Raising and killing animals for food is an ugly business by nature, as a Washington County slaughterhouse recently acknowledged (“Investigation opened into steer’s death at Washington County meat plant,” June 17). Even the best-regulated slaughterhouses are still violently killing sensitive, intelligent animals that were denied everything that was natural and important to them.

It’s cruel and illegal for slaughterhouse workers to shoot animals multiple times, as happened at Washington County Meat Packing. Victims of failed stunning attempts suffer tremendous physical pain and psychological terror between the first and final shots.

All animals are individuals with personalities and feelings. Cows, for example, form lifelong friendships and mourn when they lose a loved one. They feel pain every bit as much as humans do, and are afraid to die. They go to great lengths to escape from slaughterhouses, as they value their lives, just as you and I value ours.

Meat is not essential. Let’s all help reduce animal suffering by simply going vegan. See www.PETA.org for more information and a free vegan starter kit.

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