One unique experience I had on my preventive medicine rotation was visiting a beef slaughterhouse. It was one I wasn’t sure I would enjoy or be comfortable with at all, but I walked away with a completely different outlook than I ever imagined I would have.
We visited a slaughterhouse not far from the vet school and watched cattle being processed. The first thing that amazed me was the cleanliness of the facility. Everything was spotless and was constantly being hosed down with hot water. Another thing that amazed me was the skill with which all employees did their job and how efficiently the operation ran as a whole. What impressed me most of all and made me the happiest was how the animals were treated. All were treated with respect and handled in an extremely humane manner so that they did not experience any stress that could possibly be avoided. That brought me a lot of comfort.
I am not a vegetarian. I love meat. That being said, I also love animals and while cattle aren’t my favorite, I don’t mind working with them (and even find their big brown eyes cute). I walked away from that experience confident that the animals being slaughtered were treated well and that everything that could be done to ensure our food supply was safe was also being done well. Although working in a slaughterhouse is not a job I would particularly want, I have a lot of admiration for the veterinarians and staff who work there to ensure our food supply is safe and that the animals entering the food chain are as healthy and well treated as possible.