Offalgood

Chef Chris Cosentino’s educational and inspirational tool for those who are interested in learning about and cooking with offal.
Cows

Humane Cow Slaughter

View the gallery.

What can I say this was a huge experience. This is just a fraction of what it was like at the slaughter house I couldn’t snap pictures and participate fast enough to get the whole process step by step. Watching the folks there was like a ballet it was so smooth and clean and professional. I would like to thank them all for allowing me to be a part of there day and that amazing experience. Its no easy task to do that, and I can say that from experience now. This gave me a whole new understanding to the size and amount of work that goes into a cow from start to finish. To start there is not a photo of knocking the cow since it would startle the cow and not be a humane slaughter. There are very strict rules to adhere to and there is an outside monitoring group that comes in to be sure that the Certified Humane standards are being met.

Leave a Comment (64)

  1. The ignorant folk who “dislike” you and what this blog stands for are going to come out of the woodwork on this one.

    I for one thank you.

    I have never been to a slaughter house and probably never will but I can imagine how the experience was. I have participated in dressing a deer before, but I don’t think it really compares to the efficient nature of a commercial operation. Not too mention the sheer size of a cow.

    syoung68 | | Reply
  2. Thanks so much for posting this. I attended a session at a conference recently where I got to see a cow broken down by butchers, but I really have wanted to see the whole process from beginning to end. Now that I’ve seen your photos, I at least know in my head what it looks like. Thank you for sharing.

    jaye joseph | | Reply
  3. I know how you feel! I dress and butcher deer, elk and antelope and it’s a pretty heady experience. Steer are HUGE; only the elk (or a moose or bison) comes close to the scale. I’ve never quite gotten over the transformation from animal to meat. It’s fascinating, disturbing and — oddly — relaxing all at the same time. The slow, and for me quiet, process of processing a beast into steaks and roasts, etc is as intimate a connection to where my food comes from as I can imagine. Bravo to you for doing it.

    And bravo to you for having the stones to do this slideshow. I’ve shied away from doing the same because I wasn’t sure people could handle it. The head shots will probably draw a few responses, I suspect.

    Hank from Jersey | | Reply
  4. Thank you for these photos.
    I have an idea of what you experienced there.
    We witnessed several slaughters in high school for agriculture class.
    How do they stun them?

    Neal L. | | Reply
  5. What happens to all the blood? Does it jus get washed away or is some saved for puddings etc? Also, is there just a bin filled with nothing but cow feet?

    Phillip C | | Reply
  6. Chris-

    I applaud you for posting this. I believe that in today’s society we are too far removed from where our food comes from. This process on the farm looks very humane to the cows and to the workers. Often times large processing facilities try to do too much and the workers are abused almost as much as the animals. I have been able to witness pig slaughtering and that experience has allowed me to be much more mindful of my meat consumption. I personally would pay more for humane slaughter myself, as I already buy range fed meat because of my dislike for feedlot cattle.
    As a food scientist concerned with food safety and the agricultural aspects of growing food and meat for today’s in society, it makes me very happy to see Chefs and other consumers becoming aware of the processes within food production.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Ashlee | | Reply
  7. Did the guy in the Red BULL shirt slaughtering cows strike anyone else as kinda funny? Maybe it’s just me.

    JD | | Reply
  8. While I found the pictoral very hard to take, I DID feel that as a meat eater I had an obligation to view them. Thank you for posting, thank you for keeping this humane and thank you for making me think.

    mirinblue | | Reply
  9. Very interesting. For the voyeur who wants to witness a somewhat inhumane butchery plan to visit the San Fermin festival in Spain, watch a bullfight (a sport that could be good if the bull was not severely handicapped prior to the fight), and then proceed to the outdoor butcher shop at the rear of the stadium. The bulls are already dead when the are dragged in by horses, thanks to a carefully placed dagger to the cortex immediately after the matador’s pre-ordained victory. The butchers are quick and brutal, wielding axes to dismember the carcasses. Organs and other spare parts are tossed into nearby buckets. While the cleanliness would make the FDA cringe, this team of young butchers makes quick work of 6 bulls, taking about 5 minutes per bull.
    For the beef lover who likes rare/blue/raw beef this is a wonderful place to get a warm bite (on the sly).

    RB | | Reply
  10. Chris:

    Thank you for posting this. I grew up in the Amish country and never had the experience of watching the slaughter process (although I’ve seen almost everything else). I’m going to a farm in the spring to choose a lamb for slaughter, and will be there for the whole thing. Thanks for letting me see this; I feel better prepared.

