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The Problem of Animal Cruelty in America: Cows

  • Subject: Science
  • Category: Zoology
  • Essay Topic: Cows
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1905
  • Published: 25 October 2021
  • Downloads: 28
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The goal of this paper is to express how great of a companion a cow would make, as well as what currently goes on in slaughterhouses today, depict what happens to cattle currently, and state the overall types and fees as well as how to take care of cattle. Currently, cattle are being used as farm animals, there are different ways a cow can be used in the farming industry such as meat, milk, and the breeding industry. Cattle are being used and slaughtered and Americans are doing absolutely nothing to help solve this current issue.

Our country is turning a blind eye not wanting to come to terms with the fact of how animal cruelty is occurring everywhere, more importantly speaking about cattle. Cow; the term meaning “a bovine animal” a slow moving animal. This is an animal that is known to be very intelligent, and can remember things for a very long time.

Cattle are alive, they are animals that live and have a brain as well as a personality. There is a story about this one cow, and this shows just how much they truly care about living, just like humans. A cow in Virginia named Isabelle was about to be loaded onto a freighter bound for Venezuela when she turned around, ran back down the gangplank, and leapt into the river. Even though she was pregnant, or perhaps because she was pregnant, she managed to swim all the way across the river, eluding capture for several days. She was rescued by PETA and sent to a sanctuary. When workers at a slaughterhouse in Massachusetts went on break, Emily the cow made a break for it. She took a tremendous leap over a 5-foot-tall gate and escaped into the woods, surviving the harsh New England winter weather with the aid of concerned local residents who began watching for her and leaving out hay for her to eat. When she was caught several weeks later by the owners of a nearby sanctuary, the public demanded that the slaughterhouse allow the sanctuary to buy her for one dollar. Emily lived out the rest of her life in peace in Massachusetts. Her life is a testament to the fact that eating meat means eating animals who don’t want to die.

A slaughterhouse is a highly efficient facility where animals are slaughtered to harvest their meat for human consumption.Slaughterhouses used to be much smaller and with fewer regulations and efficiency. Before the Industrial Revolution started emptying rural areas in favor of highly populated cities, many small farms slaughtered their own animals. They then sold their meat to people they knew in their communities. As more people flooded cities, the demand for meat increased and slaughterhouses started opening up in cities. The main problem with that, however, was the health and sanitary concerns. Having animals housed and slaughtered so close to where so many people were living drew outcry. New laws emerged and slaughterhouses started spreading to the peripheral, out of sight and out of mind. The combination of slaughterhouses becoming more desolate and the urbanization of society started what has now become an enormous disconnect between people and their food. This disconnect is exactly what the meat industry wants as it makes their consumers more likely to eat meat and not think of the products as slaughtered animals.

Cattle barely survive feedlots, dairy sheds, and veal farms face an appalling trip to the slaughterhouse. They are crammed onto trucks where they typically go without food, water, or rest for the duration of the journey, which can sometimes be days. Many cows collapse in hot weather; in the cold, cows sometimes freeze to the sides of the truck until workers pry them off with crowbars. It’s disturbing the abuse these animals face.

By the time the exhausted cows reach the slaughterhouse, many are too sick or injured to walk. These cows, known to the meat and dairy industries as “downers,” often have ropes or chains tied around their legs so that they can be dragged off the trucks. Of those animals who arrive at the slaughterhouse healthy enough to walk, many are frightened and don’t want to leave the truck, so they are shocked with electric prods or dragged off with chains. “Uncooperative animals are beaten, they have prods poked in their faces and up their rectums,” says a former USDA inspector. After they are unloaded, cows are forced through a chute and shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun meant to stun them. But because the lines move so quickly and many workers are poorly trained, the technique often fails to render the animals insensible to pain. Ramon Moreno, a longtime slaughterhouse worker, told The Washington Post that he frequently has to cut the legs off completely conscious cows. “They blink. They make noises,” he says. “The head moves, the eyes are wide and looking around. … They die piece by piece. Another worker, Martin Fuentes, told the Post that many animals are still alive and conscious for as long as seven minutes after their throats have been cut. “The line is never stopped simply because an animal is alive.” Because the industry makes more money the more animals it kills, workers who stop to alert officials to abuses at their slaughterhouse risk losing their jobs. The meat industry thrives on a workforce made up largely of impoverished and exploited workers, many of them immigrants who can never complain about poor working conditions or cruelty to animals for fear of being deported. The best way to help put an end to this cruelty is to stop eating meat and other animal products. Order PETA’s free vegetarian/vegan starter kit today for great tips and free recipes to help you make the transition to an animal-friendly diet.

