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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 method of stunning and killing in the Factory farming. As it takes place behind the closed doors of abattoirs, we are correspondingly incensed when we hear about it for the first time. Not least because of our history.

In this article, I would like to provide you with the most important information on gassing pigs, chicks and other animals.

Notice: You may find this article too brutal. However, I am only explaining a method by which animals are stunned and killed before they end up on our plates. So if this knowledge makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, then that is an indication that you should no longer participate in this horror.

What is the CO2 killing of animals?

CO2 killing is understood to be a Stunning and killing method in factory farming, where "farm animals" are gassed with carbon dioxide. They are driven in gondolas (or metal cages) into a gas chamber under the floor, where they are then exposed to CO2. This procedure is considered the most humane way to kill an animal and has some advantages for the meat industry. For example, humans no longer have to watch or intervene during the killing process. The animals do not need to be restrained and it is possible to kill several animals at once. Death is also highly certain.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas which, for example, is approved for stunning and killing pigs of all ages is. The method ensures a rapid reduction in the pH value in the brain, which increases the stimulus threshold of the nerve cells in the brain so that the transmission of stimuli is interrupted. 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 anesthetic effect is significantly delayed with carbon dioxide compared to the captive bolt stunner or the electric bath as an anesthetic method. Carbonic acid forms on the moist mucous membranes of the animals' airways, causing the pigs a stinging pain.₃ The animals try to escape by screaming (as in the embedded video (see also Dominion film)) to escape from the cage.

In addition to fear of death, pain and panic, the animals often wake up again during the slaughter process and the killing fully conscious noticed. The unnecessary Cruelty to animals and the thought of innocent, sentient beings being gassed to death makes most people look at the meat industry with disgust.

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

Which animals are gassed?

Pigs are gassed with the CO2 killing in factory farming

There are certainly 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 perfectly legal:

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

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

Personally, I think it's creepy that we have innocent, sentient animals put in gas chambers and kill, even though we don't 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 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 don't seem to be aware of how much the animals actually suffer when they are killed with CO2. I hope that I have been able to do some educational work with this article and initiate a rethink.

Do you have any questions or your own experiences with the gassing of animals in factory farming that you would like to share? Then, as always, please 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 find out 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.: Suffering and death - The egg industry kills millions of chicks every year (as of February 2021), available at [20.07.2021].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

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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