    French Laundry at Home | | Reply
  11. Looks like a clean operation. I don’t have a problem looking at these photos.
    I would rather pay more for meat that has been processed with a little more attention to detail than not.
    Too bad these operations are more the exception than the rule.

    Ron Cowie | | Reply
  12. Thanks for posting this. At CIA we had to watch videos of slaughter as part of our Meat Fabrication/Butcher classes. I don’t know if they still do this, I went in the early 90′s. People should see this to truly understand what it is they are consuming, and what goes in to the process from the farmer to the processor to the chef. Love the blog all the more for the honesty of the photos.

    Michael McCullen | | Reply
  13. when i was in school, i had an opportunity to visit a slaughterhouse in Texas (though slaughterhouse is not the PC term) and saw much of the “hanging” cows but didn’t get to see the action, if you will. i also went to a chicken farm to see how chickens are “dispatched” for their general use. very interesting. as a cook or even an omnivore who is interested in things like this, you have to be able to see these things. otherwise you should be a vegetarian and i personally could never do that. i got the opportunity to eat sweetbreads for the first time two weeks ago at my new job and they were fantastic. nothing like i had imagined. texturally, they reminded me of rabbit.

    and as for this comment — “What is the difference between humane and inhumane?” — i know what the answer is: it’s inhumane to tease the protein before you “dispatch” it (people can either have a sense of humor and laugh at that because it’s funny and totally NOT my joke or become a vegetarian and send me the hate mail, not Chris).

    /oh yeah! the PC term for “slaughtering” is “harvesting”. now I remember.

    heather | | Reply
  14. With all the glitz and glamour of “celebrity chefs,” it is a relief to see the hard work and reality of putting food on the table. As a now-city girl who grew up on a dairy, I feel fortunate to have been part the process (learned how to make and smoke sausages when I was 7!) and to appreciate the people who get it to us.

    Emily | | Reply
  15. Chris, Thanks so much for these photos. Most interesting. But the only thing that’s directly relevant to whether this is humane or not is how they are killed, which you didn’t show. What happens after that moment may be aesthetically good or bad, but it is irrelevant to the ethics of the thing, which is what “humane” is about.

    Lester Hunt | | Reply
  16. I too believe that we need to know where our food comes from, so thank you for showing the process of the slaughter. It is probably the closest I will ever get to the actual process. I was prepared to be much more disturbed than I was by the photos — I’m not sure what that says about me!

    Elisabeth | | Reply
  17. These are amazing photos I love how you got just about every step of the process– I just returned from deep France, where I slaughtered just about everything I ate–and it was such a learning experiencing to actually see the cuts of meat being cut..”Oh, that is lamb chops..those are gizzards…” I think it is important we know exactly what we are eating.

    Cheers!
    Lacey

    The Road is Life | | Reply
  18. As a child of 8 or 9 , I witnessed the slaughter and butchering of a steer by my father and grandfather on his small farm in Taos,N.M. My mother was sure that I would be traumatized by the sight of the blood and gore. But I explained, as my father had told me, that I would be o.k. It was just where meat came from. And I guess I’ve been at peace with that idea for all my life.

    James | | Reply
  19. Great pictorial, though slightly misnamed? I was really interested in how these animals meet their death. I would imagine anything quick/instantaneous is pretty humane — just curious what it is exactly.

    johno | | Reply
  20. Chris, thank you for posting these photos. I have recently purchased a small farm and plan to raise some cattle for my families consumption. It was educational to see the process and know what will be in sotre for my future cattle. I worked in the grocery business for many years and think it is a shame that we as a society have lost touch with how we get that burger to the table. And I noticed that there was not any negative comments. Thank you for the education.
    Dennis

    Dennis | | Reply
  21. I believe the difference between humane and inhumane slaughter is if the cattle are taken care of with the upmost care and respect to the very end. I’m still confused as to how they die, and if it is fast and painless. I hope they are dead by the time they are hung up by their feet. I just saw the terrible treatment of the cattle in a California slaughter house–how could anyone treat an animal like this???? Those people who do should suffer the same treatment themselves–they are truely very shameful people.

