Cruelty towards animals has become an urgent issue for the entire humanity. Humans’ domination instead of cooperation with the world around is one of the crucial reasons that bring much harm to plants, animals, environment, and life on the Earth. There exist numerous organizations aimed at protecting the rights of nature and animals, in particular. However, while slaughtering for fun is unacceptable, religion justifies killing for food. As a result, the consumer nature of people and particularly meat consumption becomes a real problem. As it is obvious, the general cease of meat consumption by humans is something impossible. Moreover, it actually is the part of the world food chain. Hence, there are good reasons to pay attention to another problem. Owners and workers of slaughterhouses treat animals extremely cruelly before killing them. For example, they keep animals chained, caged, in unsanitary conditions and not fed. Therefore, if humans are the dominating and highly moral beings, it is important to change such a situation. This paper supports the idea that the laws against cruel animals’ treatment should be much stricter. Thus, it is necessary to ensure proper governmental control of living conditions, immune system and vaccination for the chained and caged farm animals in order to decrease the health risks the meat consumers may face and minimize the sufferings of animals, who are living beings even though raised specially for food.
Focusing on the United States, one should point out that this nation is number one world meat consumer. The reports show that in 2009, the average amount of meat consumption in the US was 265 pounds per person, which was 173 pounds more than the average world indicator. As a result, greater demand for meat products has become a strong push to meat production business development and considerable amount of animals’ slaughtering. The Human Society of the United States reports that the total number of the killed animals in 2013 was 9,1 billion. This number included 32,454 thousands of cattle, 8,648,756 chickens, 24,575 ducks, 112,126 hogs, 2,314 lambs and sheep, and 239,385 turkeys (HSUS). Hence, poultry is the most numerous group of the animals killed for food. The numbers differ throughout the states. For instance, in 2013, Nebraska consumed 8,7% of the slaughtered meat. At the same time, as the share of the cattle killed in Nebraska was the highest out of the states, Iowa was marked by pig slaughter. The feed sources and field grain areas on the territory are the key factors that predetermined such tendencies. However, the cruelty tendency extends and demands particular attention of the government. The Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture Act is not only the step to reduce it, but also the evidence of the animals’ maltreatment growth.
Nevertheless, it is important to understand that slaughterhouse owners and workers initially raised killed animals for food. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that the number of the land animals yearly raised for food in the US reaches 9 billion. Raised at the special farms, such animals are not supposed to be protected for they stay the property of the farmers, who raise them for business. As a result, the US law fails to protect this group of animals from human cruelty. There are a number of loud cases dealing with the ethical issues of animals’ trust and treatment in everyday life or various private and national organizations, zoos, and reservations (USDA). The law also considers the torturing or overworking animals, fights, races, hoarding, unreasonable abandonment, or other cruel behaviors. While the authorities regularly review police dogs, chimpanzees, home pets and wildlife animals’ rights and welfare, the rights of animals grown for food often stay neglected (USDA). There exist two federal laws related to an animal living on the farms, namely 28-Hour Law and The Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (ASPCA). These laws cover some rights of the animals like having rest and food each 28 hours as well as quick slaughtering without pain. At the same time, there still exist the state laws that “exempt the farm animals” (ASPCA). Some states may include farm animals’ rights in some of the laws. However, such laws do not bring benefits to farm animals. The only effective and developing tendency throughout states is increasing banning of some cruel slaughtering and confinement practices (ASPCA).
The solution should rest on the legislation amendments. As it is obvious, the law does not protect the group of animals raised for business, especially for meat. Therefore, the strict law is the first step on the way to animals’ protection and getting closer to following the ethical values. The legislation in this sphere has to be strict enough to exclude the cases of human cruelty and make the business owners encouraged to avoid the law violations. It is obvious that the government should support careful and attentive work of the special inspection, which should focus primarily on the sphere of the farm animals’ treatment. Regular control and possible penalties should keep the slaughtering organizations from making animals suffer before their death. Slaughterhouse owners, workers, and other people should treat animals with empathy and protect them as they can hardly protect themselves in the human society of technologies. Even killing animals for food, which is a part of the entire lifecycle that supports life balance, should have some regulatory measures. Firstly, the number of the animals’ deaths caused by humans is much greater than it would be without any technologies. Secondly, billions of farm animals lack even the most basic protections. Animals are devoid of care, free access to food, or saunters. Instead, they are treated like things and condemned to death beforehand. The slaughtering organizations do not permit animals to see the light of day and mostly put them in small cages for all their life.
