Is Wagyu beef worth the cost? Not to the cows who are killed for their flesh. A PETA Asia whistleblower recorded footage of cows moving their tongues erratically after being fed an unnatural diet, cows forced to stand in inches of feces, and workers slapping a calf in the face. The disturbing footage reiterates that Wagyu cows, a specific breed native to Japan, live anything but the lives of luxury—full of massages and troughs of beer—that U.S. consumers are led to believe they do. PETA breaks down the top five reasons never to purchase Wagyu.
Top 5 Reasons Never to Eat Wagyu
1. Cows Exploited for Wagyu Never Get to Graze
Most cows in Japan never eat fresh grass because grazing land isn’t available. In footage recorded by a whistleblower, cows are forced to stand under the scorching sun or in inches of their sludgy feces when they’re not confined to cramped indoor stalls where their faces are often shackled between metal bars.
2. Workers Burn Cows’ Sensitive Horn Tissue Off
Most types of cows are born with tissue that will develop into horns. While not all Wagyu cows have their sensitive horn tissue removed, the majority of the ones raised for their flesh do. Workers often remove the horn tissue or the horns themselves from cows’ skulls using hot irons, caustic chemicals, sharp metal scoops, blades, or handsaws. Dehorning is usually performed without painkillers.
3. Mother Cows Cry for Their Calves for Days
Mother cows are loving parents who, when given the chance, create meaningful relationships with their calves and the rest of their herds. Tragically, most cows raised for the meat and dairy industries are intensively confined, leaving them unable to fulfill their most basic desires, such as grazing with their families and nursing their young. Calves are forcibly separated from their mothers in the livestock industry when they’re still very young, and the mothers call for their babies for days after workers take them away.
4. Why Does Wagyu Flesh Look Marbled?
Wagyu cows are forced to gain massive amounts of weight and eat feed with minimal vitamin A, which naturally occurs in the grass Wagyu aren’t allowed to graze on, so that their flesh will be “marbled” with fat after they’re killed. Vitamin A deficiencies can cause loss of vision in cows, but the marbling of their flesh is all the industry cares about.
5. Cows Suffer Whenever They’re Used for Food—Go Vegan
More than 29 million cows suffer and die in the meat dairy industries every year in the U.S., and their experiences largely mirror those of the ones exploited in Japan. Workers gouge off calves’ horns, separate them from their mothers shortly after birth, and force them to spend their entire lives on industrial farms where they’re kept in filthy, cramped conditions. As long as humans keep buying products such as steak and cheese, cows will continue to suffer. Try vegan Wagyu beef instead!
If you want to help cows and all other animals exploited by humans, go vegan today.