    Josey | | Reply
  22. While it’s reassuring to see such clean slaughtering (actually, rendering since the actual slaughter was not photographed as far as I can tell) of these animals, and yes, it was “nice” of them to invite you to watch, It is just too perfect and everyone looks legal. These cows were impeccable creatures. So clean, sturdy and well-kept. Hardly the case for many of the dairy cows and livestock sale animals that end up at factory farm slaughterhouses with dollar signs on their busted hooves.
    After viewing the most recent undercover video of the despicable dairy cow abuse at a slaughterhouse (picked at random) this photobook especially the well poised and seemingly very attentive USDA rep posing, is just too hard to believe. Looks to me they were paying attention to detail because of the company they were keeping. Sorry, but a few bad apples DO spoil the whole bunch.

    meg | | Reply
  23. Thier notting better than put a cows head in pit, and let it over night’ to make tacitos out of it prep right meat just slides off the bone, Tounge burritos man brian tacos it really delicous.

    Ric | | Reply
  24. Thank you, for the education, I have processed many deer and pigs but the sheer size of a full grown cow,,,,,wow….also nice to see some people who eat meat respectfully slaughtering an animal……..and for those of you who don’t know what a humane slaughter is go back and look at the pictures again…..this is it…. beauty…….and for all you vegetarians …….if God didn’t want you to eat animals, He wouldn’t have made them out of MEAT!

    patrick | | Reply
  25. Very cruel indeed. I grew up on a farm in the the midwest (Nebraska) and in the outback of Australia (NSW). I have personally worked with harvesting on many farms, both mom and pop to big co-ops. To tell you the truth I never felt good about it.

    I have always felt like I have murdered a whole bunch of people in my life. I have eaten their flesh. I have boiled their hearts and stewed their brains. I have emptied their guts, chewed on their tounges, I have at times justified this for my own existence, for my own nutritional needs. I have stood on the cement and tiled floors saturated in their sticky semi-colagulated blood and felt my heart fill my soul with the blood I had taken. They were beautiful animals these bovines, this is NOT symbiosis. This is murder, and I am a murderer.

    I do not eat the flesh of animals anymore.

    Please look at these photos while you are eating your plastic wrapped processed taco flavoured beef mince. At least pay the animal that has given its life for you that respect. Please look at the pictures and imagine the cows eyes dim from life and the blood pours from its neck. Imagine what it may be thinking.

    What did I do to you? Help? Why?

    I can still hear them bellowing in the gates and bleeding on the floors. I can never forget the look of betrayl they had in their eyes.

    I do not wish to place my views on others. I only wish to give the thoughts of someone who was in the ‘harvesting industry’ for over 15 years, and some of my thoughts feelings and observations. You do not have to agree. I respect each on of you and your opinions. I have a deep understanding of both sides.

    Love to all Gods creatures.

    Bill Watson | | Reply
  26. this is TERRIBLE!!!! killing cows is killing cows. it’s an ended unfinished life…

    unknown | | Reply
  27. Thanks to Bill Watson for his insightful comments. I am moving toward a vegan diet because of the way food animals are slaughtered. While I struggle to eat tofurkey sausage and feel it’s as good as real polish sausage, I don’t struggle with how the tofu was harvested. I miss meat everyday, I was raised in Wyoming and we worship the cow as an edible animal. I cannot however justify the way the cow is butchered so I can eat it. The knocked cow is, for those of you not aware, very much alive, it’s just paralyzed. It gets it’s throat cut, and bleeds out while it’s heart is still beating. And, sometimes, it’s not all that knocked out. I do praise the pictures however, as to many of us are completely unaware of how the burger gets to the bun.
    With all the uproar over the horrible treatment of the downer cows in the news a few months ago, you’d think more people would question what’s going on in those slaughterhouses.
    The actions of those “workers” are, I believe, more the norm rather than the exception. And, I’m still mystifed why people everyone is so shocked at the downer cow video….similar video was released back in the 90′s, showing almost the exact same thing. It’s nothing short of horrifying.
    When I have the courage to walk up to a cow or chicken and kill and process it myself I’ll eat it. Until that time, I cannot justify my consumption of this sort of suffering. To add to that, it is considered better for the taste of the meat if the animal is still alive when the slaughter process begins. That is just so not right. How can the release of stress and fear hormones into the body make it more flavorful.
    Yes, I miss meat everyday, but i don’t miss it enough to want to consume something that has suffered.

