Whilst doing my research into the British meat industry, this is something that really hit me and made me question how justifiable eating meat could possibly be. Like most people, I always thought to myself that farm animals had long, happy, healthy lives before being sent to a humane slaughter. I think this is something that we all tell ourselves, although deep down we know that all these animals are killed at a horribly tender age and that there’s no such thing as a humane slaughter. It’s murder, whether we think it’s justified or not.
But a good life? Can such a short lifespan really ever be considered ‘a good life’? Even if they were living on a 5* luxury farm complete with piggy pedicures and farmyard facials, I still don’t think being slaughtered so young can even qualify as ‘a good life’.
Look at the poster below. Take a good look. It’s pretty shocking when you think about it. I know that when I first looked into this I realised that it wasn’t something I’d ever really considered. Even ‘lamb’ – the clue’s in the name right? But even though I knew it was lamb I never really pictured a lamb when eating lamb. It’s amazing what associations we let our minds make and what we managed to ignore or suppress.
If a person dies at these equivalent ages (so with a life expectancy here in the UK of nearly 81 years – that would be the equivalent of being killed between the ages of 1 hour old and 9 years old. Hardly what we’d ever term ‘a good innings’ is it? however a happy life a child might have, if that child dies before it’s tenth birthday it’s considered an absolute tragedy to die so young; before his/her life had really even begun; what a waste; how incredibly sad.
So how on earth do we justify taking the lives of these animals at such a tender age? We can’t really can we if we really stop to think about it. but somehow we all turn a blind eye and billions of animals are slaughtered every year way way before their time. That’s the real tragedy.