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Slaughterhouse webcams.
March 13, 2002 7:54 PM   Subscribe

Slaughterhouse webcams.
Would you eat meat if you were confronted by images like this every time you ate it?
I wouldn't.
"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1870

Warning: graphic pictures.
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger (51 comments total)

 
Would you read MeFi if you were confronted with posts like this every time you came here?

I wouldn't.
posted by dogmatic at 8:06 PM on March 13, 2002


I like my steak bloody.
posted by smackfu at 8:12 PM on March 13, 2002


That's nothing. I used to work in a bakery and had to witness the suffering of countless innocent yeast.
posted by jonmc at 8:12 PM on March 13, 2002


Wow, thanks for that utterly worthless comment, dogmatic.

An interesting link, TTT, although I question the veracity of the cams.

How well does a tactic like this work for converting non-vegetarians, I wonder? It had little-to-no effect on me. Will meat-eaters seek out a site like this?
posted by Marquis at 8:13 PM on March 13, 2002


Those aren't webcams, they're stills from a video or something, played through from the start each time someone clicks on them. Calling them webcams is not just a lie, but a lie that implies that the "real thing" isn't graphic enough to make their point. I know that's not true, but the inplication is there.

And yes, I'd still eat meat. Just because it comes in plastic packages at the store doesn't mean I've forgotten it was part of a living animal.
posted by Nothing at 8:13 PM on March 13, 2002


Oh, good. We haven't argued about meat for a whole day.
posted by ColdChef at 8:20 PM on March 13, 2002


i have this dream that the slaughterhouse process is much cleaner, more efficient, uses stainless steel instead of plastic buckets, and that it is thoroughly anticeptic.

i will continue to eat meat, but it DOES bug me that i have no idea where any particular cut of meat i eat comes from or how it got to me. it DOES bug me that i'm so totally removed from the process. not because i feel like i need to be mourning the deaths of all of the cows, but because i have this creepy suspicion that the market economy doesn't lead the people doing the raising killing and packing to be concerned primarily with the common good -- and i put their meat into my body and trust it to fuel me and not to kill me.
sometimes i think the only think to do is try to be a radical vegitarian again.
but then again, sometimes i think the only way to come to any sense of spiritual peace about my actions and how they correspond to my personal sense of morality and responsibility is to completely bow out of society and become a monk.

i doubt i'll do either. but i'll sure feel guilty and conflicted as i continue to eat my hamburgers.
posted by milkman at 8:24 PM on March 13, 2002


I think the premise of seeing what you're eating being killed is a good one. But I doubt any such establishment would go along with it.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:27 PM on March 13, 2002


Marquis: When I was a petulant teen I watched a graphic slaughterhouse and animal brutality tape. It turned me vegetarian for just over two years. I don't think a site like this is going to change someone like smackfu's mind but it might reach some.

Nothing: Couldn't it be that they employed this method of doing things so that every visitor gets the same experience? Not much point in having a real webcam because half of the time you'd just get an empty room with the lights out. Plus, I'm not sure how many abattoir owners would be cool with you monitoring them 24/7...
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 8:27 PM on March 13, 2002


TTT:

That's fine. Just don't call it a "webcam" then.
posted by argybarg at 8:29 PM on March 13, 2002


Those ultra-cute animal logos are hilarious. We're not being manipulative! Honest!

For most of human history, people lived side by side with the animals they ate. (That's why so many human diseases are also animal -- zoonotic -- diseases, like the flu.) And most of those people got on just fine knowing intimately what was required when they desired to eat meat. My God! You have to KILL the animals? Well, friggin' duh -- what'd you think before?
posted by dhartung at 8:38 PM on March 13, 2002


How about a webcam of how plants are brutealy treated when they are sent off for us to consume
posted by jmd82 at 8:40 PM on March 13, 2002


oops, there was supposed to be some stupiduty tags around my stupid remarks.
posted by jmd82 at 8:41 PM on March 13, 2002


Just because it comes in plastic packages at the store doesn't mean I've forgotten it was part of a living animal.

I'm with Nothing on this. I actually don't understand why these pics should deter someone from eating meat. I have known since I was a little kid that meat comes from dead animals, and having seen a few dead animals, I also know that they're bloody and messy. Whereas I respect someone's choice to not eat meat, I personally have no moral qualms about it, in the full knowledge that the process that leads to it is a bit messy -- that's why we cook it.

