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They Die Piece by Piece

Written by PETA | November 23, 2010
GollyGforce/CC by 2.0

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

Commenting is closed.
  • Linnielynn says:

    What kind of human beings are these? Cruel!  Malicious!

  • lisa says:

    Whoever designed that killing machine is not a human being and as for the slaughter workers kicking blood into the faces of the dieing cows and standing their watching them struggling to get back onto thier feet well words cannot describe the anger and disgust that you feel when you watch this, they are not worthy to live on this planet.

  • Arwen says:

    I had to stop looking this vedeo after a short time. My stomache was about to get twisted 🙁 This is so disgusting and inhuman and the most cruel thing is that those, who eat the flesh and meat of this poor souls have no idea how cruel the animals died before they were made to Hamburgers, sausages and all that stuff. It is inhuman and inaceptable to allow the industry that they rather accept an animal dying suffering and still concious than stop the work and bring it to death in a “human” way (however killuing could be human). When Hitler killed all thos innocent people the world screamed, but when those men kill animals like this, where is the world then?!?!?! I am not against eating meat, but I want to be sure that an animal had a great life and no suffering in dead! It is the way how we are raised up and how our consumer habits effect our eating at least! So I beg you all to eat no meat or reduce it to once a week. This could avoid the cruel killing and suffering of soooo much animals!!!! I don’t eat flesh for about 20 years right now and I am feeling good and I am as healthy as all the others around me. It is not worth to risk the suffering of others just to get your stomache filled!!! Think about this!

  • Rob says:

    YEAH! NOW DO SOMETHING ON CHILDLABOUR! ”Oh people are so sick”, yeah and you’re lazy for sitting behind a pc, posting that on a forum.

  • MP says:

    We are living hell! We all like to live and die peacefully. Animals like same. They feel, They see, They communicate. Oh god where are you?

  • Arwen says:

    This is the worst thing I ever saw. It is disgusting and wouldn’t let someone know that humans are better than any animal in the world. How can they treat those animals like this? I had to stop the video because my stomach was twisting 🙁 I am ashamed to be a human sometimes and I beg you, please stop eating that much meat. A lot of animals wouldn’t have to suffer if you would do so!

  • BECOT Florence says:

    Arrêtez ces HORREURS ! Bande de salauds !

  • sam says:

    just when you think people cannot sink any lower – there they go again, cant even watch the video,looking at the picture is enough for me to guess what will follow – why so senselessly cruel?

  • konkona says:

    A lot of people do know about the cruelties that take place in slaughter houses but that sadly donot stop them from eating meat. In fact people who are vegetarians are made fun off. No matter what, people eating meat will always outnumber vegetarians. Even in India a lot my hindu friends eat beef surreptitiously (specially the younger generation simply because it is taboo to do so at home). Buffaloes are still sacrificed at Hindu temples & the meat is distributed among the devotees. With economic growth, Indians today are being introduced to inhumane food like veal, foie gras through 5star restaurants. These things are not going to change any time soon, all we can do is make sure that the animals getting slaughtered are treated in a better manner.

  • Jacob says:

    I eat meat, I respect the opinions of vegetarians/vegans but I do eat meat however this is disgusting. Surely there are far more humane ways of ending the life of a cow for consumption, this is simply psychotic.

  • Alok says:

    These people should be given the same treatment in the open public so that they should know that what it feels when it happens with these innocent and speechless animals. I pray God that this earth should end. It has become a hell.

  • diya says:

    When PETA do such videos and people protest that they would rather save and animal than a human being and some other dumb person says “well why not save human beings? They are your race after all”…well this is why! Human beings are so full of themselves that they think they can torture an animal this way – I can’t even try to understand how a person would kick blood in the animals’ face when it is dying…DISGUSTING!

    Ow well those people will go through the same thing one day or the other coz karma WILL bite them back.

  • Tony says:

    Actually its proven that the only two animals on earth that can cry are Elephants and Humans, so theirs a little fun fact for you. Also, please don’t put the personality of a cow with that of a human being.

  • Leong C.F. says:

    It makes us wonder why we did it and feeling no remorse about it

  • JoieDeVivre says:

    This video is horrendous… so evil… This is what people are paying for when they buy meat… This is why I’ve had to turn my back on my own family members that still eat meat and think nothing of where it comes from…  

  • monfab says:

    This is why I became VEGAN…1 year and going strong. Thanks for the reminders PETA even though I wish that they werent so constant 🙁

  • Eileen Young says:

    The people that own these places are SICK, the people who work there are SICK as well. The Governments are SICK too! How can anyone with a conscounce condone this terrible act of inhumanity to defenceless animals. I hope they all rot in H===, because God did not expect people to act like barbarians. These people have NO SOUL.

  • Eileen Young says:

    The people that own these places are sick, the people who work there are sick as well.    The Governments are sick too!   How can anyone with a conscounce condone this terrible act of inhumanity to defenceless animals.   God did not expect people to act like barbarians.    These people have NO SOUL.

  • AHumanWithASoul says:

    How can people be so terrible that they can murder those animals, that in no way did any harm to them, and then roast their flesh and eat it. I don’t understand why some people think they are so superior to those animals when we are animals ourselves. It sickens me.

  • reece says:

    screw PETA, they tell us not to eat our food, why dont they tell them something. huh? yeah, its our fault for surviving. they annoy me, especially because even when animals die quickly they still go on a rampage.