    Marcia Hale | | Reply
  28. I love all Gods creatures too….their so damn yummy chopped up into little bits in a nice tortilla or cooked up with shallot, garlic and a simple wine reduction finish with mont au burre.
    Hora le mi vatos Tacos Cessos, La Lengua, y Cabeza
    Tutti sta posto!
    Thanks for the good stuff Chris, keep it up.
    It’s all part of life.

    Mark D | | Reply
  29. coming from Dominican republic, it weird and funny peoples reaction to what is to me the most normal thing in the world. think of the out come if the human race will suddenly or gradually for that mater will stop eating meat or animal products. were in hell are we going to put all does chickens? billy watson intentions remind me of my ego. “look at me, how better i am know that I’m not like you” you don’t eat meet? keep it to your self. you eat meat? nobody cares. stop placing your views on me.

    isidro | | Reply
  30. Mark that was so not cool!!! The vegetarians didn’t come into this conversation and mock all the ‘meat eaters’. I myself have been a meat eater all my life but recently after learning how those animals are actually treated I cannot justify eating them until I can be certain they are killed quick and easy. When the cow is hung upside down it is still very much alive, just stunned from a bolt to the head. They then cut the throat and sometimes the animals is skinned before it is actually dead. We don’t like people doing this to dogs in places like Korea….why let them do it to cows? To me there is nothing wrong with a bullet to the head but they don’t want to waste the 10c that a bullet costs. I watched a video today on meat.org and it really upset me…not because we are killing animals to eat them but because of the way they are treated before and during their slaughter. Perhaps you should think about that next time you’re eating your big mac. Like I said though…if they would just treat them well before and during I would have no problem with it. God put animals on this earth for us to eat…True…But he didn’t put them here to be abused and made to suffer.

    Anna | | Reply
  31. Somehow stumbled across your website and saw these pictures. I showed them off yesterday to everyone else at the ranch and all were impressed! As a person who works in that facility at every slaughter, I think you covered the process very well. We are probably one of the few facilities that lets the general public come view the process.

    We process beef the old fashioned way, by hand, whole carcass, dry aged. We want stress free animals because we market the meat under our own label, low stress means better meat quality. We are 100% vertically integrated, from having calves, raising them their entire life on some of the most beautiful ranches in Northern California, hand selecting which animals we slaughter, processing our own (one of the owners works at every slaughter), and selling it to consumers. We can’t do quantity, nor would we want to. We only produce quality beef.

    To answer a few questions: We stun them with a mushroom head stunning device. It’s very quick and painless. We dispose of some of the blood by placing it in a barrel and a tallow truck comes and gets it. The remaining gets washed down the drain and into the industrial septic system. Yes, there is a bin of hooves. Yes, we have a USDA inspector that is on the floor the entire time. We do one animal at a time, and the inspector does a good job of keeping a close eye on everything. No, this was not staged… Chris was up for a photo shoot at the ranch and he found out we were slaughtering the next day, he asked to see it. He brought his camera, asked if he could take a few pictures… I had no idea I’d someday be seeing these pictures online…. I would have reminded Butch to shave!

    James Rickert | | Reply
  32. To isidro – what will happen to all the chickens, cows and pigs is that first – they will stop breeding them… Within weeks there will be a declining population of animals. The animals that are still left alive will be cared for on sanctuaries or let roam free. Chickens are the perfect candidate to turn loose – Pigs and cows will be cared for at sanctuaries and facilities that will allow them to live out the rest of their natural lives. The critical thing is to stop making more animals.

    You are offended by comments here that discredit flesh eating… sorry, but it is an open forum and I see lots of opinions that agree with your views. Fortunately, there are others like myself who realize that eating meat is not only a cruel process but an unhealthy and unnecessary one. Man does not need meat to thrive. A plant based diet is much healthier, has less negative imact to the environment, can ease world starvation, utilizes resources more efficiently… and oh yeah, a plant based diet is kinder to animals. Go Vegan.

    Bea Elliott | | Reply
  33. assume that switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet is good for the environment. If one simply substitutes animal products for imitations you may save a little cruelty and some environmental impact and not much else. I think it is much better drinking milk that from a friend’s goat and eating chickens that have been raised nearby in a humane manner than drinking soy dream and eating imitation chic patties. Or even food processing almonds for almond milk and eating legumes. It is very easy to forget to look at the whole picture, but it’s very important to remember that all food on industrial scales has inhumane consequences.

