The newest video in the Meat Mythcrusher series addresses one of the most common myths about the meat industry: that animals are aware and afraid of being slaughtered. The video features animal welfare expert Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal science at Colorado State University, explaining her research into animal behavior prior to slaughter.
Grandin has studied behavior by comparing animal reactions to entering a slaughterhouse versus a veterinary chute and found that they react the same.
“If animals were afraid, we would see them backing up or refusing to go into the chute,” Grandin says. “Most of the animals, when things are set up right, just walk right on in to a slaughter facility, the same as they would a veterinary chute.”
Grandin says animals are more likely to be fearful of a distraction such as reflections on a wet floor, a chain hanging from a chute or a coat on a fence.
“If you get rid of these distractions, the animal will walk right up the chute,” Dr. Grandin says.
Since 1991, the American Meat Institute Foundation has worked closely with Dr. Grandin on animal welfare guidelines and an audit guide to help companies ensure animals are properly cared for at meat plants. It is estimated that 95 percent of the beef, pork and lamb produced in the U.S. comes from plants that follow these guidelines.
The Meat MythCrusher video series seeks to bust some of the most common myths surrounding meat and poultry production, processing, safety and nutrition and is jointly produced by American Meat Institute (AMI) and American Meat Science Association (AMSA). The series is now in its fourth year and includes more than 30 videos which have been viewed more than 70,000 times. Other video topics include myths surrounding meat and poultry nutrition, “Superbugs” in meat, Meatless Monday, hormone use in animals, ammonia in ground beef, grass-fed beef and more.