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Killing Floor: The Business of Animal Slaughter

PAUL TRITSCHLER: ‘With the exception of India, where thirty percent of the population are vegetarian, the vast majority of people in almost every country in the world, around ninety percent, eat meat and dairy products. From this it is reasonable to infer that people do in fact believe it is acceptable for businesses to own, breed, castrate, fatten and kill animals for profit. A majority, of course, does not make it right – one need only consider widespread support for slavery, ethnic cleansing or capital punishment… The parallel with human atrocities may be disturbing, but it is reasonable to ask whether the rationality underlying the selective slaughter of animals – on a continuum from pets to food animals – is any different to the rationality underlying the extermination of human populations in the camps.

Somewhat encouragingly, there are signs of a shift in public opinion, with a growing number of people asking for animal slaughter to be carried out as humanely as possible. This raises the question of where we draw the line between humane and inhumane. Given the tools of the trade – knives, saws, hammers, electricity, chains and hooks – might it be more humane to gas them in the very trucks in which they are transported from farm to city? Or if there might be a concern with the carcasses being spoiled in transit – either for food or skin-based products – might it be more efficient to lead them at the point of arrival into chambers to be gassed en masse?’ SOURCE…

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