For those of you who don't know Mr. Yourofsky, he is an animal liberation activist who goes above & beyond for the animals of this world. He has done many speeches across the world, and spreads a message of love & compassion for all beings, human and animal alike.
Mr. Yourofsky is the founder of ADAPTT: Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today & Tomorrow. Which is a vegan organization that was established in 1996. They believe that all animals have the right to be free and free from harm. To learn more about this organization, click the "ADAPTT" picture above.
On March 30th, 1997 Mr. Yourofsky alongside some members of the ALF (Animal Liberation Front) raided a mink fur farm in Ontario, Canada and successfully released 1,542 mink. Reportedly the raid caused an estimated damage of $500,000 to the fur farm. Mr. Yourofsky was then arrested and sentenced to 6 months in a Canadian maximum security prison in 1999. Can you believe someone who was trying to prevent violence and torture was locked away with murderers, and REAL criminals?
The Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey circus has officially announced that as of 2018 the last 13 performing elephants will retire and then be joining 29 other elephants at the company's 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida.
For those of you who don't know what these elephants and other animals have been through, please keep reading... Zoos & circuses often prevent animals from engaging in basic natural behaviors such as flying, swimming, running, hunting, climbing, scavenging, and selecting a mate. The restrictions of captivity cause mental and physical frustration that often leads to neurotic behaviors, such as pacing, bar-biting, and self-mutilation.
These animals are often forced to sleep in cramped, sometimes filthy trucks, boxcars, or cages. They are also under a lot of pressure to perform. The above pictures of young elephants shows how they get trained, which is sometimes very confusing for them. The trainers use metal bull hooks to correct any mistakes the elephants make. The bull hook can be seen in the hands of the man in the bottom-right hand picture (it resembles a fireplace poker).
So please everyone don't stop campaigning! The rest of these animals need your help!
What you can do: Never attend circuses that use animals, instead of going to the zoo, watch films of animals in their natural habitats performing normal behaviors such as walking, feeding, playing, mating, fighting etc, support groups that work to preserve habitats & reputable nonprofit sanctuaries that rescue & care for animals but don't sell, breed, or exhibit them, and last but not least if a circus comes to your town, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper urging people not to attend & explain why.
I recently watched this movie called "Sarah's Key" and I really loved it. This is a adaptation of the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay. Most of the movie is spoken in French, yet has subtitles, and it follows an American journalist's (present day) investigation into the Vel' d'Hiv roundup of Jews in German-occupied Paris in 1942. It tells the story of a young girl named Sarah, and her experiences during and after these events. Holocaust stories have always had such a profound effect on me, partly because those people experienced what most animals are experiencing today. Starvation, abuse, neglect, separation, and sickness. This is an emotional movie that I think a lot of people will enjoy.
"I shall pass through this life but once.
Any good therefore that I can do, or any
kindness I can show, let me do it now.
Let me not defer or neglect it.
For I shall never pass this way again."
- Etienne de Grellet
The Largest user of fresh water is the livestock industry. Water is directly needed for the drinking and cleaning of animals. The biggest way animal agriculture consumes water is indirectly. A large amount of fresh water is used to grow the feed that livestock animals eat. That's a lot of water when we're talking about over 10 billion animals raised for food in the United States alone every year!
It takes a lot less water to grow the grains, beans, legumes, fruits, and vegetables that make up a typical vegan/vegetarian diet. For example, it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of meat, but it takes just 25 gallons to grow 1 pound of wheat.
Primarily in central and South America, expansion of pastures for livestock production has been one of
the biggest reasons for deforestation. Deforestation causes bad environmental damage. Not only does it release
billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but it drives thousands of species of life to extinction each year. Deforestation is ruining our opportunity to explore, make new discoveries and advance human knowledge.
Raising animals for food requires more than one-third of all raw materials and fossil fuels used in the U.S.. A 2006 United Nations report found that the livestock industry produces more greenhouse gasses than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined. The billions of animals crammed together and abused on factory farms give off enormous amounts of polluting gasses. Carbon-dioxide, methane, & nitrous-oxide emissions are the leading causes of climate change.
The book I'd like to highlight today is "Slaughterhouse" By Gail Eisnitz.
"Slaughterhouse is the first book of its kind to explore the impact that unprecedented changes in the meatpacking industry over the last twenty-five years-particularly industry consolidation, increased line speeds, and deregulation-have had on workers, animals, and consumers. It is also the first time ever that workers have spoken publicly about what's really taking place behind the closed doors of America's slaughterhouses."
This was a really great read. I did not want to put it down! You would be baffled at what the USDA allows to slip through into the consumers food. It was very eye opening and brought me to tears a few times. I definitely recommend this book to anyone.
