Most people just see the piece of meat on their plate. They are unaware of what happened before that very moment and often they would not really like to know it.
In many cases, the animals can be glad to be relieved at last. But even the process of slaughtering is often far crueller than one would believe. It is calculated that in 10% -30% the slaughtering is done without sufficient sedation. Apart from this, Islamic slaughterhouses are allowed to do without any kind of sedation at all for it is a principle of Islam to kill animals according to their religious rite. This means the cutting of the carotid artery, which makes them bleed to death in a painful way in long agonizing minutes.
Yet, those who think that sedated animals die in a less cruel way, are far from being right as the sedation itself can be extremely painful.
A video of PETA shows the multiple failure of a stun gun during a sedation of a cow: http://mediathek.peta.de/de/ppreview?id=3414
Besides, a stun gun sedation is by no means a painless one like the one before an operation. A shot with a stun gun can be compared to a shot into the head with a pistol. Often the animals wake up too early from the "sedation" so that they bleed to death fully conscious, hanging at their feet and are cut up into parts alive. It is shocking to find such a big amount of videos like that on YouTube alone. Many of them are forbidden or can only be watched by those who can prove they are at least 18. How can it be explained that these videos are forbidden for children on the one hand because they are so cruel but that on the other hand children are given the meat from these animals for a meal?
In the following you can find an example of the slaughtering of a cow by the familiar farmer who lives round the corner. We must come to understand that a 'humane' way of slaughtering does not exist. The keeping of animals and specifically their slaughtering constitute extreme cruelty to animals – no matter if the farmer of one's own village is concerned, industrial livestock farming or organic farming.
Apart from the sedation with a stun gun there are various other methods like for example sedation with CO2. This means that by means of an elevator the animals are lowered into a room filled with CO2 in a high concentration. But, due to the lack of oxygen, many animals get panicked and only become unconscious after more than a minute – which is what is called suffocation with human beings.
Again, this kind of sedation is not reliable either. Scalding water was found in the lungs of some pigs after they had been taken out of the scalding tank. This means that the pigs must have desperately tried to breathe in in the scalding tank, which allowed water to get into their lungs.
Killing living beings with gas is not unknown in history. It is the more horrifying that such methods are still in use, when the holocaust is considered one of the worst crimes of humanity.
As if it was not dreadful enough to think of the ugly fate of those fattened animals, there are various distressing accounts of former slaughterhouse workers. As they were bored they developed sadistic practices which consisted in poking out the eyes of pigs or cutting off their snouts.
When animals are driven into the slaughter rooms or when animal transports are loaded or unloaded, the animals are beaten, kicked or whipped. It is no wonder some of them arrive with broken bones and torn ligaments at the place where they are to be slaughtered.
We are wrong if we are furious about people who commit such atrocities for it is a psychological phenomenon that slaughterhouse workers inure themselves to them in the course of time. It is true that what they do is cruel. Yet, they are paid for it and earn their living this way. Ultimately, those who pay these people for these jobs are the responsible ones. And that is us, the consumers. Day by day – with every cart filled with animal products, no matter if it is ham, steaks, sausages, yogurt, cheese, eggs, milk chocolate or fromage frais.
Only a small section of the infinite cruelty in the domain of animal production can be highlighted here. And on top of it all, we must consider that the facts described here refer solely to the USA and Europe.
In other countries the conditions of animal keeping may even be far more catastrophic. Videos from China, where dogs are killed because of their meat or fur, can make our blood coagulate.
In Romania dogs roaming the streets are beaten dead and burnt. Other horrible practices are found in Asia, where cats are cooked alive or fish are fried alive just for the sake of an allegedly better taste.
Fish may not seem to us to be fully sensitive living beings at first glance, yet there are studies that demonstrate the capacity of fish to feel pain.
It is habitual in the fishing industry that fish are pulled up to the surface from the depth in far too little time. With their organism unable to adjust to the changing pressure, their swimming bladder inflates and is pressed out of the fish's mouth. This phenomenon is called tympanites. With fish nobody cares about any kind of sedation nor of slaughtering. They are just left in the nets together with everything else that is caught In them to suffocate miserably or they are immediately cut into pieces.
An additional burden is the enormous environmental damage caused by the fishing industry, which is above all due to trawl nets destroying coral and other vegetation at the bottom of the sea. These methods heavily damage the natural processes in the sea. The extent of the harm and its consequences can hardly be judged. http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/2012/03/the-threats-of-overfishing-consequences-at-the-commercial-level/#.V-zZ0snfeAQ
It is estimated that 60-110 billion sea animals are caught every year. This has led to overfishing in one third of the waters on earth with 57% of them being maximally exploited. http://www.fao.org/fishery/sofia/en