2 concentration of less than 20% is considered to be the most effective, since pigs are barely able to detect the gas.
However, a 20% CO2 concentrate also needs a longer time to take effect, hence, slowing down the slaughter process. For abattoirs and slaughterhouses where time is money, this slow process simply won’t do. So instead of the recommended 20% CO2 concentrate, the meat industry uses a high concentrate of 80%, sometimes even going up to a full 100%. This higher concentrate of CO2 allows the slaughterhouses to kill the pigs faster. Unfortunately for the pigs, the exposure to the CO2 causes panic and fear, as clearly shown on the video where the pigs react violently.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you muster the courage to sit through the alarming video, you will clearly see how helpless the pigs are in the hands of the abattoir workers. But you don’t have to be as helpless as these poor animals. You can do something in order to stop this cruelty, but the answer is both simple and difficult.
Make the pledge today by going meat-free on Mondays. Make sure you also spread the word (and the video) to your friends and family so they can see for themselves the suffering that these harmless and intelligent animals have to go through in order to put some bacon on our plates.
You can also help by writing to your local supermarket and ask them about the conditions of the animals they purchase from their suppliers, as well as writing to or phoning your local member and asking them where they stand on this issue.