And if the point is that these are poor, alive creatures whom we have no right to kill: says who? Carnivorous animals don't have any qualms about attacking and eating the animals that are their natural prey. We're fortunate that we're high enough on the food chain that we have the ability to eat animals if we choose without (normally) being eaten ourselves.

If you want to be a vegan or a vegitarian, fine -- I will never criticize you for doing so. But please afford me, and the rest of meat-eating humanity, the same respect.
posted by elvolio at 8:48 PM on March 13, 2002


Damn, I'm hungry for a steak now.
posted by Xkot at 8:55 PM on March 13, 2002


Read Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation for the skinny on modern meatpacking.

The animals sure don't have a fun time of it, and the people who work at the big slaughterhouses are treated hideously as well. Hunger for ever-increasing profits has fueled ever-increasing line speeds which in turn fuel ever-increasing accidents and injuries for the poorly-paid, poorly-protected workers.

Oh yeah, and I quote from the book "There's shit in the meat." Just in case you didn't know.

And I still eat beef after reading the book, heh. I enjoyed munching down on my Taco Bell [tm] taco while looking at the "webcam" (sic) pix.
posted by beth at 9:01 PM on March 13, 2002


"murderers!" the vegetarian screamed at us, as she stalked away in her gucci shoes and prada handbag...
posted by bwg at 9:01 PM on March 13, 2002


Would you eat meat if you were confronted by images like this every time you ate it?

yes
posted by eyeballkid at 9:14 PM on March 13, 2002


"murderers!" the vegetarian screamed at us, as she stalked away in her gucci shoes and prada handbag...

good call! real good call, in fact. amazingly good call.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:30 PM on March 13, 2002


You never really had a steak until you have ate at the Golden Ox in the Kansas City stockyards. The place is your typical dark wood decor with big huge ranchers sitting around with big huge steaks. The best part is that among the typical pictures you'd find in a steahouse (strangers standing around, circa 1940) one picture had a cow hanging up, similar to the one on the webcam. I like how they put all their cards on the table before serving you. Suspiciously, I don't remember a single vegetarian course. Of course you don't go to the middle of the stockyards in a town whose nickname is "Cow Town" and expect to get asparagus. My point? Oh yeah, this is no big deal to us burly meat eaters.
posted by geoff. at 9:37 PM on March 13, 2002


Vegan v. Carnivore thread? Is it Wednesday already? Damn how the time flies.

Mortons!
posted by UncleFes at 9:48 PM on March 13, 2002


One time I had to look a sheep in the eye not long before it was slaughtered and turned into BBQ, which I ate. I guess if that experience did nothing to decrease my appetite for meat nothing will. It also seems to me that this whole idea of there being something wrong about killing animals for food is very American (though, of course, not unique to America). I grew up in Eastern Europe, and I never encountered anyone there who found the idea of eating meat problematic. In fact, a lot of tradition is attached to meat-based meals.
posted by epimorph at 10:10 PM on March 13, 2002


I'd much rather look at pictures of captive animals being slaughtered for food just before I eat than be forced to look at 'wild & free' animals doing things like this.
posted by blackholebrain at 10:12 PM on March 13, 2002


Guinness is not Vegan-safe. “Animal-derived finings continue to be used in all Guinness- and Bass-produced beers.”

Just thought you'd all like to know that.
posted by mikhail at 10:12 PM on March 13, 2002


So when I'm drinking Guiness, I'm also getting a healthy does of animal based nutrition? Added bonus. I was going to buy Killians this weekend, but I think I'm going to go for the Guiness thanks to that tasty morsel of information.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:25 PM on March 13, 2002


I knew Schlosser would definitely get a mention.

I have to say, it does affect me, but I don't think I could stop eating meat. I'd eat less meat for health reasons, though.
posted by jetgrrl at 10:49 PM on March 13, 2002


Being a chef school snob, one of the best and most valuable parts of my education was learning more about how the cow goes from saying moo in the barn to saying yum in my mouth (scientifically speaking).

What I find interesting is that people will eat chicken breasts, but think that eating chicken hearts is somehow cruel and awful. (Interestingly, offal is the term to describe much of the (red) meat people think is gross.) But I love that historically, meat eating cultures were conspicuously non-wasters. They'd use everything because of the seriousness of what they were doing. Meat was valuable because it was bloody, messy, difficult, and took the life of another creature. So you ate it's brains because to throw them away was a compounded cruelty. Plus, well-cooked brains are very tasty. (As are chicken hearts, by the way.)

