Denver, Let’s Leave Slaughter Behind

Slaughterhouses are inhumane to workers, animals, and the surrounding communities they pollute.

In 2024, voters will get the chance to phase out one of the worst industries in Denver through a citywide ballot measure to ban slaughterhouses.

Endorsed by

Impactful Animal Advocacy
Climate Save Movement
Animal Equality
Friends of Animals
Coalition to End Factory Farming
Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary
Animal Outlook
Voters for Animal Rights

Does your vision of a peaceful world include slaughterhouses?

In slaughterhouses, animals are ‘stunned’ by electrocution, gassing, or having a metal bolt shot into their skull before being hoisted upside down or shackled as their throats are slit. One study found that just 84% of cows are adequately stunned, with calves having the highest rates of failed stunning. Researchers have found that roughly one in three pigs are still fully conscious as they bleed to death.

The Humane League

As our society’s morality and shared understanding constantly evolves, our concerns for animal welfare, climate change, and workers rights have deepened. Despite our attachment to meat, there’s also a growing unease about its impact, with recent polls indicating that a large number of Americans would support a ban on slaughterhouses. Where individual efforts can feel futile, collective action can create real change. At Pro-Animal Future, we believe that the way forward is a gradual transition away from meat on a societal level, in which our role as voters is key. By passing this historic ballot initiative and banning Denver’s last slaughterhouse, the Denver community can inspire the world to see that a society beyond cruelty is possible.

What is a slaughterhouse? 

A slaughterhouse is a facility where animals are brought for the purpose of being killed to be processed into food and other products. These facilities are a critical part of the industrialized meat industry, along with factory farms.

“We’ve been taught that our feelings towards farmed animals don’t matter, but these days most people know better. I don’t think anyone with a heart in their chest can feel okay about the way the lambs at that slaughterhouse are treated. I’m voting to ban slaughterhouses because I want to be on the right side of history.”

Dylan Cook, Denver voter & bartender

by the numbers



land animals are killed annually in the global food system, according to recent data from the Food and Agriculture Organization.



in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, according to USDA data.



agreed with the statement “Farmed animals have roughly the same ability to feel pain and discomfort as humans” in a 2020 poll

Why ban slaughterhouses?

No one wants to think about what happens inside slaughterhouses, but they are bad for animals, workers, neighborhoods, and our environment. Whatever you care about most, every Denverite has a good reason to support the slaughterhouse ban initiative.

Harm to Workers & Communities

Working in a slaughterhouse is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, and many who work there feel they have no other choice. According to reports from OSHA, there have been multiple serious injuries, including a finger amputation, at the Denver slaughterhouse in recent years.

Studies show that slaughterhouse workers also suffer from higher rates of depression and PTSD, with some research connecting this type of work to increased crime rates in the surrounding areas, due to the psychological harms they are exposed to.

Unethical Treatment of Animals

Animals suffer immensely in slaughterhouses. An undercover investigation of a slaughterhouse operated by the same company as the one in Denver revealed multiple Humane Slaughter Act violations and significant instances of animal abuse, with lambs being kicked and thrown, and others struggling in pain long before they died.

If we truly care about animals and seek to become a more compassionate society, it’s time we evolve away from allowing such places to exist.

Environmental Injustice

It’s no secret that industrial animal farming is a top contributor to climate change, but it also has a huge impact on the environment of the surrounding community. Slaughterhouses like the one in Denver dump out poisonous cleaning chemicals and discarded animal parts into local waterways.

In fact, the slaughterhouse in Denver has been in violation of the EPA’s water pollution regulations for at least three years. Infamously, the foul stench of the kill floor pervades the surrounding neighborhood, even stinking up the inside of nearby homes and businesses.

It’s no accident that this slaughterhouse is located in Globeville, a historically immigrant and predominantly Latino neighborhood that has faced severe industrial pollution and unequal city planning.

What would the slaughterhouse measure do?

