A recent Global News article has surfaced with heartbreaking images of horses in crates waiting on a tarmac to be flown to Japan for slaughter. Live horses like these are shipped from an airport in Winnipeg, Canada, at least twice a year.
After the U.S. ruled in 2007 that horse slaughter plants close, Canada became a major horse meat supplier for countries including Japan, Switzerland, and Kazakhstan. Horse meat has also been found in Canadian supermarkets, and more than 54,000 horses were slaughtered within Canada’s borders in 2016.
But the U.S. is not an innocent party. According to the ASPCA, about 137,000 American horses were trucked across the country into Canadian and Mexican horse slaughter facilities each year from 2012 through 2016. These horses included former “race horses,” “carriage horses,” and even companion horses.
Because a horse is a flight animal by nature, effective pre-slaughter stunning is incredibly difficult. Horses in absolute fear for their lives often withstand repeated blows. Sometimes horses remain conscious through dismemberment and are hung by a back leg before having their throats slit.
While you should be outraged, horses aren’t the only animals to suffer the trauma of live transport and slaughter. Cows, chickens, and pigs in the U.S. and abroad endure similar, if not worse, situations. These animals are often shipped in crowded trucks for more than 24 hours without food, water, or rest, and sometimes die in transit. Just like horses, cows and pigs often suffer repeated blows—and many chickens are even conscious when they enter feather-removal tanks to be boiled alive.
The only difference between a horse and other animals killed for consumption is your perception of them.
All animals, including farmed animals, feel pain, joy, fear, and suffering. They will fight for their lives until their very last breath.
The best way to help farmed animals is to leave them off your plate. To get started, click here.