The torture and suffering of animals
Time for the last part in my short series about the many problems of the modern meat industry. By now, I've written about the environment, bad fats, toxins, hormones, antibiotics and bacteria, but this post is about the most important aspect of all, according to me, which regards the animals that suffers through all kinds of horrors to enable us to eat meat until it makes us sick. To get a full picture of what is going on, read my previous posts first, links are in the bottom of this post.
Where did our moral go? Animal rights?
This is not a fun topic to investigate, the industry is not giving animals good enough conditions and there are even heartbreaking scenes are going on around the world. How do the farmers feel when animals suffer? Those directly involved on a daily basis with the animals, I think they suffer along with the animals but are to dependent on the system to ever speak up. I think this is unfair to all involved, to be forced to live like this.
Where did animal rights go? Where did the moral of humanity go? How can we be so cruel towards beautiful, innocent animals? It is time for humanity to wake up, we can´t claim to be moral beings or anything but simple beasts, as long as we do this to animals. Who is to blame? Everyone that turns a blind eye and consumes meat it equally guilty to the downfall of moral and conversion of animals into industry products.
Do the animals feel pain and experience stress and fear?
Yes, of course they do, pigs is just as smart as dogs and can form social bonds and friendships. Mothers know when their children suffer, which is just as true for animals, but still death of new borne pigs due to bad conditions is accepted on many places.
One pig can form strong bonds to another just as dogs can to another dog, I read about a pig that attacked a farmer who took his friend, intended to slaughter it. This happened in Sweden and the two involved pigs actually made it out through an a close by open barn door and out into the woods. These pigs had good lives, as good as can be in the meat industry, I merely mention it to support the fact that they have strong emotions and feel fear just as we do.
These dogs were found living on the streets of Beijing, and when approached by rescuers, the bigger of the two dogs held the smaller, suspecting that the rescuers had bad intentions. It is just heartbreaking to think about, such emotional capable creatures and the horrors we drag them through.
Farm animal rights
In EU, we have rules to follow that is pretty solid, but how are they interpreted? Do they really give animals the freedom they deserve? I would argue that more must be done, much more prior to calling the meat industry in EU fair.
In the US, there are no federal laws governing animal welfare but there are a few states that regulates and has banned certain methods of breeding or housing animals. Some states thou, do not ban even the most primitive and painful methods.
Even worse conditions are found around the world, so if we can't even set a decent example in EU & US how is the rest of the world, with even larger populations, supposed to evolve their food industries into animal friendly versions.
We do also import many kinds of meat and ready made food products from china, to both EU & US or from Brazil and mexico for that matter. Do we need so much meat, that we are willing to cut down the rainforests in Amazonas and cause animals suffering?
American companies is involved in the beef production over in Amazonas and of course in many other international projects, where regard to nature and animals are lower. We are living in a more and more global world every day that passes, so eating imported products in the US or EU, might support meat industries with much worse conditions then we have inside EU / US.
The suffering of animals
Farm Animal Welfare, FAW
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
- Freedom from Discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.
- Freedom from Fear and Distress - by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
EU of course, have the most evolved rules and legislation in favor of farm animals, which US seem to lack on a federal level. These 5 freedoms must be taken in consideration when planing to house farm animals in EU. Sadly, they are not considered exact rules, word by word, and the industrialization takes away much of the freedoms from the animals. Besides that, I know for a fact that many animal transports lack all of these freedoms, and last for long duration sometimes. This is constantly featured in different magazines around EU as well as around the world.
Even in Sweden, such a small country, animals are jammed on trucks with no food or water, in 40 degrees sick or healthy. I would never eat meat, no matter the legislation or rules, but I will fight to get the animals the legislation they deserve!
EU has outlawed the use of gestation crates, battery cages, and now even Belgium has banned production of foi grass. This is good, since the methods are torture according to me and in conflict with FAW. We still must demand more, natural conditions is the only accepted environment for animals.
Federal & State regulations, US
Lacking federal laws to regulate the industry, it is up to each state to ban methods that are too cruel and to protect animals with fair rules. The best state in America at protecting animals is California, no surprise to me, they are always in the forefront of modernizing US legislation.
Gestation cages has been banned in all the states listed below, but must be extended to the global industry right away according to me. Foi gras is also seeing more bans, since it involves tube assisted force feeding to make the liver swell essentially, torture!
The top 8 states to live in as a farm animal can be seen in Green on this map below. Only California has banned all 5 listed methods, so US seem to lack greatly, when it comes to animal welfare. Shockingly enough, there are states that do not even have laws against animal cruelty!
South Dakota has no laws against animal cruelty neither do they regulate cock fighting? what is this? the 1500´s ?
Demand more from your elected officials.
Unacceptable Living conditions
With antibiotics, animal can live close to each other and in their own & the feces of other animals. They are stuck in large compounds as close to each other as possible. Farm animals will never raise their own children neither they will never eat or see grass / peck around in the soil. Chickens will never build nests, how is this acceptable according to the freedoms we should give farm animals? well it is not, it is all about making money and leads to a situation where animals are handled like industry products.
Transport & Slaughter
As if their lives where not horrific enough, when transported, the animals, big or small, is jammed into small compartments with bad air in any weather. They rarely have food or water in there, this is the only time they move out of their cages, so sad that there is no light at the end of the tunnel for these animals.
This might be the most repulsive part of the entire blog series, the horrors of experimental breeding is no joke at all, diabolic or satanic doesn't even cover it, I can't even find words to explain how I feel about it.
Cows give birth to one calf, that's nature's way, but the meat industry feels that two calves would be better so with zero regard for the health of the cow or calves, so they breed to increase the odds of twins. The rate of twin births for cows is only 1 % for a good reason, but there has been attempts by different methods to increase this rate greatly.
Twinning a highly desirable trait, this indicates an increased reproductive capacity of an animal. However, in a uniparous species, like a cow, multiple births occur rarely. Twinning rate in cattle controlled either through genetic selection, hormonal treatments, embryo transfer and hormones
Successful use of twinning in cattle production, will require nutrition and generally improved management for twin producing cows to overcome problems ,which including a higher risk of dystocia, retained placenta, metritis, abortion, calf mortality, poor postpartum reproduction, increased culling rate and freemartin heifers. The increase in twinning rate, despite low heritability of this trait, can be achieved through selection, when multiple observations of ovulation rate are used as the indirect selection criterion.
Twinning is just one example of breeding endeavours, and I think it should be outlawed due to all the side effects, on both cows and offspring!
What should animals do?
Obviously they should live in their natural habitats with their likes :) If we must have meat in stores, it should be limited in quantity in such a way that we can ensure that every animal will be able to live naturally at a farm.
We must ensure that water and land will remain to grow crops to humanity. The nutritional chain could collapse thanks to water and soil contamination if we keep up the intense meat industry.
Animals can have good lives and assist humans at the same time, horses and oxen have been working for 1000´s of year and can be used as eco friendly vehicles. We should honor and respect all they done for uss, and never breed animals into an existence of suffering, or simply into unnatural conditions.Just look at this below ;)
This pig is being used as a vehicle :) he just need to munch on some lettuce and goes again. This man is a swine herd and rides this large hog around town, after being Ill and to weak to walk down to the market, he tried it and now they have a cool relationship. Animals never needs to suffer, we don't have to eat so much meat. If we had smaller farms with more natural conditions, we could give animals good lives, even though I am a vegan, this is ok. Anything is better than what we have today!