Killing Animals on Film

The onscreen killing of the steer was shameful and morally repulsive.


So... animals should only be killed behind closed doors? These are beef steers... destined for slaughter. The manner of their death is less repulsive than the system that fosters their continued factory style raising, and the waste of water and grain that supports it. And, let's talk about the morally repulsive way in which the land was passed from indigenous natives to capitalist invaders... and the slaughter of the buffalo and the genocide of the natives... etc etc. Your argument lacks merit.

Sam Waterston also eats a grasshopper. Shall we weep for them?

Made in 1974, the film fairly accurately depicts ranching life in Montana. Also, a gopher is shown being shot from a helicopter with a 30-30. Pretty good shooting, if you ask me. And, the killing is off-screen in the first act. All we see is the hoof, head and guts piled up in the field after, which presumably came from the prop department via a slaughterhouse.

"Did you ever see Cheyenne Autumn? Well, in another twenty years they are going to make Aluminum Autumn."

The film is about the passing of an era, and rustling has always been a part of the cowboy myth. What is still wild and free in the west, the writer is saying, is just the no-account drifitng indians and cowboys.

Waterston's father gives a great rant about the sickness he calls "the pickup truck death" about consumer spending. Jeff Bridges flies home to his family to an ambush, an arranged date with an old flame he presumably moved away to avoid, a seeming indictment of monogamy. "We mutilate each other!" he declares, and then erupts to smash the furniture.

The film is ABOUT morals.... changing ones.


Oh wow, you are so right. Killing a steer is just wrong. I was watching an episode of the Iron Chef and the chef used a huge knife to cut in half a head of lettuce. I swear I could hear the lettuce scream in pain and die. Just shameful. Repulsive. I had to turn off the TV... I havent ate a salad since.

The steer should have been put into a zoo. There we could keep it in a cage and watch it eat grass...and sleep standing up...and eat some more grass...and dump...and pee...and eat some more grass....Caged in so it cant get away. That would have been better.

If your angle is about the actual killing itself, the gruesomeness of are right. We should NEVER be allowed to see how what we eat is prepared. I choose to believe that fairies bring me my hamburgers and steaks.


Nobody that is normal likes killing animals. The ranchers and farmers who do it are normal. They don't like doing it. But they do respect the animals for what they were put here for. They give the animals dignity by raising them in their natural environment, keeping them fed and running. The poisoned meat you get at grocery stores came from a heavily controlled, hostile environment. It came from people who don't respect animals.

I grew up loving animals as much as anyone and wouldn't have harmed a single one. But I am 40 years old now. A lot wiser than I was when I was 20. I wouldn't hesitate to kill a cow or hang a row of chickens and cut all their heads off to store some meat for my family. Animals make the highest sacrifice of all just for our survival. I respect that. And I would never cage and animal for my own sake. It's inhumane.


Decided at that point that I didn't want to see any more. The carnage is so unnecessary.