Factory Farming: What They Don't Want You To Know
Meet Your Dinner
Have you ever stopped and thought about the food you eat? You know, where it comes from and how it got on your plate? Most people don't think about it. In fact, there doesn't seem anything more innocent that a family sitting together having turkey at Thanksgiving or children eating chicken fingers in a school cafeteria. We trust our food sources blindly. We never stop to think about the conditions of factory farming for both animals and workers. We also don't think much of the health risks of eating meat products that have been handled in such inhumane ways for the sole purpose of making money.
I'm not advocating vegetarianism and I am not about to lecture anyone into changing their lifestyle. Being a vegetarian is not for everyone and eating meat (organic) in moderation has it's health benefits. I'm concerned, as we all should be, about the welfare of animals in the name of greed. I'm also concerned about the obesity and cancer epidemic that has taken so many lives. I'm sick of the lies our government tells us and the lies the food industry is allowed to get away with.
Most of our meat products come from factory farms. Factory farming began in the 1920s when vitamins A and D were discovered. Farmers realized that animals no longer needed sunlight or exercise to grow when fed these vitamins. The practice of housing livestock in dark, filthy and over crowded conditions began.
Unfortunately, the trend that began has resulted in unnecessarry pain and suffering for animals. Most never see sunlight in their short lives. Moving is difficult if not impossible and disease spreads quickly in these farms. The diseases are passed on to the consumers.
- 98% of animals killed each year are birds and 94% of that are chicken.
- 5-8 birds are crammed into 14 inch battary cages.
- To prevent aggression in broiler rooms and battary cages, chicken are debeaked and have their toes amputated while fully conscious and without pain killers.
- Chicken are genetically altered to grow fast and huge. Because of this, they reach market rate at about seven weeks. The birds get so big they cannot move or support their own weight.
- Piglets are snatched from their mother when they are less than a month old.
- Many pigs live in dark, filthy and overcrowded factories and have never seen daylight.
- Pigs have their tails, teeth and testicles removed without the aid of pain relief.
- Pigs are intelligent. They are more intelligent than dogs and equally if not more intelligent than primates.
- Dairy cows are constantly impregnated in order to keep the flow of milk continuous.
- Female calves born stay at the dairy farm, male calves are taken to the factories to become veal.
- Male calves live in crates their entire life.
- An old dairy cow is sent to the slaughter house.
- Slaughter houses are over crowded. Cows stand in their own filth and due to unsanitary conditions, are prone to respritory illnesses.
- Cows are commonly fed hay instead of grass. It's unhealthy and increases the risk of disease in humans, but it's cheaper than grass.
- Before the slaughter, cows are stunned by a blow to the head. Many times, this does not kill the cow and she is fully conscience while being hung by her feet. Workers will beat the conscious cow until she is dead.
A Factory Farm Animal's Tears
Born into this world
Blind, I cannot see
I wait for mother's warmth
But that is not meant to be
Where, I don't know
It's crowded and dark
I cannot move to and fro
There is screaming around me
I'm screaming too
I have done nothing to deserve
But what can I do?
I grow in the darkness
I've never seen light
I've never known love
All I know is cries
I wait for the slaughter
I do not realize the torture
I will be awake for the horror
This is my terrible fate
I am living in fear
I have no rights
I wish for the end to come
This is my life
What Can the Average Consumer Do?
Animals are capable of love and deserve respect. The suffering and inhumane treatment of animals is 100% preventable. Becoming a vegetarian or even opting for organic meat will save many animals from the horrors of these factories. Animals on organic farms are treated humanely and allowed to roam the grounds. They are not fed hormones and lead very natural lives.
Sometimes organic food is too expensive. Simply cutting down on the meat and dairy products eaten will save many animals' lives. Cutting down on meat products will also improve your overall health. Buying food from local farms is also an option. You can also substitute some of the meat you eat with mock meats. Veggie burgers have come a long way. There is a wide variety these days and most are very tasty.
Factory farms are exempt from laws regarding abuse towards animals. Write letters to congress demanding better treatment of farm animals. Many in congress are already horrified at the conditions of these poor creatures.
We must remember that WE are the consumers and WE are the ones that can make a difference.
Some Sites Worth Checking Out
Donate, volunteer or even sponsor a farm animal that was rescued. Farm Sanctuary is a wonderful organization that really cares about animals. I have sponsored animals here in the past. This organization is truly amazing. You can even book a trip to visit one of their sanctuaries.
Not only does Peta keep the public informed as to what is happening to animals, but if you are debating about becoming a vegetarian, Peta can help you. Just sign up for a free Vegan Starter Kit.
Another great organization. The humane society fights for the rights of all animals. Volunteer or donate at their website.