‘If abattoirs had glass walls, would you eat meat?’

2011-09-05 00:00

WHAT happens when the stun gun fails and you hear the animal’s screams across the abattoir, as its throat is slit while still alive and its body violently convulses in the final moments of life?

If you’re Steven Smit, spokesperson for Animal Rights Africa (ARA), you stop eating meat and start fighting for animal rights.

“It’s a non-necessity. We’re not biologically built to eat meat,” Smit said.

With the knowledge we now have of animals and the similarities we share with them, such as the capacity to feel pain and anxiety, and the desire to roam freely in a safe environment, Smit simply cannot condone the use of animals for human consumption in any of its forms.

Roopchand Dhanilal, the guru and spiritual leader at Mountain Rise’s Hindu ashram, said “the world would be a better place” if people stopped eating meat.

He has been a vegetarian for 45 years, after his guru “threw light” on him.

Dhanilal said when you hear the screams of animals being killed your heart is touched. “After the experience you wouldn’t eat animals.”

He paraphrased Mohandas Ghandi’s words that a country reveals its values by how it treats its animals.

A cow will give us milk and plough for us, so “how can you be so ruthless in killing something that helps us?” asked Dhanilal.

Compassion in World Farming supports the “humane treatment of animals from farm to fork”, representative Tozie Zokufa said.

“We want them [all animals used for farming] to be free range.”

They are also campaigning for bigger animal pens and against battery chicken farms.

Zokufa, a former abattoir inspector, said 18,7 million chickens across the country are killed each week. Only 300 000 of those are free range.

He said if we all ate less chicken, there would be less demand, smaller production sites, better lives for chickens and ultimately healthier meat for human consumption.

But it’s not just the chickens that are reared en masse for family boxes, a side portion of chips and a fizzy drink.

Pigs are jammed into tiny stalls that are essentially crates big enough to constrain them, but not allow movement, Zokufa said.

Zokufa recalled an experience at a pig abattoir, where two women heard the screams of a sow meeting her death. They declared that day they will never again eat pork.

Cattle fare no better. Zokufa spoke about the captive-bolt pistol, the gun used to stun cattle before slaughter, which “sometimes doesn’t work”, and means the animals are slaughtered without being stunned.

Beyond the needless death and cruelty animals face, there are environmental factors to consider too. Cattle farming contributes to 18% of global warming, and a huge amount of water is needed to farm animals.

“As soon as we stop killing animals we will help fight global warming and pollution,” Dhanilal said.

Zokufa said he is sure people are very uninformed about how meat gets to their plate.

“If abattoirs were glass houses, we wonder how many people would be eating meat.”

• Large studies in England and Germany have shown that vegetarians are about 40% less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters. Eating meat is linked to various forms of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

• According to the New York Times: “Production and consumption of meat worldwide has more than tripled since 1961, and could double from now until 2050 as standards of living increase and the population doubles. As a result, vast swaths of forest are being cleared for pastures, robbing the planet of trees, which absorb carbon dioxide. Cattle and sheep also release vast amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.”

Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet.

It is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns Inc. in association with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future and is part of the Healthy Monday initiative which encourages Americans to make healthier decisions at the start of every week.

Meatless Monday is based in the United States, but meatless days (Monday in particular) are gaining popularity worldwide. Meat-free Mondays exist in the United Kingdom both as an advertising campaign for Goodlife Foods and as an environmental campaign. On June 15, 2009 Paul McCartney and his daughters Stella and Mary launched a Meat-free Monday campaign with an official website. - Wikipedia.org

Meatless Monday

MEATLESS Monday is an international campaign that encourages people not to eat meat on Mondays, to improve their health and the health of the planet.

It is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns Inc in association with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Centre for a Livable Future, and is part of the Healthy Monday initiative which encourages Americans to make healthier decisions at the start of every week.

Meatless Monday is based in the United States, but meatless days (Monday in particular) are gaining popularity worldwide. Meat-free Mondays exist in the United Kingdom, both as an advertising campaign for Goodlife Foods and as an environmental campaign. On June 15, 2009, Paul McCartney and his daughters Stella and Mary launched a Meat-free Monday campaign with an official website. — Wikipedia.org

 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.