Still, this qualifies as slaughter-porn. I'm not comfortable looking at images of gratuitous female exploitation -- and this isn't exactly entertainment-fare either. Just as Disney will take Quasimodo and try to turn him into a sappy children's storybook character, this stuff is manipulative in the opposite direction. (did I just equate Disney to porn, or the slaughterhouse cam to porn? does it matter?)
posted by terceiro at 11:04 PM on March 13, 2002


My mom always told me they gave the cows sleeping pills and then smothered them with velvet pillows...

If god didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make 'em so darn tasty?
posted by planetkyoto at 11:08 PM on March 13, 2002


Give meat a chance.

Has anti-meat beaten Nader yet?
posted by owillis at 12:45 AM on March 14, 2002


My family has run cattle...and yep, I've loaded them in a truck and sent them to slaughter, then had steak for dinner...with a lovely cabernet. (Not a chianti fan, really...and fava beans go with absolutely nothing.)

I wear leather, I drive a big ol' truck, I own guns, and I eat beef. Lots of beef. Rare, bloody, barely not moving beef. Trot it past the table before you serve it; beef. And I'm good with those choices.

You don't want to eat beef? Don't. More power to ya. But don't expect the carnivores in the crowd to applaud you...we don't care. Go, eat salad, be free. Leave me alone...I got something bleeding on the grill. :)
posted by dejah420 at 1:02 AM on March 14, 2002


It's not like all that extra animal is going to waste because we don't eat it, terceiro. People still use every part of the animal, and in our industrial society, we have some many more uses now. There's always bones and hooves for gelatin, various bits go to substances that are used in plastics, fuel treatments, and paint, and of course, some of the extra does into animal feed. I'm sorry that dogs and cats (and sheep and cows) are gobbling up the tasty animal brains now instead of most people, but that must be a personal loss.
posted by meep at 2:32 AM on March 14, 2002


Please, Matt, build me a user-comment filter.
posted by kv at 2:55 AM on March 14, 2002


To be fair, the post is about factory slaughterhouses, not (directly) whether or not people should eat meat. It is definitely possible (I know from experience) to eat meat and still think the slaughterhouses need to change.

[kv: Heh, I've thought that myself a few times this week.]
posted by Nothing at 3:02 AM on March 14, 2002


Would I still eat meat if...

the answer is most likely yes and no. After I had seen some terrible footage of how pigs were slaughtered on a factory line style, as they hung in panic from their hind-hoofs from the ceiling on some strange rotating band that brought them through the queing up to be killed process - i stopped eating all pig-meat until I could get back to the farm-brand that i know doesn't practice stressing the hell out of the screaming pigs before they kill them.

I'm with Nothing - slaughterhouses (some of them) really need to change their practices. It's simply not neccisary for a pig to scream in angst for 20 minutes before he's killed. Or for sheep to travel packed in trains for 38 hours before they get to the slaughterhouses. Meat i don't know how it got there - I won't eat. Luckily I'm close to farms that do it differently - it's more expensive but worth it since happy pigs (all their lives that is) just plain taste better.
posted by dabitch at 4:22 AM on March 14, 2002


once again, someone makes a slightly anti-meat comment, and everyone jumps on him.

and they say meat isn't addictive...
posted by jcterminal at 4:30 AM on March 14, 2002


You never really had a steak until you have ate at the Golden Ox in the Kansas City stockyards.

The other thing about the Golden Ox (and other KC steakhouses) is that when the waiter comes around to take your order he (usually it's a he) is pushing a cart that has all of the different cuts of meat wrapped in plastic so that he can tell you about each of them -- often while pointing to a chart showing where each of the steaks came from on the cow. If you look around the room you'll see a bunch of people peering very closely at the gory details of two cuts of meat, comparing their weights.