We believe it’s time to move away from harming animals for food, and that voters are the key to driving this change. This ballot initiative aims is to ban the operation of slaughterhouses in the city and county of Denver. By closing its last slaughterhouse, Denver can serve as a leader in our society’s evolution towards a more just food system.

What would the ban include?

  • The one known slaughterhouse in Denver city limits, which is operated by Superior Farms and kills an estimated 500,000 lambs per year.
  • Opening any new slaughterhouse—defined as a facility where ‘livestock’ animals are killed for food to sell to consumers or where people pay to have their livestock animals killed for food.
  • The prioritization of affected workers in Denver’s employment assistance programs.

What would NOT be banned?

  • The sale of meat
  • Non-commercial backyard slaughter of animals 
  • The killing of animals for research purposes

What about the workers?

The proposed ballot measure includes a provision that the city prioritize affected workers in its employment assistance programs, with support from Denver’s Climate Protection Fund to transition to better jobs. Through these resources, slaughterhouse workers would have access to training and employment assistance programs to help them move into green industries, providing job opportunities that are safer, healthier, and offer more long-term security.

Denver needs community centers, not slaughterhouses

The Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, home to Denver’s slaughterhouse, has been ranked the most polluted zip code in America. The people of Denver deserve better. There is substantial demand in Globeville for affordable housing, grocery stores, and community spaces including retail. Blueprint Denver designates that the area become a mixed-use community center by 2040, so if the Denver slaughterhouse measure passes, there is potential that the land could be converted to more community-friendly use. The people of Globeville deserve greater investments in public resources like parks, libraries, recreational and arts centers – not a facility that pollutes their water and air.

What would Denver’s future look like without slaughterhouses?

The ever-growing abundance of plant-based food options and meat alternatives offer us the ability to transition away from killing animals for food. Denver is already famous for its food truck The Easy Vegan that won 2023’s The Great Food Truck Race, with at least 27 other meat-free eateries in Denver Metro. With so many options accessible to us, we have a chance to build a food system that embodies greater ethics, sustainability, and modernity.

A more peaceful world

To visit a local farm sanctuary – like Luvin Arms or Broken Shovels – is to step into a beautiful future, where we give rescued sheep and other animals the freedom they deserve. By banning slaughterhouses and transitioning towards sustainable alternatives, we would reduce large-scale, unnecessary suffering and create a more just food system that reflects our moral progress as a society.

A more modern economy

Our economy is constantly evolving as we advance as a society. A food production system that dedicates farm land to directly feeding our population instead of tens of billions of farmed animals is more resource efficient and could help to improve global food security. The Rancher Advocacy Program and Transfarmation Project are already assisting farmers in transitioning to growing crops in place of farming animals as we look to bring our food system into the modern age.

Reduced environmental impact

Moving towards a more sustainable system of food production that doesn’t involve the housing, feeding, and slaughter of around 90 billion farmed animals per year would reduce the extremely high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water consumption related to animal farming. A plant-based food system would be predicted to emit 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, take up 75% less farmland, cause 66% less biodiversity loss, and use 54% less water, as per a recent Oxford study that examined 55,500 people’s diets. A slaughter-free future could involve re-wilding and reforesting giants swaths of land that were previously been taken over by animal agriculture, increasing the likelihood that we win against climate change and thrive peacefully on this planet for centuries to come.

Safer communities

Supporting slaughterhouse workers to transition into safer and healthier jobs would alleviate the physical and mental trauma experienced in this line of work. It could also benefit the local communities – lowering pollution and its associated health risks, and ending any negative spillover effect from the violence in slaughterhouses. Brave New Life Project is a nonprofit in Denver that assists local slaughterhouse and factory farm workers in Colorado find safer and better jobs by helping with translation, resume-building, and interview prep.


Live near Denver? As an activist, you’ll have meaningful conversations about the Denver slaughterhouse initiative while helping Denver residents see the truth about industrial animal farming.

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