Saturday, March 27, 2010

If I could talk to the animals...

...apparently I'd hang myself. Or at least I would if I talked to them with an English accent:
A researcher published an article Thursday that attempts to explain why veterinarians in Britain appear to be four times as likely as the general public to commit suicide.
Veterinarians? Really?

Well, I guess having to put kitties and puppies to sleep would be a real downer, and there's easy access to phenobarbital. But on the other hand, there are plenty of kitties and puppies that don't get put to sleep, and I'd think helping them would be pretty gratifying.


(Incidentally, while reading around on the internets during the writing of this, I stumbled across the Wikipedia article for "captive bolt stunners":
With cattle, goats, sheep, and horses, a penetrating stunner is typically used since it destroys the cerebrum while leaving the brain stem intact; this results in a more consistently reliable stun, and ensures the animal's heart continues to beat during the bleeding process.
Huh. So we don't actually kill the critter with the bolt thingy, so much as just rob it of its ability to compose poetry or solve quadratic equations while it stands there bleeding out. Fascinating!)

15 comments:

CGHill said...

So that's what they mean by a "bleeding-heart liberal": that cerebrum is, like, gone.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the captive bolt stunner used in "No country for Old Men?"

Jay T said...

That's what I'm getting next - a captive bolt stunner.

Sebastian said...

OK... that got me googling, and I managed to find a demonstration of both types of captive bolt stunners that are predominant:

First the penetrating captive bolt stunner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr00arV2XIw

Next is the non penetrating captive bolt stunner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oeQGtu6cRs

They advertise low recoil, and easy to clean. You probably want the optional head restraint and chin lift system too, I would think.

mostly cajun said...

"rob it of its ability to compose poetry or solve quadratic equations" or apply for federal programs or run for congress.

(heh! verification word=uncold)

LabRat said...

It's not just Britain; US vets have a really high professional suicide rate as well.

It's not just that you have to put animals to sleep, it's that being a vet almost always means you are a person who cares deeply for animals who comes into contact with a lot of people who see animals as accessories and otherwise "things". It's not putting down Rover who is dying of cancer, it's putting down Rover who is a young, healthy, sweet-tempered dog that the owner simply does not want, often for reasons as trivial as the dog sheds more than they thought he would. I only worked at a vet clinic for a few years, and it'll rock the hell out of your faith in humanity if you had much to start with.

The one that sticks in my mind is a Labrador that the owner had brought in on a Thursday. The dog had been nailed in the face by a rattlesnake on a Monday. Owner wanted to see if the dog would get over it on his own. He didn't, instead the wound got badly infected, as deep puncture wounds tend to do. The dog was an absolute rock- he sat there calmly while we squeezed venom and pus out of his face, which had to be agonizingly painful. Licked our hands when we were done. Owner was incredibly aggrieved at the (actually pretty modest) cost to him.

reflectoscope said...

I think Labrat pegged it.

Jim

Kristopher said...

Tam: You need to get the blood all out, or you will ruin the meat.

Meat near the wound channel on game animals is referred to as "bloodshot", as it is hamburgered in place, and has a lot of blood stuck in it that cannot be bled out. That meat tastes awful, and goes straight into the bin.

Pop N Fresh said...

I spent some time working a slaughter house out here in Texas. After they get popped the roll down a shoot and we hook one leg with a chain (that guy sometimes is missing teeth because the cow is twitching pretty good at this point) which pulls them airborne and they hang upside down and have their throats cut. After that they go down the line and are hit with electricity to make them bleed out faster. An upside down cow with a hole in its head, throat cut, and doing the electric shuffle is quite the sight to see........

rremington said...

An upside down cow with a hole in its head, throat cut, and doing the electric shuffle is quite the sight to see........

THAT's an image the will stay with me for a while.........

Don Meaker said...

With regard to vets in the US, there are three specialties, Large Animal, Pet, and Meat Inspector. Meat inspectors are, of course, vets because of need to be familiar with food animal diseases. Meat Inspectors don't get access to drugs as part of their business.

Large Animal Vets get to spend a lot of time with their hands up the back end of the Large Animal. Rather a crappy job.

og said...

I believe still have- somewhere around the house-a Kerner 289"Humane cattle killer". Trust me, the trauma turns out their lights, they feel no pain after.

Dad used to have to go take down sick horses and the only way most of the renderers would take them was if no drugs were used.

Slaughterhouses use air-powered captive bolts, but the cows know whats coming and often struggle, some places use electrocution.

Killing animals is not pretty nor for the weak of heart. If I had a dollar for every time my heart broke because some rich bastard neglected or abused or flat out ignored his horse to death, I'd have a big ass pile of dollar bills. There is precious little comfort in knowing that you took the animal away from it's pain and suffering.

As far as I'm concerned, all vets who die go directly to heaven. Suicide or otherwise.

kishnevi said...

This is where being Jewish pays off.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashrut
Mammals and fowl must be slaughtered in a specific fashion: slaughter is done by a trained individual (a shochet) using a special method of slaughter, shechita (Deuteronomy 12:21). Among other features, shechita slaughter severs the jugular vein, carotid artery, esophagus and trachea in a single continuous cutting movement with an unserrated, sharp knife, avoiding unnecessary pain to the animal. Failure of any of these criteria renders the meat of the animal unsuitable. The body must be checked after slaughter to confirm that the animal had no medical condition or defect [such as a bolt through the brain--K.]that would have caused it to die of its own accord within a year, which would make the meat unsuitable.
(for fuller discussion, scoll down to the section entitled "kashrut and animal welfare")

But avod Agriprocessors. Employing illegal aliens was not the only way they cut corners, so to speak.

staghounds said...

A surprise examined requirement to solve a quadratic equation and write properly rhymed and scanned poetry would thin Congress and Federal patronage recipients right down.

Captcha word "liers", random my a$s.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Bolted cattle do indeed lose the capacity to apply for federal grant programs.

Unfortunately, until that last heartbeat they are apparently perfectly capable of writing the code for the programs.