9 Ways How You Can Stop Animal Cruelty in Slaughterhouses

9 Ways How You Can Stop Animal Cruelty in Slaughterhouses

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Dennis Kamprad

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In the United States, slaughterhouses have been exposed as the animal abuse factories that they are, thanks to the handful of animal welfare organizations that have been brave enough to conduct undercover investigations—even in defiance of “ag-gag” laws. They have documented and exposed the brutal, inhumane, savage, and otherwise cruel and unnecessary killing of animals. We understand the desire to help put an end to slaughterhouse animal abuse.

To stop animal cruelty in slaughterhouses, the best way is to expose the issue to raise public awareness and demand a change in the industry. Public pushback should include enacting laws to protect the rights of farmed animals. Donating to animal rights groups also helps to stop animal cruelty.

If you want to know how you can help to stop animal cruelty in slaughterhouses, this article has numerous actions you can take to do just that. From signing petitions and donating funds to lobbying for legislation or joining an activist group, there is something for everyone who wants to help fight to stop slaughterhouse animal cruelty once and for all. Let’s get into it!

Support Animal Rights Organizations

It was once believed that farm animals were slaughtered cleanly and routinely in a method that was minimal in stress and pain. However, as we have come to find out, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

We know about animal cruelty in slaughterhouses largely in part to animal rights groups and other brave, concerned animal lovers who have gone undercover to see what really happens at these places and then shared this information with the public. Such investigative discoveries would not be possible if it weren’t for concerned animal rights activists’ financial support, such as yourself. 

Here are a few organizations to consider supporting:

Animal Equality

Animal Equality is an international animal protection organization aimed at creating a world that respects and protects all animals. 

With highly-qualified professional investigative teams in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and India, this group conducts investigations, strategic campaigns, and innovative projects to expose and abolish animal cruelty in farming.

Animal Recovery Mission

The vanguard not-for-profit organization, Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), is committed to ending extreme activities in animal cruelty worldwide. ARM has operations that target illegal slaughter farms and other forms of animal cruelty and uses a direct-action approach to investigate, record, and expose animal cruelty.

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States fights the big fights against animal cruelty, working to end all forms, including animal cruelty on farms with animals raised for slaughter. This organization has been incredibly successful and holds a long list of accomplishments in a quest to achieve a humane society, and it is certainly worthy of your support. 

Animal Justice Project

Animal Justice Project is based in the U.K., with activities in Europe and the U.S. as well. This organization investigates animal exploitation and abuse in farms and laboratories. It then takes its findings to social media and press releases to make the message heard and raise awareness worldwide. 

Humane Farming Association

The Humane Farming Association has conducted investigations resulting in tremendous media attention, including an exposĂ© called “They Die Piece by Piece,” which ultimately led to the U.S. Senate to pad the USDA’s budget with $1 million to fund enforcement of the Humane Slaughter Act throughout the country. With your support, this group can continue to make big changes.

World Animal Protection

World Animal Protection has promoted humane slaughter in China and Brazil since 2007, which has protected over eight billion animals from inhumane slaughter. 

The organization has worked with food companies, scientists, and governments, providing straightforward advice, practical training, and encouraging farms to slaughter humanely. Their work is also helping to introduce humane slaughter in Cambodia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. 

Supporting these and other organizations is critical to helping end animal cruelty in slaughterhouses. Without their dedicated search to expose and terminate cruel practices, the problem could still be unchecked by a public that is grossly unaware of what is going on in the meat and livestock industry and factory farms worldwide.  

Join the Animal Protectors

Animal Equality makes it easy to take action to help animals by inviting you to be part of its team of activists pushing for change in the meat and livestock industries. Join the Animal Protectors and speak up for animals quickly and easily, no matter where you are, with simple actions like posting on social media or sending emails. 

This is a great way to help raise awareness and advance the cause, particularly if your schedule doesn’t easily allow you to join an activist group.

Become an Animal Rights Group Member and Get Active

If you’re looking to do more than post information to social media or send monthly donations, you could always join an animal rights organization and help fight animal cruelty directly. Pick an organization with a mission statement and action plan that best matches your own and start advancing the movement starting with your local community

You’ll be personally involved in organizing protests, raising awareness, and bringing an end to animal cruelty everywhere. 

