About Animal Farming
Over the past 50 years large corporation factory farms have taken over smaller family farms. No longer are animals outdoors in pastures, they are now kept in enclosed barns with literally thousands of animals. They spend their entire lives indoors, mistreated, mutilated and deprived of basic necessities. They are bred to grow fast and large and to produce as much "product" as possible for the least cost with no regard for the animal’s welfare, the environment or human health.
9 billion land animals are bred and killed every year in the U.S. alone and 99% are from factory farms.
Chickens for egg production
Chickens are bred to lay as many eggs as possible. On average, hens will lay 250 eggs per year as compared to 100 per year a century ago. Chicks are sexed at just one or two days old. If they are male they are considered useless and are either put in the trash, gassed or put in a grinder to be ground alive. There are more than 200 million male chicks born per year. The females will have their beaks cut off without any anesthetic. They are put in such close confinement that the stress will cause them to peck and attack each other. Many will be unable to eat from such pain or severe deformities and will literally starve to death.
When they are big enough, they are put in a battery cage along with 5-10 other chickens unable to spread their wings, turn around or literally move. They stand on wire cages and have the space of less than a sheet of standard letter sized paper. They live like this for up to two years if their bodies survive the stress of these conditions. By then there egg production will decrease and they are considered not valuable anymore so they are either gassed or sent to slaughter to become low grade chicken meat, like chicken nuggets or dog food.
Chicken for meat
Chickens raised for meat and are called "Broilers". They are bred and dosed with drugs to make them grow as big as possible as quickly as possible. As many as 70% of broilers in supermarkets have been found to be laced with arsenic, a drug believed to increase growth rate. The average daily growth rate has increased 300% in the past 50 years. Due to this unnaturally rapid growth, the chickens often suffer from heart failure or lung collapse. Their legs cannot support the weight of their own bodies and as many as 90% become crippled at just 6 weeks old, unable o to walk at all. At just 42 days old the chicks, still often peeping, are as big as giant adults and are sent to slaughter.
Chickens are thrown into crates as quickly as possible and transported to the slaughterhouse. This rough handling results in many having broken bones and bleeding when arriving. They are then grabbed and thrown into shackles and hung upside down and dunked into an electrified water bath that leaves them stunned and immobile but still conscious. They are exempt from
the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act which protects animals from being conscious at the time of slaughter. This means chickens are still conscious when their throats are cuts. Some flapping so much that the blade sometimes will miss and they will continue down the line to the boiling tank and are literally boiled alive.
Cows for dairy
Cows used for dairy must be impregnated and give birth to produce milk. They produce milk for their offspring like all mammals. Male calves are taken away from their mothers at birth and female calves will spend less than 24 hours with their mother. Any longer would take money away from the farms profit. This is extremely traumatic for both mom and babies who want nothing more than to be together .They are milked three times daily for 10-12 months then impregnated again and have their calves taken away again and this happens year after year. Dairy cows are bred to produce up to 10 times more milk than cows used for beef. A free range cow produces about 1-3 gallons of milk per day while dairy cows produce 7 - 10 gallons per day. This extreme production leads to many health problems including mastitis which is extremely painful and may become so severe that it leads to early slaughter. They are considered spent at about 5 years, if their bodies haven't already worn out, and sent to slaughter.
The male calves are used for meat. They do not grow as big as beef cattle, so the majority are used for veal. They are neutered without anesthesia and kept in tiny crates for about 20 weeks and then slaughtered for veal. Many people think veal is cruel but by supporting the dairy industry you are inadvertently supporting the veal industry as it is an unfortunate byproduct.
Cattle raised for beef
Cattle are neutered, dehorned and branded all without analgesia or pain relief. Even if they are free range in pastures they are removed between 6-12 months to go to feedlots so they can fatten up as quickly as possible on a grain diet and reach market weight of 1,200 pounds. Most of these feedlots are in just 4 states so the cattle have to endure long and incredibly stressful trips just to get as large as possible as quickly as possible and then again endure yet another stressful trip to slaughter.
Pigs for breeding
There are over 5 million sows used for breeding in the U.S every year and they are impregnated at just 7 months old. They are put in gestation crates which are 2 feet by 7 feet unable to turn around for the entire 4 months of pregnancy. There can be up to 10,000 sows in one building at the same time at the largest pig producing company, Smithfield. Once about to give birth they are transported to farrowing crates which are about the same size. They are unable to turn around or lay down comfortably. Pigs are extremely intelligent, curious and naturally maternal. This abnormal confinement often leads to neurotic behavior like banging their heads on the metal or biting bars of the crates. They often suffer from pressure sores, infected wounds and many will have uterine prolapses from overbreeding. The floors of the crates are often slatted so urine and excrement can fall through. The pigs are literally lying above their waste and many develop respiratory issues from high levels of ammonia. At 2-3 weeks the piglets are taken from their mother and the sow is impregnated again. She will give birth an average of twice a year until she is considered spent and sent to slaughter.
