If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls, Everyone Would Be A Vegan

But what will happen to all the animals? They won’t suffer.

My final data visualization journalism report will utilize data from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) entitled “ Monthly Red Meat Slaughter: Number of head and weight for cattle, calves, hogs, sheep and lamb from federally and provincially inspected slaughterhouses,” that consists of cattle, calves, hogs, sheep, and lamb massacred monthly between January of 1998 and May of 2017 inside federally and provincially inspected slaughterhouses. The Government of Canada website declares that “Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.”

AAFC classifies cattle into six categories: bulls, cows, heifers, steers, male calves, and female calves. Hogs are listed as one total, although sheep and lamb are combined. The linguistic choices are deliberate, and indispensable for maintaining profits tied to animal suffering. Chunks of a dead animal turn into “meat” while a baby sheep becomes a lamb”.

Whether the AFAA includes animals killed in the slaughterhouse due to illness is unknown, and supplementary data from the AFAA will be required.

I wish to parse the evidence for the number of cows, pigs and sheep killed each second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year since 1998 in government inspected slaughterhouses in Canada, not too mention the number of cows, pigs and sheep a KPU student can save by deciding not to consume animal products. I want to discover which direction the data is going, interpret the trends and incorporate pertinent search engine and social media statistics. Ultimately, my ambition is to provide material showing the drastic difference a person can make for the lives of non-human animals.

On the eve of the Vancouver March to Close all Slaughterhouses, I want to invite you to join a world wide movement for animal justice and nonviolence.

(Check out “Language, Power and the Social Construction of Animals” for a brilliant portrayal of how animals are made to suffer and are “erased” through vocabulary.)