Opinion: A look into the meat industry

Sanjana Iyer is a sophomore fashion merchandising major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected]

Sanjana Iyer

According to News Observer, an average of about 150,000 head of cattle are slaughtered on a weekly basis by each of the biggest meat producing companies in America.

Most citizens like to start their day with a slice of bacon, then proceed to fast food joints to have the rest of their meals, completely unaware of the exactly what they are putting into their bodies, the procedure that really goes behind this meat extraction, and the appalling amount of cruelty inflicted upon these animals, just to satisfy their dietary preferences.

In the last couple of months, several reports have revealed the nature of Tyson’s meat production. Statistics have shown that Tyson, one of the nations 100 biggest companies, slaughters 135,000 head of cattle per week, as well as 41 million chickens and 391,000 hogs.

The consequences of this industry for these animals have been absolutely catastrophic.  

As far as chickens are concerned, the very basis of their breeding has been centered on creating an enormous body and breast size, so that when they are eventually butchered, their meat is highly profitable. This is both unhealthy and unethical, and puts them through the most brutal suffering imaginable.

Nicholas D. Kristof from the Daily Astorian revealed in his article for Poultry Science journal that if humans grew at the same rate as modern chickens, they would weigh about 660 lbs. at the age of two months.

Furthermore, the entire poultry industry feeds ensures that animals are consistently fed antibiotics and various types of drugs to ensure that they grow at an abnormal rate.

Humans then ingest these drugs when they eat this meat, severely damaging their health.

These are just a few of the many examples of the astonishingly unhealthy nature of the meat industry in this country. And it is baffling how so many people are willing to put food into their body, the nature of which they are completely unaware of.

While it is natural for humans to consume meat for nutritional purposes, the modern meat industry has completely neglected an ethical basis for the treatment of animals. From breeding to butchering, animals are being put through completely unnecessary torture. They are chained, drugged, caged and bred in the most appalling conditions. There are hundreds of thousands of innocent lives here that are being created only to be butchered.

 As if it is not terrible enough that species are going extinct every year thanks to human carelessness, breeding animals only to torture them and kill them is an all-time low for our species. We claim to be superior in intellect, and knowing that we take advantage of all those that are inferior to us.

It is our basic ethical responsibility as human beings to protect these species and not inflict unnecessary harm upon them.

We have made an absolute mockery of our superiority in the food chain, which is evident every time a new species goes extinct. The meat industry, by far, is the biggest manifestation of this.