From the words of a slaughterhouse employee:
"In the morning the big holdup was the calves. To get done with them faster, we'd put eight or nine of them in the knocking box at a time. As soon as they start going in, you start shooting, the calves are jumping, they're all piling up on top of each other. You don't know which ones got shot and which ones didn't get shot at all, and you forget to do the bottom ones. They're hung anyway, and down the line they go, wriggling and yelling. The baby ones--two, three weeks old--I felt bad killing them so i just let them walk past. But it wasn't just the calves that went through conscious. It was a serious problem with the cows, and the bulls have even harder skulls. A lot I had to hit three or five times, ten times before they'd go down. There were plenty of times you'd have to make a big hole in their head, and still they'd be alive. I remember one bull with really long horns. I knocked it twice, some solid white stuff came out--brains, i guess--and it went down, its face all bloody. I rolled it into the shackling area. That bull must have felt the shackle going on its leg, it got up like nothing ever happened to it, it didn't even wobble, and took off out the back door, started running down Route 17 and just wouldn't stop. They went out and shot it with a rifle, dragged it back with the tractor."
Why is honey not vegan?
Lets start out by learning who the honeybees are.
A queen bee mates once, over several days in her life with about 10 to 15 drones (males).
She stores the sperm and can selectively release it over the next 2 to 7 years of her life.
A well taken care of queen can lay up to 1,500 to 2,000 eggs per day!
Unfertilized eggs become drones (males) and fertilized ones become workers (females).
Honey bees have a way of communicating with each other. They use "dancing" to communicate food sources, whether it be direction, distance, or quality.
Honey bees have a division of labor that is age based. Young worker bees clean the hive and feed the larvae.
They progress to other within-colony tasks as they become older, such as receiving nectar and pollen from foragers, and guarding the hive. When too old to do other tasks the workers finally leave the hive and typically spend the remainder of their lives as foragers.
Honey bees are animals with a large nervous system capable of transmitting pain signals. And unlike in the case of plants, pain as we know it would be a useful evolutionary feature since bees are capable of moving to avoid it.
Now, the simplest reason why honey isn't vegan is by definition. The term vegan was coined by Donald Watson in 1944 and was defined as follows:
Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life. It applies to the practice of living on the products of the plant kingdom to the exclusion of flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, animal milk and its derivatives, and encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals.
The simple fact is that bees are enslaved. Basically it's the idea that humans are justified in using all other life forms instrumentally, for our own benefit.
Most honey comes from full-time factory bee farmers. A successor queen is selected by a human instead of the reigning queen--both of whom may have been artificially inseminated. Queens can live for as long as five years but most commercial beekeepers replace them every two years to keep honey production at a maximum. And by replace, I mean kill.
When manipulating the bees, most beekeepers use a smoker to maintain control and to prevent some stings. Honey bees die after they sting something. The smoke gets the bees to gorge themselves on honey, which calms them down.
Bees may travel as far as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey. Honey is stored in the hive as winter food for the bees. Sometimes they make more than they can eat, but do the beekeepers only take the extra? Not very likely.
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." - Alice Walker
Increasing numbers of people--including actress Drew Barrymore, pop star Moby, and actor Alec Baldwin--are embracing veganism, a lifestyle that entails avoiding all animal-based products and behaving ethically and conscientiously within our surroundings. In The Vegan Sourcebook, long-time activist Joanne Stepaniak further explores and illuminates the principles and practical aspects of compassionate living.
Vegan's Daily Companion is a beautiful hardcover book organized as a day minder, with entries creating a complete year's worth of information. Each of the year's fifty-two weeks has six entries.
You can start reading this book from the beginning, following the days of the week through the calendar year, or reading one entry a day (except for Saturday and Sunday, which are combined). You can also read from the middle of the book, the end, or skip around from week to week as inspiration strikes. The most important thing to remember is that you can use this book however you want.
Curious about veganism? Want to be a vegan? Just wondering how to be vegan without going insane? In this informative and practical guide on ethical veganism, we help you learn to love your inner vegan freak. Loaded with tips, advice, stories, and comprehensive resources that no new vegan should live without, this book is key to helping you thrive as a happy, healthy, and sane vegan in a decidedly non-vegan world.
In her groundbreaking new book, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows, Melanie Joy explores the invisible system that shapes our perception of the meat we eat, so that we love some animals and eat others without knowing why. She calls this system carnism. Carnism is the belief system, or ideology, that allows us to selectively choose which animals become our meat, and it is sustained by complex psychological and social mechanisms. Like other "isms" (racism, ageism, etc.), carnism is most harmful when it is unrecognized and unacknowledged. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cowsnames and explains this phenomenon and offers it up for examination. Unlike the many books that explain why we shouldn't eat meat, Joy's book explains why we do eat meat -- and thus how we can make more informed choices as citizens and consumers. Melanie Joy, Ph.D. is a psychologist, professor, and author. She teaches psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and is the leading researcher on carnism, the ideology of meat production and consumption.
