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If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls, Everyone Would Be Vegetarian
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Paul McCartney narrates a documentary produced by PETA explaining many important reasons for not eating meat— showing the horrible suffering that poultry, pigs, cows and fish are routinely subjected to in order to create meat that is eaten by people.

The official website for this video is located here.

Following is a written transcript of the video:

Hi, I'm Paul McCartney. I've often said if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.

Animals raised on modern factory farms and killed in slaughterhouses endure almost unimaginable suffering. I hope that once you see the routine cruelty involved in raising, transporting, and killing animals for food, you will join the millions of people who've decided to leave meat off their plates for good.


Chickens and turkeys are arguably the most abused animals on the face of the planet, they are crowded into filthy sheds by the tens of thousands, and forced to live in their own excrement.

Chickens and turkeys are selectively bred to grow so large, so fast, that many become crippled under their own weight.

Workers in slaughterhouses and on mechanized farms are poorly paid, and their work often goes unmonitored. Many investigations into chicken and turkey slaughterhouses have revealed shocking cruelty that goes beyond the standard abuses, such as this recent footage from a top turkey producer.

The ends of the sensitive beaks of chickens are cut off, causing chronic pain which lasts for more than a month.

Hens used by the egg industry are crammed into cages so small that they can't do anything that is natural or important to them, not even spread a single wing.

The ends of their sensitive beaks are cut off with a hot blade causing chronic pain that studies have shown last for more than a month.

Chickens are intelligent animals whose ability to reason in some instances is greater than that of dogs or children. Chickens are also very social animals, with an elaborate "pecking order"— or social ranking system. Yet hens used by the egg industry are confined to tiny cages for their entire lives. This causes their muscles to waste away, and their bones to deteriorate and break from lack of use. Their feet become lacerated, and their bodies bruised and cut by standing on wire for eighteen months before they are sent to the slaughterhouse.

At the end of their miserable lives, chickens and turkeys are forcibly packed into crowded cages and transported for hours through all types of weather conditions without food or water.

At the slaughterhouse, these bird's legs are forced into shackles and their throats are cut— many while they are still completely conscious.


Pigs are more intelligent than dogs, even outperforming some primates on a variety of tasks, such as operating interactive video games. They have cognitive abilities beyond three year old Human children. Yet on factory farms, they are imprisoned in crowded, filthy conditions. Many will go insane from the stress, abuse, and complete lack of mental stimulation.

The practice of killing sick or undersized piglets by "thumping,"— meaning smacking them against a concrete floor, is a common practice.

Breeding sows are treated like machines— forced to churn out liter after liter. They give birth in barren stalls without enough room even to nuzzle their piglets. Conditions are so dismal in today's pig breeding facilities, that the sickness and death of piglets is common, and considered acceptable by the industry.

Pigs are bred to grow unnaturally fast, which causes injury, sickness, and constant pain. They are then subjected to grueling transport before being killed.

Stunning by the "electric tong" method is unreliable, which means that many pigs remain completely conscious while their throats are cut.


Cows never forget a face or a place, and they have complex problem solving skills. Cambridge University Professor Donald Broom documented the fact that these gentle animals become excited and even sometimes jump into the air when they have figured out a solution to a problem.

This dying cow is flopping and screaming after being dropped down onto the concrete floor from a consiterable distance, with its meat being packaged as being killed in a supposedly Kosher manner.

Cattle used for meat and milk are fed an unnatural diet to maximize growth and milk output that causes them to be constantly bloated and in pain.

During the winter, they are crowded into filthy congested sheds, in much the same way as pigs and chickens, and in some cases they are even kept indoors all year round.

Female cows produce milk for their offspring, not for human beings. Cows in the diary industry are kept perpetually pregnant to keep the milk flowing. Their calves are taken away from them shortly after birth, which causes both of them profound distress. On today's diary farms, mother cows are treated as nothing more than milk machines. Some are genetically manipulated to produce ten times more milk then their calves would naturally suckle. Several times a day, they are hooked up to these machines that can cause painful mastitis from repeated milking.

When they are no longer useful for milk production, they too are sent to slaughter, usually to be ground up for burgers and soups. Wether they are raised for meat or milk, cattle endure a harrowing journey to slaughter at the end of their lives, some don't even survive the trip. As with pigs, the stun gun is often ineffective, causing even more agony.

Ritual slaughter is at least as cruel as conventional slaughter methods, the meat from these animals was certified as Kosher by the largest Kosher Certifier in the world— the Orthodox Union.


There is a scientific consensus that fish are intelligent, and have distinct individual personalities. They can use tools, and have sophisticated memories.

Dr. Sylvia Earle, a leading marine biologist, says "I never eat anyone I know personally. I wouldn't deliberately eat a grouper any more than I'd eat a cocker spaniel. They're so good-natured, so curious. You know, fish are sensitive, they have personalities. They hurt when their wounded."

They also feel pain in the same way as mammals do, and yet, they are killed by the billions, in ways that would be illegal for any other species. Massive trolling nets capture hundreds of tons of animals, as they are dragged along the ocean floor. When they are hauled onto the ships, the animals suffer from decompression, are suffocated, or are crushed under the massive weight of all the other bodies. Dolphins, whales, turtles, and "non-target" fish— what the fishing industry calls "by-catch"— are all routinely snared by hooks and entangled in nets, their bodies dumped back into the ocean.

Environmental scientists are sounding the alarm about the tragic state of the world's oceans. If we continue the fishing industry's rape of the oceans at the current rate, marine scientists tell us that the oceans will be empty of fish by the year 2048.

Aquaculture, or underwater factory farming is also horribly abusive to animals. Fish are forced to swim in their own waste, in congested, toxic cesspools where disease is rampant. Conditions on some farms are so horrendous that 40% of the fish die before farmers are ready to kill and package them as food.

Fish consumption is the number one cause of food poisoning, and the only significant means by which humans are exposed to Mercury— a documented poison that causes a wide range of neurological problems.

Wether the flesh comes from an animal with four legs, two legs, or no legs, all meat is truly red meat.

Other Issues with Meat Production

Modern meat production is responsible for recent outbreaks of Mad Cow Disease, SARS, bird flu, and other diseases. And animal products are often contaminated with a bacterial stew including Capylovacter, Salmonella, and E. Coli.

Animal flesh is often contaminated with deadly bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella.

Consumption of animal flesh, all of it is riddled with fat and cholestoral is also a prime contributor to today's epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Studies show that vegetarians are less prone to these diseases.

And if you care about the environment, please note that according to United Nations scientists, eating meat generates about 40% more greenhouse gasses, the gasses that cause climate change, than all the world's transportation systems combined. The UN report also states that eating meat is one of the top contributors to land degradation, water shortages, and air and water pollution. If we care about the environment, cutting meat out of our diet is the most important action we can take.

(Editor's note updated March 28, 2012— This video is extremely effective in documenting horrible conditions which animals face in slaughterghouses as well as other associated problems such as health issues and toxic pollution created as a byproduct of meat production. However it is important to note that the climate change issue is strongly debated. Also it is shown that Mad Cow Disease may actually be caused by consumption of fungal contaminated grain as well as meat, and diseases such as the Swine Flu and Bird Flu may actually be originating from the pharmaceutical industry itself.)


It is only prejudice that allows anyone to think that there is difference between abusing a cat and abusing a chicken, or abusing a dog and abusing a pig. Suffering is suffering, not matter how you slice it.

Eating meat is bad for our health, it is bad for the environment, and it directly supports apalling crulety to animals.

The decision is yours. Please make the compassionate choice, and please share this with a friend, thank you.

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