    Jackie C | | Reply
  34. Oh no, cut off my comment! I’ll try again…

    I have been a vegetarian for 11 years, since I was 9 years old. Nevertheless to those brave enough to be apart of their meat’s death, I praise you. In response to a previous comment, someone said they didn’t worry how their tofurkey was harvested. I think you should worry about it very much. A great deal of our soy is grown on ex-rainforest. How many species are threatened, people are displaced, and how much environmental damage is caused by the clearing of those lands to grow monoculture industrial soy? How much pollution is created by the way it is grown, processed, packaged, and shipped all over the world? We cannot assume that switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet is good for the environment. If one simply substitutes animal products for imitations you may save a little cruelty and grain from being fed to cows and not much else. I think it is much better drinking milk from a friend’s goat and eating chickens that have been raised nearby in a humane manner than drinking soy dream and eating imitation chic patties. Or even better, perhaps, food processing almonds for almond milk and eating legumes. It is very easy to forget to look at the whole picture, but it’s very important to remember that all food on industrial scales has inhumane consequences.

    Jackie C | | Reply
  35. Cow’s go into a deep trance, or sleep when hung up. Chickens do the same when hung up. I as a farmer slaughter my own animals due to miss treatment i saw years ago. If you look you will see many farmers doing the same (most are now only dealing with local buchers). People who think that farmers dont care about animals are mistaken, farmers whole life is spent caring for thier every need. I am always amazed at how many people down the buchering of animals WHEN RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD A BABY IS BEING SUCKED OUT OF ITS MOTHER WOMB THREW A STARAW. I dont want to offend anyone i just want to vent.

    Ted | | Reply
  36. If anyone believes for one second that this is the “norm”, they are sadly mistaken. If you want the truth, read “Slaughterhouse” by Gail A. Eisnitz, who went undercover at numerous slaughterhouses. The intent was an expose of one in Florida, but after what she saw, she kept going. The quota on “the line” is so high, the majority of the cows, pigs, horses (yes they are slaughtered in Mexico and Canada) are still alive when their skin is being torn from their bodies and their hooves have already been sliced off. There is no “humane” in slaughter. It’s murder of a non-human animal.

    If you truly want to educate yourself about the reality of slaughter and how that meat gets to your table, don’t look at staged pictures such as these, see the real undercover videos, shot when no one knew they were being filmed. See the horror and fear in the animal’s eyes, the pain and agony of slowly dying while being cut apart while still alive and THEN decide for yourself. At the age of 56 after a lifetime of blindly eating meat, I watched the documentary “Earthlings” and then “Meet Your Meat”. It changed my life that very day. I became vegan and have begun to make it my life’s work to educate humans on the horrors that we commit every minute of every day to sentient beings around the globe.

    Just part of this process is how milk gets to your table. Did you know it comes from a mother’s incomprehensible grief? The cows are impregnated year after year. Immediately after birth the calves are torn away from them, some with umbilical cords still attached. The females are doomed to a life like their mothers, the males to only a few weeks chained in a veal stall before being killed. The mother mourns and cries out for her baby, while the milk meant for that precious one is taken for humans. Her own life is cut short by this brutal, unrelenting process and then she is trucked to slaughter to endure what all the others do, a horrible and cruel death. Why is this necessary when there are such wonderful alternatives such as soy or rice milk?

    Is it worth it? Truly look at the truth and then decide.

    Bonnie Snider | | Reply
  37. It’s sad to see these comments devolve into a platform for veganism. I am super squeamish and have a hard time looking at the photos but since I do eat meat (not often, but I still do) I want become more aware of the path of my food. It’s not realistic for everybody to become vegan or vegetarian, but we can become more informed about where our food comes from and choose responsible and respectable vendors. Kudos for inquiring about the process, sharing what you learned and continuing to use all of the parts of the animal, not just the parts we’re used to seeing neatly wrapped and labeled “meat”.

    Krista | | Reply
  38. Bonnie-

    Please read my post above. These pictures are not staged. I work there. I see this every week. We are a small facility that takes pride in our quality of product. I serve this meat to friends and family.

    Yes, there are commercial slaughterhouses that do insane things. I don’t support that. I wouldn’t work there. I’m college educated, yet choose to work in my family’s slaughterhouse because I feel it’s important to raise food the right way. We raise our own animals. We spend a lot of time and energy raising the highest quality animals, and then go the extra mile in our processing to maintain these high standards all the way to the end product.

