For the World

 
 
 
 

Animal Welfare / Animal Rights

injured pig

hen slaughterhouse

sows in metal stalls

sows in metal stalls

Over 65 billion animals are slaughtered every year throughout the world for food alone (this does not even include seafood). Factory farming is the only way to produce this huge amount of meat, this is a method which does not even allow for animals’ most basic needs. Life long restriction of movement, darkness, mutilation without anaesthesia and problems resulting from selective breeding are the price that creatures capable of feeling pain and fear have to pay in order to provide this amount of meat. Unspeakable brutality towards animals has been documented countless times during their transportation and, of course, in the slaughterhouse.
The recognition that animals are sentient beings has brought about a change in attitude towards the way in which animals are kept over recent years. It is highly likely that the next generation will simply not accept practices such as battery cages, sow stalls or live animal transport. Maybe the next generation will even turn their back on the slaughtering of animals altogether. Studies in ethology (animal behaviour research) show us that, in respect of consciousness, intelligence and the ability to feel pain, many animals are more developed than new born human babies.

Some of the cruellest methods of factory farming are those which use the most intelligent and social of domestic animals, for example, pigs. Breeding sows are female pigs that have to “produce” piglets for pork production, they are restrained in individual metal sow stalls which are practically the same size as their body. They are unable to turn around, have no bedding on the bare concrete floor and can only stand or try to lie down. A slatted trench directly behind the sow makes the removal of her waste easier. This confinement and isolation of these highly social animals is animal torture. Injuries often include infected and swollen trotters and joints and skin is made raw through rubbing against the bars and the sow’s own excrement. The sows can only rest on their hind legs - with sunken head and half or totally closed eyes they “mourn” as animal behaviour researches have called it.

The vast majority of laying hens are kept in tiny battery cages with other hens. The cages are stacked on top of each other. In some countries a hen will have the space of approximately one piece of A4 paper, she will stand on a bare wire floor. In other countries she will have even less space. Behaviour normal and necessary for chickens, such as wing stretching, scratching, being able to find a quiet place where they can lay their eggs undisturbed and moving out of the way of aggression from other hens is forcefully suppressed for the whole of the hen’s life under this form of farming.

Live animal transport, sometimes involving journeys halfway around the world, carelessness and brutality in slaughterhouses, secretly filmed sadism towards animals: All this and more shows us that the way we use animals today to feed ourselves causes an enormous amount of misery and suffering for countless creatures.