Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Meat or Mate?


There seems to be a cognitive dissonance between people who eat meat and say they love animals. As children, our first instinct in dealing with animals is to love them, not eat them. We know that to eat meat and dairy, other beings have to die. Just because this has been happening for generations, that doesn’t mean it was ever okay.

Yes, the animals aren’t always treated cruelly. However, they are still killed for food. Many large scale organisations that sell meat and dairy products supply their food from large scale industrial suppliers rather than ‘humane’ farms. A slaughterhouse or factory farm is the more efficient alternative. After all, that’s all that matters, isn’t it? Cost efficiency for the most competitive prices.

In an undercover investigation by the activist organisation, Mercy for Animals, we see the reality of what these farming practices are really like. In the recordings, we see the baby chicks being separated from male and female. Male chicks are discarded and ground alive in many cases, as they are of no use since they cannot lay eggs. Their death is planned the day they are born. This is similar to baby male cows. They are put to death as soon as possible and made to be veal, as they do not produce milk and cannot reproduce.

Australia’s favourite fast food giants such as KFC and McDonalds have numerous investigations from all over the world, exposing the truth behind how the meat in their menu is really prepared. According to investigations by Mercy for Animals, chickens in factory farms are bred to grow at such an intense rate that their legs are crippled under their own weight.

When we are shocked with the truth, it is easy to feel helpless, like the situation is out of control. Not this time. The vegan movement is growing rapidly and awareness of these injustices are spreading, especially with the help of social media. You can help too. A simple change in your diet is all it takes to save the lives of many. The following videos show evidence of what goes on in these environments. For more information, please watch the documentary, ‘Earthlings’.



Hatchery Horrors: The egg industry’s tiniest victims., Mercy for Animals, 8/5/16,

Animals, ChooseVeg, 8/5/16,

Bred for Pain, Mercy for Animals, 8/5/16,

Martha Rosenberg, MR 2012, We’re Eating WHAT? McDonalds-Linked Slaughterhouse Shut Down


2 comments on “Meat or Mate?

  1. Adam
    May 5, 2016

    G’day eleisadrose,

    I have to agree with the comments of your tutor (in bold?), although I appreciate the message you are trying to share.

    The difficulty with this conversation is that it is mostly a question of ethics, however we can use science to support our ethics. I would suggest that you take this tact when editing you blog.

    For instance, you have some claims that you can easily refute with scientific data, e.g. “to the supposed health benefits we just can’t live without”. Take this generally held view and show, with science that it just isn’t supported.

    In terms of eating dogs or lamb, the point you are trying to get across is valid but needs to be framed differently. What I think you are really getting at is that there is no morally important biological difference between different animals so why do we treat them differently? To highlight this point you first need to point out a couple of commonly held values/beliefs that people have which drive this attitude. Let’s say intelligence, sentience or emotion. You could then use scientific literature on animal behaviour to show that there really isn’t much of a difference between animals we love and those we oppress. You could also look at the psychological barriers to human behaviour change and the influence of cognitive dissonance on maintaining contradictory beliefs.

    There is plenty you could do and a well written blog with lots of scientific backing would be great for the animals. 🙂

    In regards to growth hormones in dairy, I am pretty sure this isn’t a thing in Australia. It might be in parts of the US but the more significant issue is probably the use of large amounts of antibiotics, but again this might be specific to the US.

    Did you know there is a Deakin University Vegan Society? If you are not already a member you should check it out, we are having a vegan cheese tasting next week! 🙂

    Keep up the passion for individuals who are oppressed, it’s wonderful to see.



  2. ZoeJNicholson
    May 8, 2016

    When you say “The workers on factory farms have to force them to be impregnated by forcing male sperm into them” you are referring to what is called artificial insemination (AI).

    AI is when a qualified veterinary surgeon injects semen into a cow with a very thin rod, no more than 3mm wide (Joint FAO/IAEA Division, 2014). The veterinary surgeon also uses adequate lubrication thereby making it painless and more comfortable for the cow. I have seen this process conducted many times, as my mother is a vet and have not once witnessed the cow in pain or stress at any stage.

    Dr. Bunter (my mother) said the when cows naturally mate, they do so when they are “on heat”, meaning that she is ovulating and her hormones are “telling her” to mate with a bull. AI is only performed on these cows which are on heat, otherwise it would be a waste of costly semen as the chances of the cow becoming pregnant would be very slim.

    If the cow was on heat and in a paddock with a bull she would be constantly hanging around the bull till she was served. Having lived on a farm growing up, I have seen many cows with injuries from bulls, such as dislocated hips, and believe artificially inseminating them is actually safer for the cow.

    So either way, if they were in a paddock with a bull or being artificially inseminated, the outcome will always be the same: the cow will become pregnant.

    Comparing artificially inseminating a cow to raping them would be the same as comparing IVF to rape, as they consist of the exact same processes. Plus, the idea of human IVF actually arose from animal Artificial Insemination (Ombelet & Robays, 2015).

    Ombelet, W & Robays, JV 2015, ‘Artificial insemination history: hurdles and milestones’, Facts, views & vision in Obgyn, vol. 7, no. 2, pp.137-143
    Joint FAO/IAEA Division, 2014, retrieved: 8 May 2016


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This entry was posted on May 4, 2016 by in Burwood - Wednesday 11am, Uncategorized and tagged , , .

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