    If people like seeing responsible slaughterhouses, the great thing is- they can support this type of agriculture by going in and purchasing these products. Look at the Certified Humane label if the commercial slaughter process offends you. We need more consumers to be educated about their food and support us producers who do things the right way.

    Chris supports our product at his restaurant. He wants to see these types of businesses survive, so he serves our beef to his customers. He’s been to the ranch (read the article in Food and Wine), visited us at slaughter (pictured above), and loves what we do.

    He gets it.

    James Rickert | | Reply
  39. For anyone to say they’re sorry this “devolved” into a discussion of veganism is to completely misunderstand and be intolerant in itself. The vegans on this comment page are tame by comparison to the people who are traumatized by the assumption that humans should eat meat every, or even three times each day. If you would see — really see — the hectares of little chicks being born without their mothers, calves in crates, etc., you could not begin to argue such points.

    And, yes, it is not only realistic, but worthy of your time to ponder that at least partial veganism–eating meat only very, very occasionally–may be the only way for the planet to survive. Meat slaughter is universally cruel, though the pictures above are laudably transparent and, it seems, humane by comparison.

    There is much to say, but stop dismissing vegans as some sort of “devolution.” Years of trial and error, research, reading, study, open minded discussions, and yes, sometimes years of meat eating taught vegans hard lessons. I have seen the betrayal in animals’ eyes. It is real, it is what it appears to be, and it is wholly unnecessary.

    Bill Watson, you’re a hero.

    M | | Reply
  40. Mr. Watson. You claim to be a murderer…so if a lion ate you..he would be one as well??? If a bear eats a deer….another murder?? Just wondering….

    Jim | | Reply
  41. Thank you for the slide show. I have been working on a Dairy Farm now for a few months and I always wondered what happened after my cowies got in that trailor. The only photos I had a hard time with were the heads… I now see where the farrier schools get their feet as well… I love the cows and bottle feeding the calves but I still love my steak and cheese grinder for lunch. That way I look at it: Cycle of Life. Could I work in a “Harvesting House”: No. Also a Special “Thank you” to those of you who can work there, I appreciate you and my steak! Have a great day!

    Lee | | Reply
  42. What distresses me in today’s social atmosphere is that images such as this are often viewed with such pragmatism — instead of inspiring, as I believe they should, an abject disdain for what we humans do to animals. I agree very much with Bill Watson’s commentary here. As a child, I grew up overseas and was witness to slaughter which traumatized me for life. I am a vegetarian as a result. And almost anyone I know who has witnessed the same, also eschews meat. I don’t fully grasp how the discussion in this blog and so many addressing “where our food comes from” — most often with attention to the haute cuisine — have a literal void of emotion when in comes to the suffering we are inflicting on others. And often for something superfluous, like a particular appetite or a delicacy. I suppose I’m glad I’m more than half way through my life (provided I live a normal life span). I used to believe that our utilitarian ideas — our “use” of living creatures — would undergo a major shift in perspective in my lifetime. Instead, it seems to be the opposite and I mourn for that dearth of genuine empathy and compassion. It’s not the change I desperately wanted to see.

    Diana | | Reply
  43. thats a great page and i am a butcher i understand everything about eat meat and slaugther animals we have to eat thanks roho

    roho | | Reply
  44. I’d like to thank mr. James Rickert for clearing up why the word “humane” was used in the title! If I could get meat processed in this way I would never become a vegetarian! I have nothing against killing animals, as we all have to dye one time or another, but all this industrial scale raising living beings in tiny, overcrowded pens and inhumane butchering makes me sick and I don’t want to have any part in it! My father grew on a farm as a kid, they raised all their animals and butchered them, and when I was 10 or 11 he took me to a modern farm to show me where our food comes from. When he saw how these poor beasts were treated he was appalled…it was nothing like on the farm he grew. So we both become vegetarians. If we visited a farm like mr. Rickert’s one, I would still eat meat!

