Top Pro & Con Arguments


It is cruel and unethical to kill animals for food when vegetarian options are available, especially because raising animals in confinement for slaughter is cruel, and many animals in the United States are not slaughtered humanely.

Animals are sentient beings that have emotions and social connections. Scientific studies show that cattle, pigs, chickens, and all warm-blooded animals can experience stress, pain, and fear. [100] In 2017, the United States slaughtered a total of 170.5 million animals for food, including 33.7 million cows, 9.2 million chickens, 124.5 million pigs, and 2.4 million sheep. These animals should not have to die painfully and fearfully to satisfy an unnecessary dietary preference.

About 50% of meat produced in the United States came from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in 2008 where mistreated animals live in filthy, overcrowded spaces with little or no access to pasture, natural light, or clean air. [41] In CAFOs pigs have their tails cut short, chickens have their toenails, spurs, and beaks clipped, and cows have their horns removed and tails docked with no painkillers. [32] Pregnant pigs are kept in metal gestation crates barely bigger than the pigs themselves. [35] Baby cows raised for veal are tied up and confined in tiny stalls their entire short lives (3-18 weeks). [147]

The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) mandates that livestock be stunned unconscious before slaughter to minimize suffering. [65] However, birds such as chickens and turkey are exempted from the HMS, and a 2010 report by the US Government Accountability Organization (GAO) found that the USDA was not “taking consistent actions to enforce the HMSA.” [66] [90]

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