Boycott Certain Meats or Change Your Diet

The Humane Farming Association campaigned for a National Boycott on veal for several years, which was named the United State’s most successful animal rights boycott. When HFA began the boycott, veal production was the meat industry’s most rapidly growing sector. 

With years of continuous campaigning, including major media publications and television ads, annual veal production plunged from 3.4 million calves to below 500,000.

HFA also used full-page advertisements to help raise public awareness of the veal industry’s cruel use of the growth-promoting drug clenbuterol, which was used to alter muscle tissue to improve meat tenderness, water-retention, and color. 

The sweeping national publicity about the use of this illegal and toxic drug informed millions about the cruelty and hazards existing in veal production, which helped to pressure the industry to rid clenbuterol from its operation. 

The success of the HFA veal boycott demonstrates the power this kind of protest has. When corporate greed or business practices keep the focus on profit and not product quality, environment, people, charity, or anything else that makes a sound, ethical business, the bad things tend to happen. 

However, when the public refuses to patronize the business, there is little choice left but to change operations or lose its customers

You can start a personal boycott campaign in your life starting right now. Make the decision to stop eating certain meats or eliminate them entirely and opt for a vegetarian diet.

Stop Speed Slaughter

Slaughter “line speeds” have been allowed to increase and, now, threaten the welfare of billions of pigs, chickens, cows, turkeys, and other farm animals, which already are subjected to needless suffering and inhumane handling throughout their factory-farm lives. 

Still, animals aren’t the only ones who suffer from the speed slaughter systems carried out at factory farms. The truth is that this cruel and painful killing also hurts consumers, workers, farmers, rural communities, and the environment. 

Faster line speeds have made compliance to humane handling regulations and laws incredibly difficult, which puts animals at greater risk for abuse, including being conscious during painful death.

Take action and speak out against animal cruelty occurring from speed slaughter methods by joining the ASPCA Regional Advocacy Field Team (RAFT). Strengthen your advocacy efforts and support the Farm System Reform Act. This act proposes a bold reformation of the failing factory-farm industry to create a more humane food system.

The Farm System Reform Act seeks to put an immediate ban on developing “concentrated animal feeding operations” (CAFOs) and work to eliminate CAFOs altogether by 2040. It would also provide farmers with funding for assistance with higher-welfare farming transitions as well as create legislation to protect the environment and contract farmers from poor treatment and harm at the hands of factory farms.

Petition Governments to Change Laws

Changing the public’s attitude and raising awareness about animal cruelty in slaughterhouses is great for advancing society toward transformation, but changing laws is also incredibly effective at fighting animal cruelty and ending it once and for all. 

One way to influence this is to write letters directly to the politicians and government officials responsible for writing and revising local policies in your area. Any letters requesting action against slaughterhouses will carry more weight if you can back them with a petition to show that others support the issue as well.

In the United States, farmed animals typically are exempt from animal protection laws, but many states have implemented limitations on farming practices that use “intensive confinement.” Such practices involve detaining animals in small confinements that restrict an animal’s ability to move around or even fully stand up. For instance, hens and chickens are held in battery cages without any space to stretch their wings.

Most state laws regarding animal protection are focused on companion animals and otherwise domesticated pets. Furthermore, farmed animals, animals slaughtered for food, are often left out and excluded from many animal protection laws. 

While every state now has a felony law against animal cruelty on its books, each state has its own definition as to what constitutes cruelty and its own penalties for such. 

There are only two federal laws that protect animals intended for slaughter: the “28 Hour Law” and the Humane Slaughter Act. 

28 Hour Law

The “28 Hour Law,” established in 1873, requires all vehicles containing specific animals intended for slaughter to stop and allow the animals some access to water, food, and exercise every 28 hours. 

However, this law is not applicable if the vehicle transporting the animals provides access to water or food. Several other exceptions exist as well. For example, turkeys and chickens—the nation’s most-farmed animals—are exempted according to the federal government.

Humane Slaughter Act

The Humane Slaughter Act (short form for the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act) was passed in 1958 and amended twenty years later. This act requires that animals are first stunned before slaughter so that they are unconscious in order to minimize pain. 

Again, turkeys and chickens are not protected by this law. Additionally, government inspectors have found the enforcement of this law to be “inconsistent.”

