Misery on the menu, pt. 3

John Robbins writes that slaughterhouse workers have reported, “I’ve seen thousands and thousands of cows go through the slaughter process alive. I would estimate one in ten cows is still alive when it’s bled and skinned.” The Humane Society has videos of dairy cows too weak to stagger to slaughter, being rolled and pushed by forklift operators and sometimes being run over. Wayne Paselle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, says dairy cows may have it the worst because they’re treated like machines, continually impregnated and separated from their calves, and then killed inhumanely for their meatMost egg-laying chickens—95 percent of them—are usually kept in “battery” cages, with less living space than an 8 × 10 sheet of paper, for their entire lives. Since male chickens can’t lay eggs, male chicks are discarded, either by being ground up alive and fully conscious in a “macerator” or sucked through a series of pipes onto an electrified “kill plate.” Each year, 260 million male chicks are killed. Chickens raised for food are packed into warehouses so closely together they can hardly move, with as many as 100,000 in one building. Even chickens advertised as “cage-free” are often housed in a single, huge, overcrowded building. Chickens grown for large breasts can’t even support their own weight, and often can’t stand; their growth is unnaturally accelerated to the point that when they’re slaughtered they’re still peeping like baby chicks. At least 8 billion broiler chickens are killed each year in the U.S.