This Is Why

This March marks the two year anniversary of my decision to go meat-free.  I immediately made the decision after reading first-hand accounts from slaughterhouse workers about the abuse that occurs in the meat industry. It broke my heart, not only to realize the immense suffering that these animals endure, but also to realize how horribly cruel humans can be. The way that these workers discuss the deliberate suffering they inflict on animals, without any hint of remorse, makes me sick to my core.

What follows is what converted me.  They are quotes from slaughterhouse workers taken from Gail Eisnitz’s book Slaughterhouse. They are quite graphic and can be difficult to read, but I implore you to read each one.  It is important to know what our dietary desires are contributing to. Surely you can endure reading it if animals have to endure suffering it. I hope that you will be as moved as I was to take a stance against this painful, hateful, brutal industry. Every day you have a choice to support this, or not.


“I seen them take those stunners – they’re about as long as a yard stick – and shove it up the hog’s ass… They do it with cows, too… And in their ears, their eyes, down their throat… They’ll be squealing and they’ll just shove it right down there.”

“Hogs get stressed out pretty easy. If you prod them too much they have heart attacks. If you get a hog in a chute that’s had the shit prodded out of him and has a heart attack or refuses to move, you take a meat hook and hook it into his bunghole [anus]. You’re dragging these hogs alive, and a lot of times the meat hook rips out of the bunghole. I’ve seen hams – thighs – completely ripped open. I’ve also seen intestines come out. If the hog collapses near the front of the chute, you shove the meat hook into his cheek and drag him forward.”

“Or in their mouth. The roof of their mouth. And they’re still alive.”

“Pigs on the kill floor have come up and nuzzled me like a puppy. Two minutes later I had to kill them – beat them to death with a pipe.”

“These hogs get up to the scalding tank, hit the water and start screaming and kicking. Sometimes they thrash so much they kick water out of the tank… Sooner or later they drown. There’s a rotating arm that pushes them under, no chance for them to get out. I’m not sure if they burn to death before they drown, but it takes them a couple of minutes to stop thrashing.”

“Sometimes I grab it [a hog] by the ear and stick it right through the eye. I’m not just taking its eye out, I’ll go all the way to the hilt, right up through the brain, and wiggle the knife.”

“Only you don’t just kill it, you go in hard, push hard, blow the windpipe, make it drown in its own blood. Split its nose. A live hog would be running around the pit. It would just be looking up at me and I’d be sticking, and I would just take my knife and – cut its eye out while it was just standing there. And this hog would just scream.”

“I could tell you horror stories… about cattle getting their heads stuck under the gate guards and the only way you can get it out is to cut their heads off while they’re still alive.”

“He’ll kick them [hogs], fork them, use anything he can get his hands on. He’s already broken three pitchforks so far this year, just jabbing them. He doesn’t care if he hits its eyes, head, butt. He jabs them so hard he busts the wooden handles. And he clubs them over the back.”

“I’ve seen live animals shackled, hoisted, stuck, and skinned. Too many to count, too many to remember. It’s just a process that’s continually there. I’ve seen  shackled beef looking around before they’ve been stuck. I’ve seen hogs [that are supposed to be lying down] on the bleeding conveyor get up after they’ve been stuck. I’ve seen hogs in the scalding tub trying to swim.”

“I seen guys take broomsticks and stick it up the cow’s behind, screwing them with a broom.”

“I’ve drug cows till their bones start breaking, while they were still alive. Bringing them around the corner and they get stuck up in the doorway, just pull them till their hide be ripped, till the blood just drip on the steel and concrete. Breaking their legs… And the cow be crying with its tongue stuck out. They pull him till his neck just pop.”

“One time I took my knife – it’s sharp enough – and I sliced off the end of a hog’s nose, just like a piece of bologna. The hog went crazy for a few seconds. Then it just sat there looking kind of stupid. So I took a handful of salt brine and ground it into his nose. Now that hog really went nuts, pushing its nose all over the place. I still had a bunch of salt in my hand – I was wearing a rubber glove – and I stuck the salt right up the hog’s ass. The poor hog didn’t know whether to shit or go blind.”

Breakfast: Soy yogurt
Lunch: Falafel pita loaded with veggies
Dinner: Artichoke ravioli, salad and bread

7 thoughts on “This Is Why

  1. Bea Elliott

    … When I went vegan 2 years/2 months ago — One of the first books I got was Slaughterhouse… To this day, I haven’t gotten through the first few pages.

    How any culture can condone this treatment to innocent beings is unbelieveable enough… But that they can’t connect what meat eating asks of other humans to do for a paycheck is just more shocking still…

    The more I see how everything relates to the next… There’s no doubt for me, that lust for dead flesh is the most vile habit of man”kind”.
    .-= Bea Elliott´s last blog ..Beef Babies Rank Higher than Dairy Babies – Cowboy Cruelty =-.

  2. Powered By Produce Post author

    Excellent point about how each thing relates to the next. With regards to the slaughterhouse workers, the book Fast Food Nation was particularly informative about how workers who spend all day, every day killing, don’t simply become numb to it, but they actually be come disgruntled (they are in one of the worst imaginable jobs possible) and they take their anger out on the animals. It really is a vicious cycle.

  3. nancy

    I too have decided to go meat-free after reading Slaughterhouse. It is hard but it has only been a month and a half so it is not that bad.

  4. Taylor

    I am not going to go meat-free. I know everything the people in slaughterhouses is bad, but just because one person stops eating meat doesnt mean that the slaughterhouses will stop. Other people are still eating meat, so they still have a reason to kill. Just respect the meat that you eat.

  5. Pranav

    I could have cried for 100 years and it would not have been enough. The way they treat these innocent creatures can never be justified. They mutilate, punch, kick, cut them only to make sure that we all will remain selfish and fulfill our tastebuds desire. Surprizingly they are the result of our collective conscious.ess and desires. Proudly I detached myself from them. Im now a pure vegetarian, n Im sure, now iz can live a little more. We actually abuse the GOD by disgracing his wonderful creation like this. My friend, we all are part of the same SOUL, that pain and suffering will get multiplied and come back to us. So i can now prefer dying than to be a graveyard and root cause of that graveyard. LOVE you Animal and wild life…..

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