Pigs for meat
There are over 100 million pigs raised and killed in the U.S. yearly. The pigs are taken away from the sow at just 2-3 weeks. They are castrated if they are male, their tails are docked, their ears are notched or tagged and their teeth are cut to prevent mutilation to others due to unnaturally crowded living conditions. They are confined for 6 months to grow as quickly as possible to reach market weight. Many develop respiratory disorders, sores and abscesses due to unsanitary conditions. Due to unnatural flooring, lack of exercise and extreme, rapid weight gain of up to 250 lbs, many develop extreme leg disorders.
Pigs are very sensitive to temperatures and will naturally use the environment to thermo regulate. Many pigs will die during transport from extreme temperatures from freezing to death or heat stroke. Pigs are also difficult to stun due to their high amount of fat and thick skulls so many are still conscious while their throats are slit or submerged into the boiling tanks.
Goats for Milk and meat
Drinking goat milk is unfortunately no more humane than cow's milk. Female goats are still impregnated and babies are taken away within hours. The female kids are used to replace the older female goats and the males are either slaughtered at birth or used for meat. If they are used for meat they are usually dehorned or disbudded and castrated without the use of any anesthesia or painkillers.
The average life span of a goat is 15-18 years and most are killed at a few years of age when they are no longer productive.
Goats raised for meat in the U.S. is growing due to an increase in ethnic populations. According to food is power.org, over 1 million goats were slaughtered yearly for meat in the U.S. This does not include the goats in the live markets, or backyard butchers, which are becoming increasingly popular.
These sentient beings are sent to the slaughterhouse and stunned with a captive bolt pistol. Many are improperly stunned and are conscious while their throats are slit and they are slaughtered and skinned.
Sheep are intelligent inquisitive animals. Recent studies found that sheep can respond to names and can recognize up to 50 different face for 2 years. Sheep can live up to 15 years of age. Lambs are slaughtered at just 6 to 8 months old.
Sheep will have their tail docked to reduce the buildup of feces either by cutting it off or placing a rubber ring around the tail until it rots and eventually falls off. This also increases the risk of rectal prolapses.
Sheep for wool
Sheep used for wool, primarily Merino sheep, are bred for their wrinkly skin to increase wool production. They are more prone to fly larva infestations so farmers cut off large area of extra skin from the sheep's backside. This is called mulesing. This is done without anesthetics are painkillers. Even when sheep live in fields, many times there are just too many to be able to properly monitor the conditions and many die due to preventable diseases. After a few years their wool production decreases and they are slaughtered for meat.
Turkey are very intelligent, social and have strong family bonds. Mother hens will stay with their young for 4-5 months.
Turkey raised for meat are hatched from incubated eggs and raised in overcrowded factory farms where there can be as many as 10,000 birds in one factory.250-300 million turkeys are slaughtered every year. Because they are so overcrowded they are debeaked, there snoods ad a portion of their toes are cut off without any anesthesia or painkillers.
They are bred to grow as big as possible, as quickly as possible weighing as much as an adult wild turkey at just 4 months of age. Due to their extreme size they are unable to naturally mate and the females have to be artificially inseminated. The excessive growth rate often leads to many health problems including heart conditions, lung and liver disease, arthritis and severe deformities. In fact many become crippled before going to slaughter.
Turkey are sent to slaughter at 4-6 months of age. They are mishandled and injured as they are thrown in to crate for transport, often breaking bones. They can legally go up to 36 hours without food and water and endure extreme temperatures, so many will die during transport. Turkey are not protected by the Humane Methods of Slaughters Act, so they do not have to be rendered unconscious before slaughter. They are dragged through an electrified bath but many are not properly stunned as they are moved to the cutting blade. Without being stunned they will move and flap, the blade misses and they are literally boiled alive.
Ducks for Meat
Ducks are active, social and inquisitive birds and form strong friendships. Their lives revolve around water and their health and well-being depends on it.
In factories they are bred to grow as big as possible as quickly as possible. They are overcrowded in unsanitary conditions and denied access to water. Being aquatic, they are not meant to stand for long periods of time and these conditions lead to many health problems. They develop leg disorders, injuries and infections.
Ducks are not protected by the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, so they do not have to be rendered unconscious before slaughter. They are dragged through an electrified bath but many are not properly stunned as they are moved to the cutting blade. Without being stunned they will move and flap, the blade misses and they are literally boiled alive.
Only male Mulard ducks are used for Foie Gras production. The females are bred for meat or killed after hatching. Foie Gras literally means “fat liver”. Ducks are force fed 2-3 times daily for a span of 2-3 weeks until they have a diseased fatty liver. During this time they are kept in cages and many suffer traumatic injuries or die of asphyxiation.