Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Inhumanity of humane meat

pig farm; nyc union square

The illogic of calling any meat humane is something I’ve discussed many times with many people. Unsurprisingly, I’ve mostly discussed this with other vegans, especially people who run sanctuaries.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to run a sanctuary, saving animals, and to face the trend of “humane certified” meat. Hypocracy certified, perhaps, but humane it is not, no matter who is certifying it. Slaughter is not humane. As someone on the VeganFreak Forums has said, the slaughterers could sing lulabies to the animals on their way to slaughter, and that still wouldn’t make it humane.

Here is one pig butcher’s announcement of their humanity:pig slaughterer; nyc union square

They give them food (duh, how else do they fatten them up for slaughter), shelter, “sufficient space” and the “ability to engage in natural behaviors.” Clever. Crowded into barns, it really is natural behavior to bite each other, so they’re not lying. Beaten and scared on their way to slaughter, it really is natural for the pigs to scream in terror. The scream, by the way, is the pigs best defense against the few predators they have – hopefully startling their attacker into letting them go. This doesn’t work on humans, of course.

This “humane” farm also adds a no-antibiotics claim in their humanity. I’m sure the pigs are grateful. As are the lambs. Let’s see, what else is on their menu, and on their grill? They sold out of the chickens who laid the eggs you see humanely displayed on the table, and whose pictures are displayed next to those eggs.

I received a “Victory!” alert from PeTA today regarding BK’s announcement of their “humane” standards. No, BK is not going to stop selling animal corpses, or even try to reduce the amount they sell. They’re going to adopt “humane standards” for their suppliers to try to increase their sales. I’m not exactly breaking out the champagne. Better luck next time PeTA. I know you’ve worked hard for 7 years to accomplish this, but I apparently am too cynical to trust the claims of the animal abusers that the chickens and pigs are happy and singing their praises as they move down the assembly lines to be dismembered.

I’d so much rather see the pigs alive and munching on pumpkins. I’d much rather see the chickens giving themselves dust baths. It turns my stomach that anyone is so lacking in ethics and in humanity that they can call the slaughter of another being for food “humane.” No wonder attrocities like Abu Ghraib can happen.



7 responses to “Inhumanity of humane meat

  1. Ed March 31, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Yeah, the “humane meat” thing always seemed like a bit of an oxymoron to me too. It’s the lesser of some evils I suppose, but it’s not as if it’s something to feel particularly cheery about. Coincidentally, I was just reading something about the Stanford Prison Experiment (explains, to some degree, why things like Abu Ghraib happen.) I wonder if it could partially explain why people in slaughter-houses etc. seem to occasionally develop tendencies to expose animals to (more) needless suffering – the same combination of boredom, power and the lack of an consistent authority to answer to. Anyway, it’s here:

    Good work, as ever.


  2. Deb April 1, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks for that link, Ed. It gives me much to think about.

    I think that in the slaughter-houses, another aspect to the “extra” cruelty they show the animals, in addition to those you mentioned, has to do with the abuse and exploitation the workers suffer themselves. I read a bit about it in “Diet For a Dead Planet” and I believe it is discussed in yet more detail in other books – “Slaughterhouse” comes to mind, though I am sure there are others.

    I have a feeling I’ll use this article you linked in a future post. Thanks again, and thanks for the kind compliment. Much appreciated!

  3. cherie April 1, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    I often wonder if people are really buying into this “humane” load of crap, but, then, I think it’s just to ease their minds and they don’t want to truly think the decision to eat meat (labeled humane or not) through.

    I also laugh when I hear humans call people degradingly acting like “animals” and I think, “No, they’re acting like humans. Other animals wouldn’t act that way.”

  4. Deb April 3, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Excellent points, cherie! I often think that “humane” is more an excuse – they can pretend to be thoughtful, caring, “compassionate” if it has the “humane” label. But if my meat-eating friends are the norm, they get extremely angry if you try to point out the realities.

    And yes, humans have a lot of positive things they could learn from animals. It would be an improvement if we acted like animals instead of destroying the environment, dropping bombs, the list could go on.

  5. Mike Grieco April 16, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    What if YOU were bred and raised to be destroyed for unjustified reasons? What then, would YOU call it “Humane”?
    Not if you are in the right mind!”The Fate of all Life will be determined by how we Humans Treat all Life”.

  6. Louie Gedo August 18, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Excellent points Deb!

    If innocent humans were hyper-exploited and violently and brutally confined against their will indefinitely just because someone wants to abuse their power over them, the first thing I’d demand is for their release because it is an injustice (immoral) to subjugate these individuals. To make the only priority (for these hyper-exploited people) the lessening of the cruelty they are subjected to seems ill-conceived and completely compromised…as in settling for only that. But this is exactly what the ideology of welfarism in regards to farmed animals is parallel to. Husbandry modulation / reform campaigns actually impede abolition goals. Certainly we can point out the worst cruelties, but let’s do it on a platform of abolition – asserting that the entire system of exploitation and killing of animals is immoral and unjust, not simply the cruel treatment that is part-in-parcel of that system.

    For more views on this topic, check out the new website:

    Love is all around you,

  7. Deb August 19, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks! Now if only we could get the general public to understand. hoepfully websites like the will help with that. Thanks for linking it in!

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