What's wrong with slaughter?

Last updated 15 December 2019

The term “humane slaughter” is an oxymoron; a myth. Every year in Australia, 520-620 million animals are killed at abattoirs. All of these are thinking, feeling, sentient animals, each with their own personality, no different to your companion dog, cat or bird, yet they are treated as nothing more than units of production, or “stock”. In such an environment, where they are viewed as inanimate objects, violence towards them is commonplace and often not even considered to be violent by the perpetrators. When there are several thousand animals being killed at each facility each day, a few “damaged stock” here and there makes little difference to the profit of the slaughterhouses and no difference to the salaries of the workers.

Even if the animals have lived a happy life, the slaughter process will always involve some level of stress, fear or pain, whether it’s when they’re herded and packed onto the transport truck, during transport itself or unloading at the abattoir, when they’re confined to holding pens (often without food or water) or shackled upside-down, forced up the ‘race’ or along the shackle line by kicking, punching, pushing or electric prodder, or when they’re finally killed. With such large numbers of animals being killed, it is impossible for stunning methods to be effective every time.

Above all, these animals do not want to die. It is not their choice and is long before the end of their natural life span. Regardless of whether they are unconscious at the time their throat is cut, their death is unjustified and unnecessary, especially when it is so easy to live without consuming their flesh or by-products.