Masson investigates how denial keeps people from recognizing the animal at the end of their fork as well as each culture's distinctions among animals considered food and those that are forbidden.
From dancing squirrels to bashful gorillas to spiteful killer whales, Masson and coauthor Susan McCarthy bring forth fascinating anecdotes and illuminating insights that offer powerful proof of the existence of animal emotion. Chapters on love, joy, anger, fear, shame, compassion, and loneliness are framed by a provocative re-evaluation of how we treat animals, from hunting and eating them to scientific experimentation. Forming a complete and compelling picture of the inner lives of animals, When Elephants Weep assures that we will never look at animals in the same way again.
Referred to as the "Grand Prix of epidemiology" by The New York Times, this study examines more than 350 variables of health and nutrition with surveys from 6,500 adults in more than 2,500 counties across China and Taiwan, and conclusively demonstrates the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. While revealing that proper nutrition can have a dramatic effect on reducing and reversing these ailments as well as curbing obesity, this text calls into question the practices of many of the current dietary programs, such as the Atkins diet, that are widely popular in the West. The politics of nutrition and the impact of special interest groups in the creation and dissemination of public information are also discussed.
STOP BEING A MORON AND START GETTING SKINNY: If you can't take one more day of self-loathing, you're ready to hear the truth: You cannot keep shoveling the same crap into your mouth every day and expect to lose weight. Authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin are your new smart-mouthed girlfriends who won't mince words and will finally tell you the truth about what you're feeding yourself. And they'll guide you on making intelligent and educated decisions about food. They may be bitches, but they are skinny bitches. And you'll be one too - after you get with the program and start eating right. Rory Freedman, a former agent for Ford Models, is a self-taught know-it-all. Kim Barnouin is a former model who holds a Masters of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition. They have successfully counseled models, actors, athletes, and other professionals using the Skinny Bitch method. They both live in Los Angeles.
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."--Genesis 1:24-26
In this crucial passage from the Old Testament, God grants mankind power over animals. But with this privilege comes the grave responsibility to respect life, to treat animals with simple dignity and compassion.
Somewhere along the way, something has gone wrong.
In Dominion, we witness the annual convention of Safari Club International, an organization whose wealthier members will pay up to $20,000 to hunt an elephant, a lion or another animal, either abroad or in American "safari ranches," where the animals are fenced in pens. We attend the annual International Whaling Commission conference, where the skewed politics of the whaling industry come to light, and the focus is on developing more lethal, but not more merciful, methods of harvesting "living marine resources." And we visit a gargantuan American "factory farm," where animals are treated as mere product and raised in conditions of mass confinement, bred for passivity and bulk, inseminated and fed with machines, kept in tightly confined stalls for the entirety of their lives, and slaughtered in a way that maximizes profits and minimizes decency.
Throughout Dominion, Scully counters the hypocritical arguments that attempt to excuse animal abuse: from those who argue that the Bible's message permits mankind to use animals as it pleases, to the hunter's argument that through hunting animal populations are controlled, to the popular and "scientifically proven" notions that animals cannot feel pain, experience no emotions, and are not conscious of their own lives.
Every day, more people are shifting towards a plant-based diet without meat, eggs, and dairy products due to concerns about their health, the environment, or animal ethics. Two of North America's foremost vegetarian dietitians present up-to-date findings on how to meet all of your nutritional needs eating a nutritious, vegan diet. From infants and toddlers to seniors - as well as the special needs of athletes and pregnant women, -you'll discover the information you need to stay healthy and enjoy a balanced diet. Also includes a section on how a vegan diet can protect against cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. Considered the definitive work on vegan nutrition, anyone interested in becoming a vegan should read this book.
Vegan women everywhere are banding together in their efforts to be healthy, cruelty free, and environmentally responsible.This is their handbook. Melisser (known to most as “The Urban Housewife”) presents the basics of veganism for the newbies, lots of DIY craft projects, cruelty-free beauty tips, travel advice, recipes,and more.
This book is not just for vegan girls—it’s also for anyone who’s interested in a cruelty-free lifestyle. Discover the best beauty products,fun vacation spots, plus an assortment of recipes including Jack fruit “Carnitas” Tacos, Twice Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes, Curried Red Lentil Veggie Burgers, Chipotle Hominy Stew, and Double Chocolate Cookies. Learn how to make recycled cake stands, find a cross-stitch pattern by Stitch’d Ink, and find out about natural beauty and cleaning products. Reading like a Who’s Who of vegan women, contributions of recipes and craft projects will be provided by some of the most respected vegan chefs and bloggers in the world (Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Hannah Kaminsky, Celine Steen, Julie Hasson, Kittee Berns, Kelly Peloza, and more).
