This particular corporate cruelty is down to Hormel (industrial food corporation and makers of Spam) and highlighted in a secret video made by Compassion Over Killing. But Hormel are not the only corporation involved in these kinds of practices. The corporate sector is geared towards profit maximisation only – legally obliged to maximising returns for shareholders. Corporations are not ‘for’ anything else. The fact that they provide any jobs at all is incidental. If they could replace all humans with machines, they would – and in fact they’re trying.
But back to animals. The profit maximisation obligation means that speed is crucial in corporate slaughterhouses. This one kills 1300 pigs per hour (yes, I had to read that twice too). There’s no time to think about the welfare of the pigs. Many are punched, kicked, pulled along the floor with metal clamps on their mouths, they’re stunned incorrectly and herded, terrified into cramped, metal containers filled with the stench of death.
Here’s the video that COK made. But be warned, it’s quite harrowing.
This is what happens when meat production is corporate and therefore profit-driven. It’s a system that ruins everything, but it doesn’t get much worse than inflicting torture on captive animals.
Do you really want to be part of this system, and to contribute to this kind of cruelty? Here’s what you can do:
- Become vegetarian or vegan. At the end of the video, the commentator suggested that you ‘keep them off your plate’. This is the obvious option if you want to make absolutely sure that your diet doesn’t contribute to animal cruelty – although if you’re vegetarian, but eat eggs and dairy, you should think about what happens to male calves and chicks, that don’t produce milk or eggs. The vegan option is the only way you can make really sure that you don’t cause any animal deaths.
- Sign this petition – the US Department of Agriculture is considering allowing more ‘high-speed’ slaughterhouses and reducing the need for inspections. Tell them what you think.
- If you eat meat, don’t eat corporate meat, especially processed meat like Spam.
- Support local farmers whose animals are not slaughtered this way. Now you may think that this isn’t good enough, and that we should stop eating meat altogether. Here’s a discussion on whether or not it’s ethical to eat meat. Maybe one day, humans will become herbivores. It’s possible, but right now, humans eat an awful lot of meat. Let’s persuade people to a) reduce their meat consumption, and b) restrict their meat consumption to animals raised (and preferably slaughtered) on mixed smallholdings rather than animals raised in factory farms and dispatched in ghoulish ‘high-speed’ slaughterhouses.
Spam’s not quite so funny now, is it?
The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's
1John Harrison December 11th, 2015
Thanks for that post. We won’t buy pork or bacon reared outside of the UK because of welfare – but never even thought about Spam. Not that we buy it but it’s good to know.
2Dave Darby December 11th, 2015
Of course TTIP might mean we get these high-speed corporate slaughterhouses over here too.
3Andrew Rollinson December 14th, 2015
My wife and I have been vegetarian for two years now. The decision was due to cruelty such as this, and the fact that we didn’t want to line the pockets of those in the agribusiness industry. It was easy, and has been a very good decision. It is one that I would recommend anyone (who doesn’t have their own farm animals) to take on.
In addition to the meat industry being responsible for large greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation (soy for animal feed), and the recently (although long suspected) link between process meats and cancer, we found two additional benefits:
1. Our weekly shopping bill has reduced by ca. £30.
2. I feel a lot healthier.
3. Our meals are a lot tastier. We eat cheese a lot but we use spices much more.
My wife would like to be vegan as the dairy industry is not much better than the meat industry.
For those interested in exactly what the meat industry (and the corporate world) does, have a look at Morrissey’s fanzine site: http://true-to-you.net/