The emergence and intensification of agriculture is the basis for human development as we know it. But our path towards a more intensive farming system has made factory farming or industrial agriculture the norm in "civilized" high-tech nations.
And in an industrial world where the animals are increasingly seen as a commodity or product to make money on haven’t improved the animals well-being. Rather, the intensification of our agriculture sector has made their life worse. And this cruelty is happening around the world. Even in the Swedish meat industry animal cruelty is common. And this even though the Swedish meat industry often and proudly proclaims itself for having "the world’s best animal welfare", one can see the awful consequences of industrial farming. The latest example of this is the Animal Rights Alliance disclosure earlier last year on the abuse and neglect of Swedish pigs.
The following disturbing photos in this blog post has all been provided by the animal rights organization Farm Sanctuary. The organization, which is based in New York, was founded in 1986. Farm Sanctuary document the abuses of factory farms, slaughterhouses, and stockyards, rescue animals from these conditions, rehabilitating and caring for animals at shelters in New York and California, as well as running advocacy and education campaigns on these issues.
Confined in metal and concrete pens with slatted floors, these pigs will live in these conditions until they reach slaughter weight of 250 pounds.
Female pigs used for breeding (breeding sows) spend most of their lives confined in gestation crates so narrow that they cannot turn around.
As you can see, a female pig in a gestation crate has no freedom of movement, and barely even has room to lay down.
Most beef cattle spend the last few months of their lives at feedlots, crowded by the thousands into dusty, manure-laden holding pens. The air is thick with harmful bacteria and particulate matter, and the animals are at a constant risk for respiratory disease. Feedlot cattle are routinely implanted with growth-promoting hormones, and they are fed unnaturally rich diets designed to fatten them quickly and profitably. Because cattle are biologically suited to eat a grass-based, high fiber diet, their concentrated feedlot rations contribute to metabolic disorders.
To raise calves destined to be slaughtered for veal, the calves are confined in crates about two feet wide and are tethered to the front of the crate with a chain around the neck. These calves will be slaughtered when 4-5 months old.
Dairy cattle make up the largest percentage of downed animals in factory farming, 75%. Too sick or injured to walk, this dairy cow is left in the stockyard while a calf looks on.
Though there have been moves in Europe to phase out battery cages for hens, in the US the vast majority of egg laying chickens are confined in battery cages such as these. These cages have wire floors and four or five hens are commonly packed into each cage. Obviously they cannot stretch their wings or exhibit any normal chicken behavior.
At chicken hatcheries, chicks enter the factory farming world packed into huge drawers.
Behind a hatchery for laying hens, unwanted male chicks–which are of no economic value to the egg industry–are simply tossed into a dumpster with shells and other waste.
Because commercial turkeys have been bred to have such unnaturally large breasts, to satisfy consumer preference for breast meat, they cannot mount and reproduce naturally. Thus, artificial insemination must be used for reproduction.
Due to the severely overcrowded conditions they will face, baby turkeys have the upper part of their beaks seared off so that injuries caused by pecking one another can be minimized.
Although not confined in cages like egg laying chickens, chickens raised for meat are packed so tightly in grower houses that each chicken is alloted about half a square foot of space. If that isn’t bad enough, because broiler chickens have been bred to grow so quickly (twice as fast and large as their ancestors) the organs and skeleton don’t always keep up with this growth. The heart and lungs can’t support the unnatural body mass, resulting in heart failure and large numbers of deaths a year due to health conditions.
Up to 10,000 chickens are often packed into cages for shipping to the slaughterhouse. On route, they are offered no protection from the elements and a certain percentage of birds are expected to die on each journey due to cold or heat.
At the slaughterhouse, chickens are hung up by their feet fully conscious. Although some slaughterhouses stun the birds by passing them through an electrified bath of water, US federal law specifically excludes chickens from the Humane Slaughter Act mandating that animals be stunned before being killed. However, often times the birds are not rendered unconscious by the shock and proceed, still hung by their feet, to have their necks cut by a mechanical blade. Unfortunately if the bird is not sufficiently stunned, the blade may not actually kill it and the animal proceeds to the next stage in the process while still alive. The birds are then submerged in boiling water to scald them and remove feathers. It’s estimated that millions of chickens a year in the US are ultimately killed in the slaughterhouse by this last step, being boiled alive.
Supporters of organic living are the influencers, oftentimes responsible for making mainstream consumers aware of things like additives, over processing and genetically modified foods and ingredients. Unfortunately for the average person, it can take a major health issue to really … Continue reading
Somebody pointed out something that at first seemed very obvious to me today, and it’s something that most environmentalists miss — something very important to the whole “green” movement. She pointed out that people aren’t going to change if they … Continue reading