Robots killing more animals is apparently good for the animals
Slate writer Rachel E. Gross has reported that the farming industry in on the verge of using kill-bots to slaughter animals more effectively, and she couldn’t be more excited about it!
The article is, in a nutshell, about killing more animals more efficiently, and in turn, making animal agriculture more money. However, Gross manages to puts in a clever spin on it, focusing on the “dull, dirty, and dangerous” circumstances that affect slaughterhouse workers. It begins by painting a picture of meat grinder related incidents and unsurprising high turnover rates. Then some of the truer colours show, exposing how replacing people with robots would eliminate tedious requests like time for prayer, or disability for psychological trauma. I’m sure farm animals will be thrilled to know that their executioners might one day no longer suffer bruising from their spasms or night terrors from being witness to their deaths.
But before this piece pretends to only be about workers, we’re reminded that the writer still love animals. She says, “When it comes to the act of killing, it would be well worth our while to find ways to make the process smoother, quicker, and more painless—for the sake of both cow and worker.” Once again, we are made to believe that being killed faster is a request a cow slipped into a suggestion box. Truthfully, smoother and quicker processes are the driving factor behind automation in slaughterhouses, so that more meat and dairy can be sold, not so that farm animals or workers suffer less.
It’s easy to imagine our future as being the metallic dystopia of The Jetsons. But when it comes to looking forward, the real future is vegan protein for health, environmental and moral reasons. Bill Gates famously brought plant based protein to the forefront of discussion when he said “we need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources.” Indeed, without intervention on our world’s growing appetite and fortune for meat, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States says that we’re in trouble. Their Livestock’s Long Shadow report blames livestock for 65% of human-related emissions of nitrous oxide (greenhouse gasses) at 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Add to that the 34-76 trillion gallons of water consumption in animal agriculture annually, and there won’t be any Earth left for humans to program robots on. Ironic that the author is talking about the future but forgets to mention the long term consequences of animal agriculture.
Of course, more absurd than Gross’ choice to ignore how animal agriculture is killing our planet, is the notion that humane meat exists. It’s repeated time and time again, and it continues to completely remove animals from consideration. Whether they are confined to a “hug box” or not, whether they can see it coming, and whether or not they’re effectively or ineffectively stunned before slaughter means nothing to their lives. They’re still killed, their children are still killed and more more importantly, they’re still used as commodities. The solution isn’t to find progressive new ways to do the wrong thing, it’s to promote an ethical vegan lifestyle that will save animals, the people who work with them, and the planet.
This article is a blatant sideshow, pretending to highlight ways to improve conditions for humans and animals, while advertising for how productive these animal agriculture technologies can be. Readers, quickly unplug yourselves before you get sucked into this hypocritical Liberal Matrix.