And the best part is the iceburg lettuce, slice of tomato, two cucumbers and ranch dressing 'salad' which hasn't changed in 50 years.
posted by milkman at 4:45 AM on March 14, 2002


meatfilter.com
posted by melimelo at 6:10 AM on March 14, 2002


I thought dogmatic's comment was pretty funny. Pass the A-1 sauce.
posted by adampsyche at 6:11 AM on March 14, 2002


You don't win friends with salad!
posted by GriffX at 6:38 AM on March 14, 2002


Suggestion to TiggleTaggleTiger: Posts of this sort normally result in a lot of "oh yeah? well, I'm a vegetable rights activist!" crap from the omnivores. They rarely if ever convert anyone who wasn't at least seriously on the fence to begin with.

I am very sad and weary from the abuse I get from angry omnivores who are, in turn, reacting against the self-righteous propaganda put out by the more extreme veggie factions. I'd just like to eat my soy products in peace, and I don't consider trying to convert meat-eaters to my cause any more noble than when fundies try to bring me round to the love of Jebus.

If it bugs me when aaronshaf feels the need to try and save my soul, I'm sure it bugs many here to have to look at this kind of thing. Please do your fellow vegetarians a favor, and try not to provoke their ire, OK?
posted by Fenriss at 7:26 AM on March 14, 2002


I am a pseudo-vegetarian (or whatever you call someone who still fishes and eats his catch) but not because of images like those at this site. The animal is killed with a single, quick bullet to the head. Whatever happens to the carcass afterwards is for shockvalue but it doesn't do anything for me.

What concerns me is the treatment of the animal before the slaughterhouse. The hormones, the close-quarter living conditions of some, and how pathetic and abusive it appears to me. I chose not to support it.
posted by Qubit at 7:28 AM on March 14, 2002


I am very sad and weary from the abuse I get from angry omnivores who are, in turn, reacting against the self-righteous propaganda put out by the more extreme veggie factions.

word.

less "stop eating meat!" links, more "tasty soy!" links we all can enjoy (or at least pretend to enjoy -- or think about possibly enjoying).
posted by fishfucker at 8:57 AM on March 14, 2002


Fabulous link! (I really genuinely enjoy soy foods, but I'm willing to accept that I may be a total freak.)

Here's where I get much of my beany goodness. They've got veggie jerky! It's really great! No, really...
posted by Fenriss at 9:14 AM on March 14, 2002


Wait, they have to *kill* animals so that I can eat meat? You're kidding, right? My worldview has been thoroughly rattled this morning.

Does every other thread have to be "You're wrong and evil...and here's a site to prove it!"? Frankly, I don't care what any of you eat, so long as it's not Soylent Green.
posted by Danelope at 10:13 AM on March 14, 2002


"Soylent Green... is... people!!"
"Yeah, but it tastes delicious. If you don't want yours I'll take it."
posted by owillis at 10:22 AM on March 14, 2002


I'm reminded, especially by milkman's comment, of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, where the waiter is actually the cow you're going to eat, and it shows you the best parts of its body, and then when you've ordered it says "Okay, I'll go back to the kitchen and shoot myself now, and your food will be ready shortly."

I was a vegan for about a year, and I felt better in every way. Not so much a moral choice as a health choice. There was a lot of cooking involved, but when I quit, it took me quite a while to put meat in my mouth without wanting to gag. Anyone else read Diet For A New America? A bit dated now, I suppose, but quite disturbing.
posted by bingo at 10:25 AM on March 14, 2002


slaughterhouses need to change

slaughterhouses (some of them) really need to change their practices

What concerns me is the treatment of the animal before the slaughterhouse.


You may want to check out the work of Dr. Temple Grandin. She specializes in the design of humane slaugterhouses. A high-functioning autistic, she herself has a very interesting story to tell about how she perceives and processes information visually, well worth checking out.
posted by groundhog at 10:31 AM on March 14, 2002


Frankly, I don't care what any of you eat, so long as it's not Soylent Green.

It's not Tuesday, so I'm stuck without my Soylent Green for the week. ::sigh::
posted by Modem Ovary at 2:19 PM on March 14, 2002


Anyone been to meatfilter lately?
posted by xammerboy at 5:54 PM on March 14, 2002


Mmmm...Man Beef...
posted by DakotaPaul at 7:40 PM on March 14, 2002


Some of us DO KILL and cut and package the meat we eat. I just had elk burger sloppy joes and will be making pasties this weekend of some antelope burger. I might go fishing on sunday.

Hunting is cheap meat. I grew up killing cows, chickens, pigs, birds, elk, deer, buffalo so we could eat them.
posted by Whistlepig at 9:28 PM on March 14, 2002


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