Since most animal protection laws are legislated and carried out by the state, you should reach out to your local governments to address slaughterhouses in your area. Whether you are trying to take on the issue at the town, county, or state level, any move you make to prevent animal cruelty in slaughterhouses gets you closer to victory and relief for all the animals involved. 

Go Undercover to Expose Issues

Not everyone will have the stomach for this, but there is no better way to raise awareness and create public outcry about animal cruelty in slaughterhouses than to get the truth out in the open. While it’s no secret that animal cruelty occurs in slaughterhouses, the effort to stop it is still largely undersupported. 

The animal abuse topics are underreported in mainstream news, notably in the United States, as the decline in original media has most news outlets staffed with commentary editorialists instead of investigative journalists. The HFA National Boycott of Veal was so successful largely due to its widespread and continuous exposure of information to the public. 

When it comes to public awareness, if it’s out of the public’s sight, consider it out of the public’s mind.

Timothy Pachirat, the author of Every Twelve Seconds, took a job at a slaughterhouse over a decade ago to see for himself the industrialized violence from a worker’s perspective. He determined, first and most obviously, that society at large—including many working in the slaughterhouses themselves—is hidden from the violence that occurs with industrialized killing. 

Beyond this, he uncovered that slaughterhouses are controlled by bureaucratic mechanisms and structures best-associated with Auschwitz death factories. 

He observed complex yet deliberate layouts to slaughterhouse production, including that the actual killing was performed by a small group of mostly immigrant workers who carried out their work behind opaque walls, typically in isolated areas far-removed from urban centers. 

Furthermore, the added political aspect of undocumented workers that are desperate and willing to take on these jobs that most of us are unwilling and unable to endure not only allows for cruel and inhumane treatment of the cows by the workers but also the cruel and inhumane treatment of the workers by the management pushing them to meet industry expectations. 

Worse yet, even at that time, the meat and livestock industries were lobbying “ag-gag” laws to protect their reputations. This is by making it a crime for anyone to expose the operations of slaughterhouses and other animal facilities—be it printed, audio, or video material—without the slaughterhouse owner’s consent. 

Such actions demonstrate the meat industry’s cognizance of not only its wrongdoings but also the growing public awareness and the threat this posed to the industry. 

The interview Timothy gave wherein he shared this information (linked above) is recommended reading to anyone who isn’t already aware of these disturbing, worker-perspective, or political details responsible for animal cruelty in slaughterhouses. 

Particularly for those who think they may have the will, determination, psychological maturity, and strong-stomach to take on this ever-critical and effective approach to finding, exposing, and ending these unsettling practices. 

Help Get Pigs out of Factory Farms

According to WAP, 95% of pigs are cultivated on factory farms that prevent natural behavior, including environments that confine three out of four mother pigs to small cages during pregnancy that prevent them from turning around. Indeed, factory farming is a leading cause of animal cruelty all over the world

You can help stop this abuse and sign the WAP Raise Pigs Right pledge. Supporting the demand for better conditions on factory farms helps to save pigs worldwide from cruel and inhumane treatment.

Put an End to Worker Abuse

Once you go deeper into understanding the complexities of raising animals for slaughter and the animal cruelty occurring in the industry, you find that it has less to do with the misconstrued idea of disgruntled, cruel, and sociopathic employees. It has much more to do with unethical practices and business politics. 

Indeed, a lot of animal abuse coming from workers stems from the workers being abused themselves. More often than not, undocumented immigrants are forced to work in horrific conditions doing unspeakable things to produce unfathomable quotas. 

In order to save animals from cruelty in slaughterhouses, we must also help save the workers from cruel and inhumane treatment. Becoming familiar with this side of this issue can also help you strategize a more effective approach to stopping animal abuse. 

For instance, you may be able to pass workers’ rights laws in your state easier than animal protection laws, but a properly worded legislation for workers could lead to relief for the animals as well. 

Final Thoughts

As slaughterhouses become isolated and society continues to urbanize, the disconnect between animals raised for slaughter and the neatly wrapped packages of meat available at the grocery is growing ever distant. This stands to threaten the wellbeing of animals and increase animal cruelty in slaughterhouses even more. 

By taking a stand and speaking out against these terrible practices, you can help to finally put an end to animal suffering.

Stay impactful,



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