This week there was an article published explaining how animal rights activists were disgusted with a toy for children. They started calling it the “slaughterhouse” truck. Word spread around social media, making parents question if they should, in fact, buy such a toy for their children. Well, with my agricultural background, I thought I would inform you all of what a ‘slaughterhouse’ truck really was.
It’s actually not called a “slaughterhouse” truck. I hate that word. I hate that thought. I hate everything about it. The semi’s are attached to a trailer that is called a pot load. When a cattle farmer sells calves he either uses a pot load or a stock trailer. A stock trailer is attached to a truck, not a semi.
We (cattle farmers) are not slaughtering animals. We are not viciously killing or attacking them. We are processing them. We are making goods (like glue), meat, and other products.
The pot load is a humane and safe way to haul the animals to and from places. The cattle are loaded into the pot one at a time. They are not shoved in there all at the same time. If you ever look inside you will see that there are two levels. Each level has a solid floor that has bedding (straw, corn stalks) so the cattle have a nice soft place to stand until they get to their destination. The semi driver is in charge of cleaning this out after every load so it’s fresh for each new load. There is plenty of ventilation to keep them at a comfortable temperature. Also, the light coming in makes them feel better. Cattle don’t like shadows or dark places, so all the windows in the pot keep them calm. All the cattle are together. Cattle don’t like to be alone. If they are alone they feel very insecure and vulnerable.
If you eat meat you understand the process. You know what you are eating and you enjoy it. You understand that cattle farmer’s are taking the best care of their animals so you can consume a wonderful product. You like getting essential nutrients from a steak.
My final remark is, what is wrong with children learning at a young age where their food comes from? What is wrong with them learning how their food gets on their plate? I, personally, believe every child should understand more about what they are eating. Growing up on the farm I had the advantage of learning young. It didn’t affect me (I still eat lots of meat!), but it did make me more appreciative of the animals and their well being. It’s actually my least favorite day of the year. Read about it here.
This is the hardest part for me to talk about and deal with. I don’t like discussing when the cattle leave the farm, but it’s part of my job. If you have other questions about processing cattle, please feel free to ask me.