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Jonathan Safran Foer: How cows become beef

Jonathan Safran Foer: How cows become beef

Some of the animals are bled, skinned and ­dismembered while conscious

22 February 2010

It isn't hard to figure out why the beef industry won't let even an enthusiastic carnivore near its slaughter facilities. Even in abattoirs where most cattle die quickly, it's hard to imagine that any day passes in which several animals (tens, hundreds?) don't meet an end of the most horrifying kind.

At a typical slaughter facility, cattle are led through a chute into a knocking box - usually a large cylindrical hold through which the head pokes. The stun operator, or "knocker", presses a large pneumatic gun between the cow's eyes. A steel bolt shoots into the cow's skull, usually rendering the animal unconscious or causing death. Sometimes the bolt only dazes the animal, which either remains conscious or later wakes up as it is being "processed". .... nt/2010/feb/ 22/jonathan- safran-foer- cows-beef

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