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CO2 Killing - How pigs and chicks are gassed

CO2 killing: how pigs, chicks and other animals are gassed

Did you know that pigs, chicks and other animals are gassed because we want to eat them? In fact, this procedure is considered the most humane stunning and killing method in the Factory farming. Since it takes place behind the closed doors of slaughterhouses, we are appropriately incensed when we first hear about it. Not least because of our history.

In this article I would like to give you briefly and concisely the most important information about the gassing of pigs, chicks and other animals.

Notice: You may find this article too brutal. But I'm just explaining a method by which animals are stunned and killed before they end up on our plates. If this knowledge makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, then this is an indication that you should not continue to participate in this horror.

What is the CO2 killing of animals?


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CO2 killing is understood to be a Stunning and killing method in factory farming, where "farm animals" are gassed with carbon dioxide. This involves driving them in gondolas (or metal cages) to a gas chamber under the floor, where they are then exposed to CO2. The procedure is considered the most humane way to kill an animal and has possible benefits for the meat industry. For example, humans no longer need to watch or intervene during the killing. There is no need to restrain the animals and it is possible to kill several animals at once. The death also occurs with a high degree of certainty.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas which, for example, is authorized for stunning and killing of pigs of all ages is. The method causes a rapid decrease in pH in the brain, which increases the stimulus threshold of the nerve cells in the brain, so that stimulus transmission is interrupted.₁ Also gentler gases like Argon or carbon monoxide could be used as an alternative, but are rejected by the industry for economic reasons.₂

What's so bad about killing CO2?

The stunning effect is significantly delayed with carbon dioxide compared to the bolt gun or electric bath as the stunning method. Carbonic acid forms on the moist mucous membranes of the animals' respiratory tract, causing the pigs a stabbing pain.₃ The animals try to escape while screaming (as shown in the embedded video (cf. Dominion film) to see) to escape from the cage.

In addition to fear of death, pain and panic, it is common for animals to wake up in the slaughter process and kill fully conscious to get. The unnecessary cruelty to animals and the thought of innocent, sentient creatures being gassed makes most people look at the meat industry with disgust.

Notice: Also due to gasification, the Factory farming often compared to Nazi genocide of European Jews. In the linked article you will learn what other similarities are recognized by concentration camp survivors.

Which animals are gassed?

Pigs are gassed with the CO2 killing in factory farming

For sure, there are many more animals that are deliberately killed by carbon dioxide. But here are three examples of the gassing of "farm animals", two of which (as of 2021) are even absolutely legal:

  • Pigs & Piglets: The most common stunning and killing method used in factory farming of pigs is death by CO2 gassing. Many piglets that are too weak on the first days after birth are also killed in this way or by hitting the wall.₄
  • Chickens & Chicks: The lives of broiler chickens and millions of male chicks - immediately after their birth - are also taken each year by CO2 killing.₅
  • Minks & Foxes: Animals are also often gassed on illegal fur farms. For example on a Fur farm in Wisconsin or millionfold in Denmark.

What can be done about the gassing of pigs, chicks and other animals?

Personally, I find it creepy that we innocent, sentient animals put in gas chambers and kill, although we would not have to do it for our survival. Or what do you think? If you feel the same way, here are some things you can do to stop this madness of the Stop factory farming:

CO2 killing: not allowing animals to die brutally for us

Most people don't even know that pigs, chickens or minks are gassed. And many seem to be unaware of how much the animals actually suffer in the CO2 killing process. I hope that I have been able to do some educational work and initiate a rethink with this contribution.

Do you have questions or your own experiences with the gassing of animals in factory farming that you would like to share? Then, as always, feel free to write me a comment.

Stay pet friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: I consider the Dairy industry even more brutal than the meat industry. In the linked article you will now learn next why I hold this opinion.

₁ Pulte GmbH & Co. KG: How to redeem suffering animals, available at [20.07.2021].

₂ Albert Schweitzer Stiftung für unsere Mitwelt et al: Gassing, available at [20.07.2021].

₃ Annette Niemeyer (2020): Stunning at slaughter - How pigs suffer,,schweine650.html. [20.07.2021].

₄ H. Sezgin: The Suffering of the Collateral Piglets [20.07.2021].

₅ PETA Deutschland e.V.: Leid und Tod - Die Eierindustrie tötet jährlich Millionen von Küken (Stand: Februar 2021), available at [20.07.2021].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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