So, what is a "slaughter truck"? The answer may (or may not, depending where you come from) surprise you.
Back a few years ago the Internet blew up around a Facebook post from Vegan.com around a photo of toy truck just like that pictured here. The accompanying message simply said, "Seriously, Walmart?" The response by its followers was, unsurprisingly, that of complete outrage. One took this to Twitter, posting, "This is unimaginably disgusting. Walmart selling a toy slaughter truck. #vegan."
Of course it snowballed from there, many others echoing the same sentiments of this "slaughter truck", claiming things like, "the reality is violence; it isn't fun, it isn't neat, and it's something I wouldn't want my kids to enjoy playing with." Another urged Walmart to, "not support the desensitizing of children." Most of these people that Walmart, according to The Dodo, "pissed off" were the vegan and animal activists in their defence against symbols of "barbarism towards innocent animals."
An online petition had been created in demanding Walmart to remove the plastic, not real, toy from its shelves, and so far over 12,000 people have signed. Since this post has been written three years ago on the original Blogger.com Bovine Practicum blog, I'm happy to report back that Walmart still has not complied to their demands.
The really sad thing about this, though, is that the people who had literally flipped out over this farm toy have taken things at face-value far too much. They've made quite a knee-jerk reaction to something they've learned to associate with killing animals, all thanks to the animal rights activists posting all about the "evils" and "horrors" of animal slaughter and anything and everything associated with it. Yet they've never stopped to think that maybe there's a lot more to this than what they've been told.
The indisputable fact is that this it not a "slaughterhouse" nor "slaughter" truck. A slaughter truck or kill truck, as it's more accurately known, is a smaller unit that has no holes in the sides, and is built to hang freshly-slaughtered carcasses back to the main slaughter facilities, as well as other parts of the animal later to be disposed of properly or sent to be used for something else.
I know, a Google Image search on the words "slaughter truck" gives you pictures of trucks that are very similar to what the toy is mimicking. Do note, though, that such pictures are actually primarily from the anti-livestock activists in their effort to show how horrific and barbaric the treatment that livestock endure is, and that these trucks that are often used to take animals to the slaughter plant reflects that.
But, the fact is that animals aren't killed on there, and they're not built to kill or slaughter animals. These trucks, because of the holes on the side which are meant for air circulation for the animals during travel, are actually livestock transport trucks because they take livestock, like pigs and cattle and horses and sheep and whatever else, from one farm to another, from farm to pasture or vice versa, and yes, from farm to the slaughter plant. The "Good Ol' Days" of herding cattle from the ranch to the cattle buyer 100 miles north like was done in the late 1800s, and loading animals into train cars are long gone. These trucks are needed to take animals from one place to another and over a long distance, as safely and efficiently as possible in a timely fashion. It's not pretty, but it's far, far more effective than most anything that has been tried and done in the past.
Besides, how else are animals going to be able to travel? It's far too dangerous on foot because of the myriad of roads that criss-cross like a thick spider web where potential for animals to get hit by a car is significant. (The only exceptions is if and when a herd can be driven several miles down the back roads from one pasture to another. That is certainly still done today, whether it's by horse, or by ATVs and trucks.) It's also just plain dumb to transport an animal like you would your pet dog or cat because most, if not all, are NOT as tame nor well-mannered to be able go along for a car-ride as a happy-go-lucky pooch would, causing a whole lot of danger to both driver and the animal[s].
So, these trucks are meant to transport animals from one place to another regardless where that end-place is; there are compartments inside that separate animals into groups, ramps so that two tiers can be had for them (best for lighter stock like weaned steers, sheep, goats, and pigs), and they are put in so that they won't lie down during transport. If they lie down they are much more likely to get injured.
I do hope Walmart doesn't take this toy off the shelf, but if they do, there's always the many farm-ranch supply stores that have toy sections where parents can buy such a toy for their rural-loving kids. And, there's been a new GoFundMe.com campaign that just started with Farm Toys for Tots! Check out Dairy Carrie's post via this link to find out more.
Range Nerd, Forage & Grazing Fanatic and a Bovine Enthusiast. A love for farming, and for the soil.
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