the Killing of Animals
Some individuals are so upset after seeing animals being killed
that they stop eating meat on the spot. In some cases, this
experience occurs during childhood. For example, the following
woman, now 35, became vegetarian when she was five years old:
I was visiting my grandparents on the farm. I remember being
real upset by it. I saw the whole process from the animal being
alive and petting it [to] then seeing it butchered. I have vague
memories of it now, but I remember it happening and refusing
to have anything to do with eating animals after that.
People who are raised on farms have a good deal of exposure
to farm animals. Having the opportunity to experience an emotional
bond with an animal, only to see it later sent to slaughter,
can result in a strong predisposition to vegetarianism later
in life. Jenny, a dietician, recounted a particularly painful
experience from her past:
I was raised on a farm and did not like killing chickens from
an early age. I exhibited a champion Black Angus 4-H calf who
cried when I left it. Actually, we both cried. I knew then that
he knew what was in store for him. I didn't eat meat for a long
time after that. The above accounts suggest that children are
especially sensitive to the killing of animals. Perhaps this
is because they, unlike adults, have not yet been strongly conditioned
into believing that slaughtering and eating animals is normal
and appropriate. Over time, the ability of most children to
empathize with animals becomes blunted by a culture that treats
animals largely as objects to be used. For many adults, however,
the sight of animals being slaughtered can be just as upsetting
as it is for children.
A visit to a slaughterhouse, in particular, is a grim experience
that can make a vegetarian out of the hardiest meat-eater. The
following woman visited a slaughterhouse to find out for herself
what happens: I decided to take a visit to one of the abattoirs
just down the road from where I lived at the time. The smell
of blood and fear made me so ill I had to cut my visit short.
I went out to the car and threw up, and cried for ages. I have
not eaten meat since that day. If the impact of slaughterhouses
is so powerful, then how do people manage to work in them and
continue to eat meat? First, there is probably self-selection
occurring, such that workers who are sensitive to the suffering
of animals quit after a short time and find employment elsewhere.
after working in a slaughter house for a period of time, most
people become emotionally desensitized. Although the first few
hours and days might be difficult, after witnessing thousands
of animals being killed, even a sympathetic person would exhibit
little emotional reaction.
"RAJA DRIVES BACK HOME"
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