WHAT HAPPENS TO THE UDDERS?
I woke up in the middle of the night after dreaming
about cows dangling from chains tied around their hind
legs. The animals moved slowly down the line, twitching
as the life ebbed out of their bodies, blood spurting
from gashes in their necks delivered moments earlier
by a man wearing a bloodstained smock.
Occasionally, there would be an animal, still alive,
mooing loudly and shaking spasmodically, seeking a way
to escape. In my dream, one animal made eye contact with
me, her eyes bulging, wild with pain and fear.
Once awake, I envisioned their enormous udders, some still
filled with milk. White creamy discharges mix with dark red
blood and feces, dripping from lifeless carcasses to the
concrete floor. I imagine the smell of the slaughterhouse.
A thought comes into my mind. What happens to the flesh on
their faces, cheeks, lips, and eye sockets? What happens
to the anus? What happens to the udder? Do you really
"deserve a break today" or desire to "have it your way?"
Author Gail Eisnitz writes in her best-selling book
"These hogs get up to the scalding tank, hit the water,
and just start screaming and kicking. I'm not sure whether
the hogs burn to death before drowning. The water is 140
degrees. I do not believe the hogs go into shock, because
it takes them a couple of minutes to stop thrashing. I
think they die slowly from drowning."
After a few well-placed phone calls, I connected with
Gail at her Montana home.
"What happens to the udders?" I asked.
Gail related to me a dairy cow's last moments. I had
also read the gruesome details in her book.
"When a conscious cow arrives at the first hind-legger,
usually the legger tries to make a cut to start skinning
out the leg. Unfortunately, it is very difficult and
dangerous to do that when an animal is kicking violently.
So the legger will cut off the bottom part of the animal's
leg he's working on with a pair of clippers."
Her book does a remarkable job of exposing the cruelty
applied to ten billion farm animals each year. Each one
dies a painful death. Killers become so used to the act
of killing that these animals are treated with great
disdain. Sometimes they are brutally tortured before and
Would we eat their bodies if we could witness their
suffering? I have tried unsuccessfully to read excerpts of
"Slaughterhouse" to my children. This book reads a little
differently than "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss.
Americans may not want to read this book. Deaf, dumb,
mute, and blind.
Gail's agenda involves much more than compassion to
animals. She exposes unsanitary slaughterhouse conditions
and practices. By eating such renderings, meat-eaters
show little compassion to their own bodies.
"Federal records show that major meat packers smoked
rancid meat to cover foul odor, or marinated it to
disguise slime and smell...Chickens and hams were soaked
in chlorine baths to remove slime and odor, and red dye
was added to beef to make it appear fresh. Plant managers
repeatedly fought to allow 'some contamination' such as
feces, grease, hydraulic oil, maggots, metal, floor
residue and rancid meat..."
SO WHAT HAPPENS TO UDDERS?
Gail paraphrased the well-publicized dairy industry
campaign with her own question.
"Got pet food?"
"You mean, those little cans of dog and cat food
contain minced udders?" I asked?
Occasionally, I find myself situated behind little old
ladies at supermarket checkout counters. They often spend
more money on tiny tins of cat food then they do on their
own groceries. The cans read, "100% beef." If only they
knew this dairy industry secret.
A PANDORA'S BOX OF PATHOGENS
Eisnitz begins Chapter Thirteen with a quote from
David Carney, a USDA meat inspector.
"We used to trim the shit off the meat.
Then we washed the shit off the meat.
Now the consumer eats the shit off the meat."
If you eat chicken, you might want to skip the next
paragraph. If you buy and prepare chicken for your
family, you cannot afford not to read what follows.
"Today, thanks to automation in the industry,
individual poultry plants... can kill and process
as many as 340,000 birds per day.
Since it's easier to bleed a bird that isn't flapping
and struggling, most live birds have their heads dragged
through an electrically charged water bath to paralyze
-not stun- them. Other industrialized nations require
that chickens be rendered unconscious or killed prior to
bleeding and scalding so they won't have to go through
the process conscious. Here in the United States, however,
poultry plants... keep the stunning current down to about
one-tenth of that needed to render a chicken unconscious.
A conveyor then carries the shocked and paralyzed birds
to a high-speed circular blade meant to slit their throats
but which occasionally misses birds as they rush past at
the rate of thousands per hour.
After their heads and feet are removed and they've been
washed (and feathered), the chickens are re-hung on an
evisceration line. There, machines automatically cut
them open and pull their guts out.
In the scald tank, fecal contamination on skin and
feathers gets inhaled by live birds, and hot water opens
bird's pores allowing pathogens to seep in. The pounding
action of the de-feathering machines creates an aerosol
of feces-contaminated water which is then beaten into the
birds. Contamination also occurs when the birds have their
intestines removed by automatic eviscerating machines.
These high-speed machines commonly rip open intestines,
spilling feces into the bird's body cavities.
Rinsing a chicken 40 times does not remove all of the bacteria.
Water in chill tanks has been aptly named 'fecal soup' for
all the filth and bacteria floating around. By immersing
clean, healthy birds in the same tank with dirty ones, you're
practically assuring cross-contamination. Chickens that bathe
together get contaminated together."
Gail finishes the chapter by quoting Gerald Kuester of USDA:
"There are about 50 points during processing where
cross-contamination can occur. At the end of the line,
the birds are no cleaner than if they had been dipped
in a toilet."
What drips down a cow's leg while it's being milked? Feces,
mucous, blood, bacteria. A filter is used to remove those
impurities before the milk enters the bulk holding tank.
Drink that milk and devour the glorious essence of bovine
Eat their flesh and you consume those diseased animals that
no longer produce enough milk to guarantee a profit to the
dairyman. When cows are diseased, with cancer or leukemia,
paratuberculosis or other sicknesses, that's when they are
sent to their final fate. Your dinner plate.
Dairy Education Board