Optimistic Vegan

Humane Slaughter Act: Chickens

The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act is an act that was introduced in 1901 to regulate slaughterhouse standards. In summary, it describes how “livestock” are to be “rendered insensible to pain” in a single blow before the rest of the process is done. Also that slaughterhouses can be regulated by the government. This seems straightforward, however, many different slaughterhouses have interpreted this law, as well as the USDA, in different ways.

A few months ago, the courts ruled that poultry was not part of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, because poultry does not count as “livestock.” In the act, it says that cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep, swine, and other livestock are protected by this act, however the courts have interpreted livestock to exclude birds. So as of now, there are no laws protecting the humane slaughter of chickens, turkeys, ducks, bunnies, or other poultry (rabbits have been ruled as poultry…).

So because there are no regulations for these animals, I’m sure you can guess what happens. I won’t go into much detail, but they move so quickly shackled on the track, that they move through the lines at 182-186 per minute. Because of their speed that allows for the best efficiency, most birds aren’t able to be stunned, or their throats slit, so many of them are still alive as they go into the scalding hot water (to remove their feathers).

If you follow the link for “182-186 per minute” it will take you to a site that describes a slaughterhouse worker’s experience. Not only the chickens are abused, there are also very poor conditions for slaughterhouse workers.


Recently Vegetarian
February 2, 2010, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Family, Lifestyle, Personal | Tags: , , , ,

In addition to my kindhearted sister, my dad recently decided to make the switch to being vegetarian!

After a few years of being vegetarian, our house naturally doesn’t have as much meat, or dairy, as it used to. It’s much easier for my lovely mom to make just a vegetarian meal than a meat-lover one and a veggie one. (Thanks Mom!) So my dad doesn’t eat that much meat at our house anyways. However, he often treats himself to eating out, where he usually gets a meat dish. After having a nice heart-to-heart, he decided to make the switch, give up all of his favorite foods, and become vegetarian.

Even though he’s made this personal change, after some forty years of eating meat, he is having a tough time giving up meat completely—he has slipped up a few times. While I was a little disappointed at first thinking that he wasn’t as perfect as previously thought, I’ve since come to the conclusion that he’s doing the best he can. Even though he hasn’t given up all meat (for the most part he has now…I think!) he’s still making a difference every time he opts for a vegetarian dish.

If all that is feasible for you is to give up red meat, at least you can do that. It’s much better to give up only some of it, than thinking that it is pointless to go halfway.

It’s not.

Or you could eat vegetarian lunches (PB + J!) but still eat meat for dinner. The process has to be different for every person. Best of luck!