Written by PETA
Downed cows—those who are
too sick or injured to stand up—are of little use
to callous cattle auctioneers. So when a cow collapsed at a Texas livestock
auction company, what did the employees do? They simply wrapped a chain around
her leg, attached the chain to a truck, dragged the cow into a dirt lot next to
the auction area, and left her for dead. With no food or water, she would have eventually died from
dehydration or succumbed to her illness or injury.
saw the cow being dragged to the lot and left there, but when he saw that she
was still in the same spot three days
later, he called PETA.
After making several phone calls to the auction company owner, we were able to
convince him to euthanize the dying cow and spare her from one moment more of suffering.
neither "downers" nor this kind of treatment of them is unusual on factory farms,
at auctions, or at slaughterhouses.
By simply swapping meat-based dishes for their scrumptious, meatless counterparts, we can avoid
supporting facilities that treat living beings like broken-down farm equipment.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
It's been more than 20 years since I read about the "downed cow" in a PETA newsletter and became a vegetarian on the spot. Now, out of Texas comes another veggie-maker of a story.
A whistleblower at the JBS Swift slaughterhouse in Cactus, Texas, told PETA that he went to investigate after the slaughter line was stopped, and he was horrified to discover the cause: After having been hoisted by one of her hind legs and having three of her hooves hacked off, a conscious cow was thrashing and struggling so violently that workers were unable to continue to butcher her. A supervisor finally killed the cow by shooting her twice in the head with a handgun—a full 20 minutes after she should have been rendered unconscious with a captive-bolt gun.
PETA immediately filed a complaint with the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which responded by investigating the plant and initiating a "humane handling–related enforcement action." Since then, the FSIS veterinarian at the plant has reportedly almost doubled the amount of time spent supervising the "stun and stick areas."
Tragically, this is not an isolated incident. Because slaughter lines move so quickly and many workers are poorly trained, stunning with a captive-bolt gun (which fires a bolt into the animal's brain) often fails to render animals unconscious. In fact, slaughter expert Temple Grandin advises slaughterhouses to strive for a failure rate of 5 percent (which adds up to millions of conscious cows who are slaughtered every year). One slaughterhouse worker told The Washington Post that he frequently has to cut the legs off completely conscious cows. "They blink. They make noises," he said. "They die piece by piece."
Feeling sick to your stomach yet? Take one vegetarian/vegan starter kit and call me in the morning.
Written by Alisa Mullins
This landmark bill is the first of its kind in the nation to protect sick and injured farmed animals from further torture. Animals on factory farms suffer such injuries so frequently that the industry has a term for them: "downers." Downed animals can suffer immensely as they are either dragged to slaughter or left to die from their ailments—a truly unimaginable hell to suffer through. I think that our downed cow story really had an impact on the passing of this bill. The story is just completely heartbreaking, compelling, and all too common. The good thing is that this story really inspired people to do the right thing and get this bill PASSED.
The frequency of this is staggering. Each year, millions of animals arrive for slaughter either already dead or too sick or injured to walk. This comes from a lifetime of abuse on factory farms, followed by transport to slaughter through all sorts of weather extremes.
"California cannot allow unscrupulous slaughterhouse operators to endanger the safety of America's food supply and engage in grotesquely cruel practices. [This bill] is an important step toward … basic decency to farm animals, and I am delighted that the Governor has signed it into law," said Assemblymember Krekorian, who introduced the bill.
Now if only federal laws were changed to extend this most basic consideration to farmed animals nationwide …
Posted by Sean Conner
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.