Average Slaughter Age of Commonly Farmed Animals
One of the most fascinating aspects of investigating a topic is the questions it raises that one tends to overlook for any number of reasons throughout their life and why these questions weren’t posed from the start. While many of us have seen a news piece here or there that details the hormones and antibiotics that chickens and cows are given to get them to grow as fast as possible so that there’s a shorter span between their birth and their appearance on our plates and it makes some degree of sense (keep reading, I’m not agreeing that it’s acceptable in any way)…for these businesses to maximize their profits they need the animal to sell for as much money as possible per pound with the least amount of time spent growing and consuming their resources (emphasis on ‘their’ and behold, we see a serious philosophical issue with the world we live in), few have posed the question: when are these animals being slaughtered, exactly? I wasn’t aware that cows can live up to twenty years, nor was I aware that the average age of beef cattle when slaughtered was 5% of their potential lifespan (1-2.5 years). In a previous post we talked about chick culling and how awful it is, but I didn’t fully realize we do THE EXACT SAME THING to several other animals, like male dairy cows that are slaughtered having lived .01% of their lives. It gives the word “expendable” new meaning when industry and gender match up against a newborn and they’re thrown away according to best practices.
While there is very rarely good press on the meat industry when one investigates how things are done, I can’t help but be disturbed by some of these doses of reality. I found this image on imgur.com and while it’s UK-specific, it’s business as usual throughout the developed world’s agriculture processes.