The mother/calf bond is particularly strong, and there are countless reports of mother cows who continue to call and search frantically for their babies after the calves have been taken away and sold to veal or beef farms. Research has shown that cows clearly understand cause-and-effect relationships—a sure sign of advanced cognitive abilities. For example, they can learn how to push a lever to operate a drinking fountain when they’re thirsty or to press a button with their heads to release grain when they’re hungry. Researchers have found that cows not only can figure out problems but also enjoy the intellectual challenge and get excited when they find a solution, just as humans do.

Cows are red-green colorblind. In a bullfight, its the waving of the cape that attracts the bull not the red color. A cow’s heart beats between 60 and 70 beats per minute. Cows can hear lower and higher frequencies better than humans. An average dairy cow weighs about 1,200 pounds. A cows normal body temperature is 101.5°F. The average cow chews at least 50 times per minute. The typical cow stands up and sits down about 14 times a day. An average cow has more than 40,000 jaw movements in a day. Cows actually do not bite grass; instead they curl their tongue around it. Cows have almost total 360-degree panoramic vision. Cows have a single stomach, but four different digestive compartments. Cows are pregnant for 9 months just like people. A dairy cow can produce 125 lbs. of saliva a day. Cows spend 8 hours per day eating, 8 hours chewing her cud (regurgitated, partially digested food), and 8 hours sleeping. You can lead a cow upstairs, but not downstairs. Cows knees can’t bend properly to walk downstairs. Cows can’t vomit The average cow drinks 30 to 50 gallons of water each day. The average cow produces 70 lbs. of milk, That’s 8 gallons per day. Cows only have teeth on the bottom. Cows have a great sense of smell. They can smell something up to 6 miles away. Dairy cows are an economic job creating machines! 1 dairy cow creates 4 full time jobs in the local community.

Sixty-two percent of all US households—more than 72.9 million total—include one or more companion animals, according to the American Pet Products Association’s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey. Most often they are dogs and cats, but horses, birds, rabbits, goats, gerbils, snakes, rats, mice, fish, amphibians and other species also share our homes and our lives.

Often companion animals are our best friends, confidants, and help make the family complete. When asked to list the 10 most important individuals in their lives, 7- and 10-year-old children included an average of two pets on their lists. In another survey, 42% of 5-year-old children spontaneously mentioned their pets when asked, “Whom do you turn to when you are feeling sad, angry, happy, or wanting to share a secret?” Pets not only provide love and affection—they may even help keep us well. Recent studies have linked pet ownership to lower blood pressure, reduced stress, less incidence of heart disease, and lower overall health care costs. In short, companion animals make us happier and healthier.

In the United States, animal protection laws can be enacted and enforced at every level of government. Most animal protection legislation happens at the state level. There are also a handful of federal animal protection laws. Additionally, some cities and counties pass ordinances to protect animals. This is why it’s critically important to advocate for better animal protection laws with lawmakers in all government bodies. Each has the power to help.

Those costs were running around $400 per cow just 15 years ago. However, during the past several years, producer costs have surged sharply higher and now average nearly $900 per head per year. That represents a 225% increase or nearly 5.6% annually in the past 15 years. Generally speaking, a cow will cost between $2,000 and $5,000 a cow. The actual cost depends on the weight of the cow, the gender, and the breed. Yearlings usually sell for between $800 and $1,500. Cows will also differ in price based on whether or not they are dairy cows or beef cows.

Thus, throughout all of this there is so much going on in the cattle world that nobody knows or thinks about. Including the cruelty in the slaughterhouse, how they have a personality. Most importantly though it discusses how they could be rescued and live a natural life by being a companion animal. They have a personality and will to live just like all animals so why should they be treated like this.


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  • Dohner, Janet Vorwald. The Encyclopedia of Historic and Endangered Livestock and Poultry Breeds. Yale University Press, 2001. JSTOR, Accessed 20 Mar. 2020.
  • Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefort Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. Https://” doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.
  • FLUSSER, VILÉM, and Rodrigo Maltez Novaes. Natural:Mind. Edited by Siegfried Zielinski, University of Minnesota Press, 2013. JSTOR, Accessed 20 Mar. 2020.
  • HOELLE, JEFFREY. Rainforest Cowboys: The Rise of Ranching and Cattle Culture in Western Amazonia. University of Texas Press, 2015. JSTOR, Accessed 20 Mar. 2020.
  • McInerney, Jeremy. The Cattle of the Sun: Cows and Culture in the World of the Ancient Greeks. Princeton University Press, 2010. JSTOR, Accessed 20 Mar. 2020.
  • “Monoclonal Antibody 3A1.” Cattle Personality, July 2020, doi:10.32388/g5m9tc.
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