Plant Based Bride

One woman's thoughts on the science and morality behind the choice to live without animal products. And possibly a blog post or two about centrepieces.

The Humane Meat Myth

As more and more information regarding the cruelty of factory farming comes to light, the general public is clinging to the idea of 'humane' meat as an alternative.

The problem?  Humane meat doesn't exist.

The Humane Meat Myth // Plant Based Bride

Excluding the possibility of cultured or clean meat becoming available and then affordable in the future, we have no way of producing meat for human consumption humanely.

Let's first look at the definition of humane:


(h)yo͞oˈmān/   adjective

  1. having or showing compassion or benevolence.

    "regulations ensuring the humane treatment of animals"

    synonyms: compassionate, kind, considerate, understanding, sympathetic, tolerant.

So, for something to be humane, it must be compassionate.

The question becomes, is it actually possible to raise and kill animals for meat compassionately?

The answer is no.

Compassion requires concern for the suffering of others, and a refusal to contribute to that suffering.

Animals can and do suffer, not just on factory farms, but on all farms.

All farms that raise animals for meat see their animals as commodities, not as individuals.  Anyone who placed the health and happiness of an individual before profit would never kill someone they purport to care about.

What about standard farming practices that cause unnecessary pain and fear?  What about branding, dehorning, castration, and the separation of babies from their mothers hours after birth?

These practices are standard, meaning they are not seen as cruel and are widely practiced throughout the animal agriculture industry.

And then, of course, there is always that nagging fact that for us to eat meat, we have to murder an individual.  No matter how 'happy' a cow may be during her life, even after all of those standard practices in farming that cause her to suffer, she will still be slaughtered long before her natural death would have occurred.  Cows, pigs, and chickens feel terror and pain when they are killed - this is not speculation, it is a fact.

Even the transportation to the slaughterhouse is a traumatic one.  Packed into a truck with no room to move, often subjected to extreme heat and/or cold, and forced to urinate and defecate where they stand leads to confusion and terror.

All animals, no matter where they are raised, will end up in a slaughterhouse that uses the same practices as every other slaughterhouse.  Practices that routinely cause individuals to be skinned or dismembered alive.  How can this unnecessary and violent end to their lives be seen as anything else but suffering? 

How could this ever be considered humane?

Until next time,