    Thomas | | Reply
  45. i dont like the idea of a bolt firing into the head of a cow—it is a precise action should not be done by workers just stood around in a routine almost in a daze i,m sure for a start the animal should be very still for the placement of the bolt gun this is never the case i have watched this process and i can see the animal is in great pain if this was happening to a human i,m sure we would faint at the thought of a bolt entering our heads—ok now lets get down to physics there is only one way to be sure the slaughter is 100% painless and that is my invention —-the explosive guillotine shearing the head from the body in milliseconds this could be operated by compressed air or gas of even explosives—-i dont care if they are worried about how the blood gets drained this is 2009 maybe we could purge it with a mechanical pump connected to the heart there is a way just use imagination—-or we will never reach the stars—-a denham –inventor of other great things to come

    alan | | Reply
  46. I agree with the above comment. A faster – surer death could be achieved by rapid decapitation. Too many poory stunned animals get butched before they’re dead/

    Dave Seavy | | Reply
  47. Wow… instant decapitation by a guillotine that is powered by compressed air or even explosives???? Seriously? Workman’s comp would have a fit. As a person who works in a slaughterhouse… I think that I’d rather use the stun gun instead of having a guillotine. There would be a lot of one-armed workers…

    James Rickert | | Reply
  48. I believe that eating is one of the things talked about in the bible. Mainly that everything on earth, animals and plants are put here for us to eat. Animals eat other animals, some plants eat insects so on and so forth and the circle of life goes on. If you choose not to eat meat, that is your choice. Take a good nutrition class at a college to see what not eating meat can and will do to your body. There are some essential nutrients found only in meat. I don’t approve of any inhumane methods of killing animals. There has come to my mind the idea that everyone has become too politically correct about everything. My family and I eat meat at almost every meal and will continue to do so. I have begun to wonder what we would do without a local grocery store or butcher shop to buy our meat from. Answer: We would raise and butcher our own meat and the first attempts would probably be a disaster an very inhumane. But we would learn and change our methods just as a lot of farmers are doing today, learning from the history we have. Thanks for posting these pictures and to every farmer, rancher and butcher that contributes to the learning process and food on the table.

    Misty | | Reply
  49. This is simply disgusting to killed all innocent animals…..specially cows who we in india treated as our mother.Brutally killing animals will land us nowhere……there are so many other nutrients food available in the earth..then why Meat Only?

    I HATE PEOPLE WHO EATS COWS MEAT, and i really pray he should be killed in same manner as they are killing or eating meat

    rajni | | Reply
  50. Wow… This comments section sure devolved a bit when the sadomasochistic vegetarians showed up. If you are so upset by this process that you won’t even eat meat, why come to a website dedicated to sharing info about the consumption and slaughtering of animals?

    Anyway, I appreciate the photos, and the message that we should better understand where our meat comes from. I’ve never butchered an animal even close to that large but its cool to see how it happens.

    I had pho for lunch so i guess I’ve had my fill of offal for the day. :) If I’m even in NYC, I will make a point to check out the restaurant.

    -Ryan

    Ryan Bray | | Reply
  51. Oh India that is the problem, you are the people that dont mind if your poor are starving on the street. I cannot believe that a person from india would come to this web site and whine about killing of cows. I have seen what you do with goats, was in somaila with the Indian army and it seems that goats are the diet there.
    So I guess we are stupid then cause instead of having a filthy cow walk around the neighborhood we would rather kill it and share it with the neighborhood. Sorry I guess we are the dumb ones.

    Erik | | Reply
  52. Oh and rajni you should be glad that we are eating meat. This is why the hide from the cow is save up and then put in a shipping container and guess where it goes??? wait for it,…………………Bangladesh India to be into leather coats and jackets for the world. So as you see the cow death as some horrid affair that same animal is feeding people and clothing people and those jackets and coats will be around allot longer then the cow every would be. So I would ask that you think about the circle of life before you say anything about killing a cow.

    Erik | | Reply
  53. why do you kill gods beautiful animals for meta! that is murder and i hope you thugs rot in hell!

    paul thomas | | Reply
  54. Vegetarians are pretentious. Really. Watch Discovery. If I HAD to chose how I was going to die (no way out, I HAVE TO DIE) I would much rather it be done in this slaughter house than be mauled by lions or some other carnivore. Face it, everything in the food chain gets devoured. I hope tomorrow a study comes out proving plants have feelings so that all the vegetarians starve to death. Amen.

    Beck | | Reply
  55. Guilotine?
    are you kidding?

    The brain is still in tact and will have to die of blood loss, the captive bolt destroys the brain, no brain, no pain.

    Rob W | | Reply
  56. if… you are Christian, you know Jesus was innocent. there is some similarity here, in that cows are innocent too. when i see a humane slaughter. i get a jolt of reality (humility). reminding me that i am a sinner. i am so greatful for His forgiveness.

    after watching this. i will always pray in thankfulness for the life of this animal that God provided.

    Larry Raymond | | Reply