This problem really matters owing to two aspects. The first one is an absolute violation of the natural balance and nature’s laws by committing mass slaughtering of animals and treating them as non-animated property. Moreover, the methods are always cruel and deny human morality. Speaking about the cattle, especially cows and pigs, one should not neglect the relatively high level of the intellect of these animals. The BCC News reported the difference between slaughtering the unconscious and conscious animals, emphasizing stunning as the most appropriate practice for the latter. In such a way, captive bolt stunning is widely applied to cows’ killing, electrocution – to sheep, electrocution and gas – to poultry, and all three types – to pigs. However, the religious beliefs of the Jews and Muslims prove the opposite. Although killing animals is never friendly, many of the involved people point out that it should be done in the most “animal-friendly way”. Consequently, stunning of a conscious animal makes it unable to move but does not deprive of the ability to stay conscious and suffer for some more time. In contrast, one-cut slaughter methods let the animal die rapidly and relatively painlessly.
Secondly, animals get sick and sometimes cause human health problems because of the consumption of sick animals’ meat, which can be the roots of different illnesses. One most common ones is food poisoning. According to WSPA report, the most common diseases of animals on the farm that can become quite harmful for humans are Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, salmonella, avian and swine influenza. All of these diseases can lead to various intestinal infections and need particular attention not to become a real threat to the wider public.
Another serious problem marked out by the scholars is the usage of antibiotics on the animal factories. Widely used to reduce costs, it results in a stressful environment, illness vulnerability, transmission among animals, and raising the bacteria resistance to the possible later treatment with antibiotics. Moreover, there appear some religion-mismatching issues like making the kosher meat not really kosher. They say they do things according to the Halakha (Jewish law) but, in the reality, they do not. An animal factory, which is a mechanized environment, is actually a place where animals are not treated properly during their lifetime. People neglect and abuse them before killing. However, most of the people choose to ignore it and not care that the meat they eat was once a living, breathing creature that had feelings and emotions. Instead of living a normal life, these animals are tortured. The living conditions for these animals include chaining and caging, abuse from the factory workers, and malnutrition.
Some people say that all the things mentioned above should not matter because individuals will not stop eating meat. People also point out the fact that the government is not getting involved. Therefore, things are not as bad as some would say it to be. Others would argue that no livings deserve to be tortured in that way. Besides animals being tortured, these slaughterhouses are affecting the environment by contaminating. People living near slaughterhouses face many problems such as dirty water because the blood is flowing in the water waves. However, the statistics show that the problem needs interference and only the government is powerful enough to break the generally established scheme of treating the farm animals as something undeserving.
Although one can use social media and other types of impact on human consciousness, the restrictive methods are always more effective than persuasion. Functioning of a great number of organizations that protect animals’ rights does not have much influence on the reduction of the number of cases of these rights’ violation. They are more likely to make a small contribution to fixing the negative consequences rather than preventing them. The major steps that the government should take on the way to solve the problem include ensuring proper care and immune of the farm animals, limiting transportation time, and controlling vaccination and hygiene on the factories. Only the proper strict laws and presence of separate surveillance organizations can assist in reaching all these aims properly.
In case no or weak control is present, humanity would rely solely on the high morality of each employer and worker in the world. Even though it is very disappointing, such policies can rarely lead to any good result. The statistics and world experiences prove that strict laws, exact norms to follow, and severe control should be implemented to ensure the animals’ relative welfare. All of the farms and slaughterhouses should adhere to these policies with no deviations. Otherwise, the situation will degenerate from both moral and health care perspectives.