Kill it, Cook it, Eat it
7th March 2007
We start by seeing the pigs who are going to be slaughtered. They look dirty and quite thin, not pink and chubby and cute. However unlike the other animals they look into the camera and we see their bright eyes looking at us with intelligence and questions.
The animals are treated calmly and quietly so they don’t injure each other or the people handling them says the vet, the butcher says a stressed animal makes tough meat. I wonder which of those reasons is the most important?
The pigs slaughtered are 20 weeks old. The farm we see has small cages full of pigs (and remember this is a farm with good conditions). Sometimes 3 pigs in a cage twice their size.
The pregnant pigs are put into the farrowing crates where they can’t turn round and risk squashing the piglets while they are giving birth. They are moved into a slightly larger crate for feeding. We never see them outside.
The pigs are stunned and then bleed in the same way as the lambs yesterday. When the first pig is being stunned you can see the noses of other pigs pushing through trying find out what is happening. When the pig is being bled the pig squeals and moves around and it really looks like it is still alive.
The pig then has its hair removed and once cleaned the insides are removed. It is then ready for butchering.
A member of the audience says the death is calmer than that of a wild animal so they can justify it, as the animal isn’t stressed.
Another person says that they would like to compare this slaughterhouse to one that is of less quality as this is one of the best in the country, but the vet is soon to point out that they are always monitored so they aren’t allowed to let the animals suffer.
At the start of the show Liz from the Vegetarian Society wants to see the reality of what happens, but isn’t interviewed after the process so we don’t get a vegetarians view at all.
Tonight’s program was very different in manner to the previous two I think. The slaughter seemed much shorter and we didn’t see any revolted faces of the audience. Afterwards they all seemed happy with the process and eating the meat.
The focus to me seemed to be on how much better the animals in this country are treated than those in Europe in a bid to get people to buy British meat, and certainly not giving a balanced unbiased view which is how the program was marketed.