  • Alicia V. says:

    This made my blood boil. The anger inside me never changes. I have stopped eating red meat all together and the chicken we eat is all organic. We also eat cage free organic eggs. I wish we could stop eating meat all together but we’re not there yet. I take solice in knowing that the animals we consume are eaten completely, not wasted, and their lives were once fulfilling and they lived and died with respect.

  • Gina says:

    “Just because you are a human does NOT mean you have to eat meat. We have evolved-there are many other choices that don’t involve the suffering and slaughter of millions of innocent living creatures.”

  • Metricking says:

    Yet we go to war for more inferior reasons. Liberate animals now!

  • Kimmy Grace says:

    This just makes me so sick. How can anyone eat meat after seeing what we put these poor animals through.

  • Krissy says:

    Sorry RAT KING but animals in the wild eat their prey alive and screaming. Like alligators, wolves, bears, birds and others. And it’s not called a happy cow farm, it’s called a “slaughter” house, so I really don’t think the meat industry is hiding anything by openly calling it a place that kills for food. And this all depends at what slaughter house this was done, they are not all so horrible and terrible. Because really….is anything ever that simple?

  • Concerned! says:

    If humans do this to animals what can they do to other humans. Theres a reason these kind of people work in these places… they seek it out!

  • HeidiB4 says:

    Being a vegetarian because of things like this~ I do know there ARE “humane” ways to kill animals if they must. THIS is absolutely savage and unspeakable. There is NO reason or excuse that animals should go through this! Those people make me sick!

  • Folsom Mom says:

    I am guilty of eating meat. I use to eat it everyday but many years ago when I watched how they treat and slaughter animals I have cut down. It is very hard to change eating habits and I admire people who have cut all meat out of their diet. My wish is that the animals that give up their lives for us were given a humane, decent, caring life and death!!!

  • Ana Claudia says:

    i couldnt watch everything..why people do this?only for a piece of meat…

  • carolem says:

    I don’t purchase animal flesh, and wish this was all abolished. The poor animals being treated this way, why, no wonder the world is in shambles….

  • Linda says:

    Unfortunately this will continue.

  • sarah says:

    Sorry but cattle can not cry….

  • Tammy Karaba says:

    What a sad thing to see. What a great point to make PETA about how different countries won’t eat certain animals. It should be an eye opener for many current meat eaters – if you don’t think you should eat a cat or a dog then why would you think it is ok to eat a cow? Or visa versa, if you don’t think it is ok to eat a cow then why would you eat a cat or a dog? The good news is that meat eaters are half way there meaning they just need to be enlightened about becoming vegan and how they are thinking and then maybe more meat eaters will join us in our graceful plan to abolish the torturing of all animals, worldwide by becoming vegan. Tammy

  • AP says:

    I can’t view this and I’m not. I don’t like humans.

  • bsarver says:

    I wish I could do more than just send my membership $ every year and be VEG…PETA What can I do to stop this?!?! I WANT TO HELP MORE!!!


    Bsarver, you can get more information from the following links:

    Thanks for your continued interest in helping animals!

  • MA Moo says:

    People who work in slaughterhouses are serial killers in the making! Violence begets violence! Vegan lifestyle is the path to peace!

  • elvira Myers says:

    I am not a vegetarian. I have tried it but somehow, with a great deal of guilt I still eat a steak or fish. I know it is being hypocritical and if I could get into the rut of not eagting meat at least most oof the time I would. This does not m,ean that I do not feel angry at the treatment of animals before slaughter Oh h—l that is just trying to talk myself out of this corner. Is there any way I could really DO something? Anbody there? Please help!!!

  • prairiegal says:

    Human beings are sick!!! They can’t even slaughter an animals humanely so they don’t feel any pain. No wonder I care more for animals and would rather save an animal than a human.

  • RAT KING says:

    This is so awful – why this planet must be **** on earth just because of the human being? I just can’t understand it! How can human beings do this to helpless animals! When an animal kills another animal it is not the same thing – but when a human being kills an animal it is hideous, it is against human nature and dignity because it is not meant for humans to do this! So I urge, ask, beg on my knees everyone who has a heart to stop eating meat! The human being CAN live without meat and everyone who knows about this and continues to eat it becomes guilty sharing this horrific criminal abuse! Please think about it!

  • sarah says:

    shocking , when i thought the meat industry couldn’t get any more barbaric than it already is… all those who consume flesh should be reminded of the suffering and cruelty that goes into every delicious bite of that burger.

  • MA Moo says:

    Meat is Murder! I made the connection a long time ago when I found out about horse slaughter. What amazes me is the people who will eat a cow or pig, but choke at the thought of eating a cat or dog. It is very cultural, in India they would never eat a cow, but we do in America. In America we would never eat a dog, but they do in south east Asia. I haven’t eaten a mammal for 20 years! People have got to see this, then and only then will the consumers be informed! Educate thru media! Go ARME & PETA!

  • Robby Mac says:

    That is enough to make anyone not want to eat meat. How can anyone ever work in a place like that!!

  • Corrin Ruiz says:

    This is SOO SAD!!!

  • Doganalp says:

    I cannot believe that, its horrible! Even this video is enough to do not pay for animal flesh.

  • eduardo says:

    Stop the slaughter!

  • kellybobelly says:

    happy cows come from california

  • Levinson says:

    I love PETA

  • Silvia says:

    Horrible, cruel, inhuman

  • Chloe says:

    This is insanely sick and needs to stop! The USDA needs make it illegal not to use CAK or to salughter animals while they are fully concious. The reason animals move around and make loud noises is because they are in pain and it hurts like hell! Would slaughterhouse worker want this to happen to them? No! So they shouldn’t be allowed to do it to animals.