Animal Agriculture

It’s time more people face the truth. Intensive factory farming is unethical and unsustainable.

If you eat meat on a regular basis, please watch Dominion to see how meat is produced.

As an average meat eater in the US, in your lifetime you will pay someone to kill at least:

  • 2400 chickens
  • 70 turkeys
  • 32 pigs
  • 11 cows

Here are some global statistics on three familiar animals:

Cows

  • 1 billion worldwide
  • 300 million slaughtered annually
  • around 6 billion cows slaughtered in past 20 years

Pigs

  • 1 billion worldwide
  • over 1.5 billion killed annually (the average age of a pig when slaughtered is less than 1 year old)
  • around 25 billion pigs slaughtered in past 20 years (Compared to 6 million Jews in the Holocaust)

Chickens

  • 19 billion worldwide
  • over 50 billion killed annually
  • around 1 trillion chickens slaughtered in past 20 years

Slaughter

In most western countries, every animal is slaughtered in this two-step procedure:

Step 1: Rendering Unconscious

  1. Carbon dioxide gas chamber
  2. Electric Stunning
  3. Captive-bolt pistols
  4. Other- sledgehammer, rifle

Step 2: Killing

Throat slit and bled out upside down

In many countries, they skip step 1. 

Under mass factory farming, every life—cow, pig and chicken—is cut short by disease or slaughter. Their lives are treated with contempt and their dead bodies regarded as nothing more than commodities. Instead of living healthy, long lives, they live miserable, short lives—never reaching past childhood. Once natural species with unique roles in the diversity of life, now trapped as mere commodities in a global production system. Dairy cows are forcibly impregnated every ten months to produce milk, and separated from their newborn calves right after birth. They are used for three to four cycles of milk production on average before being slaughtered at less than five years of age. Pigs are forcibly impregnated multiple times a year to produce around twenty piglets per year. They spend their entire lives in small, confined spaces—often too narrow to even turn around. Chickens have the tips of their beaks cut off and are kept in densely crowded sheds or wire cages where disease proliferates and undiscovered corpses putrefy. Animal agriculture is a never-ending cycle of suffering. There is no happiness at any point of the process.

Is eating meat unethical? This is a difficult question to answer, however, a question that every meat eater should ponder given that modern meat comes from lives that endure unimaginable pain and suffering, from their first breaths to their last. Any reasonable human being, if they are willing to look, can see that the amount of suffering and cruelty is appalling. The problem is that society is structured so that there is a lack of appreciation of the lives of animals and understanding of the suffering gone into producing a piece of meat. Most of us have not contemplated the issue of meat production. Companies shield the truth and the majority of us have not bothered to seek it. We have to question the culture that brought us up by educating ourselves on the truth, the one hidden from our view.

Not only is animal agriculture an abuse of the beautiful animals that share our planet, but it is also a leading cause of chronic disease, and a plethora of global problems including climate change and biodiversity loss. Several issues arise from this system:

  1. Land Use Change– Deforestation, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, species extinction, land degradation
  2. Livestock Feed– GMOs and pesticides, monoculture, water crisis, water pollution, soil degradation, ocean dead zones, greenhouse gas emissions
  3. Intensive Animal Farming– Animal welfare, antibiotic resistance, methane emissions, animal waste, water pollution
  4. Slaughter– Animal cruelty, human exploitation
  5. Retail– Greenhouse gas emissions, food waste, farm animal diseases, packaging waste
  6. Home– Chronic disease, high healthcare costs

As you can see, animal agriculture has a wide range of detrimental effects. From production to consumption, meat is at the core of many alarming global issues that will only get worse due to increasing demand. The consequences of eating meat far outweigh the benefits to ourselves, the animals, and the environment.

At the end of the day, many people will continue to eat meat for some time to come, but for those of us who are willing to acknowledge and change, we should consider drastically reducing or eliminating our consumption of animal products, especially factory-farmed animal products, and be willing to spread the information.

In an egoistic society grounded on individualism, empathy and love especially towards people or animals considered inferior is a form of weakness. We see this develop repeatedly through history. However, we also have the ability to change. Every human is capable of both unspeakable evil and unconditional love. Let us choose to be more loving to each other and to all animals.

Sources

https://www.upc-online.org/slaughter/92704stats.htm

http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/dairy.htm

Click to access chapitre_aw_slaughter.pdf

Click to access D2703.PDF

Click to access the-life-of-dairy-cows.pdf

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