- Animals have been farmed by humans for thousands of years, but the way in which we reproduce, house, feed, and handle cattle has changed dramatically over the past century.
- Intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production, also known as factory farming, is a production approach towards farm animals in order to maximize production output and minimise production costs. The welfare and well-being of the animals in this farming approach is not a priority.
- Humans have essentially created an animal prison system, where animals are no longer considered sentient beings, capable of feelings, thoughts, and pain. Instead, they are treated as products on an assembly line from the moment they are born to the moment they are slaughtered.
- Cramped and dirty conditions on factory farms cause numerous health problems, which are never treated.
- Piglets are mutilated within the first two weeks of life by having their teeth clipped, tails cut off, and testicles removed. This is done without anaesthetic. This cruel practice is used only to accelerate financial gain, because it prevents the pigs from damaging themselves and each other when they become agitated and distressed due to their cramped living conditions. Chickens have their beaks clipped for the same reason.
- Chicken in battery farms spend their entire lives in cages, with no room to turn around, and not enough space to stretch their wings. They spend their entire lives standing on metal mesh flooring, which causes pain, discomfort, and injury to their feet and legs.
- Due to selective breeding and the use of weight gaining drugs in feed, animals grow at an alarming rate. Chickens reach the weight desired for slaughter after just 35 days on a factory farm today, when this should normally take 90 days.
- Man’s obsessions with producing as much meat as possible in the shortest space of time, with the least outlay on food costs, means that as many as 90 percent of broiler chickens cannot walk. The bones and muscles in their legs are unable to cope with the sheer weight of their bodies.
- In many egg production farms, the practice of forced moulting is used to trick the hens into higher levels of egg production. When their natural laying cycle ends, they are often forced into another cycle by being placed into darkness for up to eight days and denied water and food. A huge number of hens die in the process, but is still considered to be “good practice” as it increases overall egg production on the farms.
- The natural lifespan of a cow is between 20 to 25 years. However, on factory farms, dairy cows are often considered to be “spent” by the time they have gone through just three lactation cycles. They are aggressively bred, fed, and drugged to produce as much milk as possible in the shortest amount of time. Cows are kept pregnant; their calves are taken away from them just after birth – all this cruelty simply because humans believe they need dairy to live a healthy life. In the modern farming world, it’s more cost effective to send them to slaughter at this early stage of life and have them replaced before their milk production decreases.
- In the dairy industry, calves are taken away from their mothers at birth. The calves are not allowed to stay with their mothers as they would drink their mother’s milk, which is desired by the industry for human consumption instead. In the pork industry, piglets are weaned from their mothers after just two weeks so that the sow can be made pregnant again, as this increases the amount of litters she can produce each year.
- It is common place for very sick and injured animals to be left untreated in the hope that they will survive until they reach the slaughterhouse. Illness due to environmental conditions in the farms is so common that farmers simply feed antibiotics to all animals as a form of damage limitation, because paying veterinary fees is not economically viable.
How you can help:
- Go vegan. Adopting a cruelty-free lifestyle will make a huge difference to the lives of animals in the factory farming system. Lessening the demand for meat and dairy will lessen the supply.
- Be an advocate for the animals and tell your friends and family about the inherent cruelty involved in industrial scale animal farming.