In animal agriculture, a “downed” animal is an animal sick, crippled, cannot stand on it’s own and/or is otherwise nearly dead or already dead before slaughter. Because livestock animals can naturally have a considerably long life span (eg.: cows can live 20-25 years, pigs can live about 25 years, and chickens can live around 20 years), the general reason behind farmed animals dying so early in their lives is because of unsanitary and tortuous living conditions. Animals are often kicked, punched, beaten with hard objects (chains, tire irons), shocked with electric prods, rammed with forklifts, and sprayed with high pressure hoses to get them to move onto the truck heading to the slaughterhouse, or into the slaughterhouse itself.
The above is an age-restricted video due to it’s graphic content. If you are unable to watch the video for whatever reason, please read this life-changing true story about an anonymous cow born into the meat industry. Her story has changed many people’s lives, and has helped many people consider a vegan lifestyle.
Downed animals are used in everything from leather to gelatin — their diseased meat is even sold as food to unwitting consumers. A recent bill banning the use of downer cows in food production was signed by Obama on March 14, 2012 in an effort to decrease the chance of another mad cow disease scare. However, downer pigs and other downed animals are still unprotected and their meat is still processed and sold for human consumption.