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Ominvores Dilemma

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Running head: The Omnivore’s Dilemma: First Draft

The Omnivore's Dilemma: First Draft


Reading The Omnivores Dilemma, The Forest section goes over the life, killing and processing of animals as food. The process of killing these animals comes into question in many people’s minds, as they fear or worry the animals were treated badly in their lives, or were killed in an inhumane way. This will explain on how it is hypocritical of an individual who eats meat to have an issue with and against the ways these animals are processed.

The Feeding of Animals

Animals that are raised as livestock are there for the reason of eventually being killed and processed for food. They are fed as an animal being raised for such purposes. One would not feed an animal high grade food whenever they are going to be slaughtered and used for consumption; because they will be eaten, their food quality needs to be good, but not top end food. These animals just need to be healthy. The argument for animals needing to be fed high quality foods in these situations is absurd to say the least.

The Containment of Animals

The perception that animals are contained inhumanely is largely incorrect. While of course some operations would not adhere to the set standards, for the most part confinement of livestock is done according to established guidelines. Take the opening scene from the movie Babe, wherein a helpless piglets mother is dragged away down a dark cramped corridor, with the piglet left alone. This presents the livestock industry as cruel, heartless and dark. In actuality, most operations allow the animals plenty of space and treat their livestock humanely. Why would major corporations or even individual distributors treat their livestock harshly, whenever this affects their assets? Mistreating their animals would be for farmers like a store owner breaking their merchandise. Any animal that dies or is not healthy enough to breed or sell is a loss of money to these individuals, so it is to a farmer’s advantage to keep the animals safe and healthy.

The Killing of Animals

The actual killing of these animals is the final subject that will be discussed. The way animals are slaughtered is as humane as it can be in most reputable places. There are always going to be individuals that do it in inhumane ways or do not follow the guidelines set forth by the USDA (USDA 2012). This is what many people who are against the process use as their informational sources or use as ammunition for their argument. This is like saying that we base the reputation of an entire city or population by the individuals that are locked up or that are committing illegal crimes. If you focus on the bad seeds in each situation, you will never see the good or look at the entire picture of it. Methods that are used by reputable slaughterhouses include electrocution or captive bolts for stunning, which render the animal unconscious (Compassionate Slaughter 2011). From this point, the animal feels nothing and is unaware of what is happening, and can be killed painlessly.

Nonambulatory livestock and the humane methods of slaughter act.

This act is beneficial to the argument that it helps prevent farmers from neglecting their animals and reinforces the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. The USDA ordered the largest ever meat recall as farmers were sending in sick animals in for processing (Slaughter Act 2009). This became a huge loss to the meat industry as well as farmers, as they were hit hard by the USDA by not following regulations.


In conclusion, it would be hypocritical for an individual to eat meat and be against the slaughter of livestock. This is not an active thought in the minds of most individuals, but is sometimes brought up or shoved down the throats of citizens by animal rights activists. The portrayal of the way these animals are killed and processed will always be the narrow sight of the few, and not the overall picture of the many that do the job correctly.


Marder, D. (2011). 'Compassionate' slaughter. The Philadelphia Inquirer, F01.

Nonambulatory livestock and the humane methods of slaughter act. (2009, March 24). Retrieved


USDA. (2012, January 30). Key facts: Humane animal slaughter. Retrieved from

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