Full of photos and quirky illustrations, this is useful information with a punk rock attitude.
A celebration of plant-based cuisine, The Vegan Table offers recipes and menus for every occasion and season, including romantic meals, traditional tea parties, formal dinners, casual gatherings, children’s parties, and holiday feasts.
Packed with invaluable tips, expert advice, fascinating lore, delicious recipes, and gorgeous full-color photographs, The Vegan Table is the ultimate guide, whether you are hosting an intimate gathering of close friends or a large party with an open guest list.
A guide to vegan living features more than four hundred recipes for everything from Pumpkin Pie Pancakes and Fried Green Tomato Po-Boys to Ginger-Scented Pot Stickers, Hot Tamale Vegetable Pie, and Brandy-Apple Pie, all of which exclude all animal products. Simultaneous.
You don't have to blow your budget to eat great meatless and dairy-free meals every day. With Vegan on the Cheap, you can enjoy delicious vegan meals every day of the week. Veteran food writer and vegan authority Robin Robertson provides 150 mouth-watering, exciting recipes that cost just 50 cents to $2 per serving-hefty savings to go with hearty vegan meals.
Veganize Any Recipe with Confidence! The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions is your secret weapon to turning any recipe imaginable into a deliciously veganized success - no guesswork or hard labor involved. And no more kitchen failures or recipe flops either. Simply look up whatever non-vegan ingredient you want to sub out, and expert author team Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman will explain exactly what substitution is best to use and how to make it without compromising taste or flavor, so you'll create dishes that are not only better than the real thing, but healthier too. With more than 200 recipes and substitutions that show the swaps in action, you'll find step-by-step instructions for replacing everything from butter and bacon to gelatin and gouda. You'll also find healthy substitutions for replacing things like gluten, sugar, and fat, so you can fine-tune any recipe to your dietary needs. Stunning photography and easy-to-follow charts appear in every chapter, making it a cinch to dip in and out whenever you need a quick reference or recipe. If you've always wanted to turn your aunt's famous mac and cheese into a veganized taste sensation, or your grandma's buttermilk pie into a rousing, reinvented success, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions is the solution you've been looking for!
Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, EARTHLINGS chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.
Examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.
An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.
This Documentary will leave each person fully informed as to some of the causes of these illnesses and offers ways of improving human health. This documentary predominantly explores the effects of animal protein on the human body and the environment.
Q: Why is it okay for wild animals to eat other animals but it is wrong for humans to eat other animals?/ Eating meat is natural.
A: Part of the answer is in the question. WILD animals, are just that. They are naturally born with the instinct to kill animals and eat them, we are not. We are taught throughout life that eating meat, and other animal products is okay or natural. Meat eating is a learned behavior.
We can live without eating meat, real meat-eaters on the other hand such as lions, and wolves cannot live without eating meat. The human body thrives on a plant based diet.
When you look at the comparison between herbivores and humans, we compare much more closely to herbivores than meat eating animals. Humans are clearly not designed to digest and ingest meat. All omnivorous and carnivorous animals eat their meat raw. When a lion kills an herbivore for food, it tears right into the stomach area to eat the organs that are filled with blood (nutrients). While eating the stomach, liver, intestine, etc., the lion laps the blood in the process of eating the dead animal's flesh. Even bears that are omnivores eat salmon raw. However, eating raw bloody meat disgust us as humans and would make us sick. This is why we must cook it and season it to buffer the taste of the flesh.Clearly if humans were meant to eat meat we wouldn't have so many crucial ingestive/digestive similarities with animals that are herbivores. Take a look at these differences:
Meat-eaters: have claws
Herbivores: no claws
Humans: no claws
Meat-eaters: have no skin pores and perspire through the tongue
Herbivores: perspire through skin pores
Humans: perspire through skin pores
Meat-eaters: have sharp front teeth for tearing, with no flat molar teeth for grinding
Herbivores: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding
Humans: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding
Meat-eaters: have intestinal tract that is only 3 times their body length so that rapidly decaying meat can pass through quickly
Herbivores: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.
Humans: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.
Meat-eaters: have strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat
Herbivores: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater
Humans: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater
Meat-eaters: salivary glands in mouth not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits.
Herbivores: well-developed salivary glands which are necessary to pre-digest grains and fruits
Humans: well-developed salivary glands, which are necessary to pre-digest, grains and fruits
Meat-eaters: have acid saliva with no enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Herbivores: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Humans: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Q: Where do you get your protein?
A: There are many sources of protein that are not only found in animal flesh. Plant based sources of protein can be found in the following: Tempeh, seitan, soybeans, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, veggie burgers, chickpeas, pinto beans, black eyed peas, tofu, lima beans, quinoa, bagels, peas, peanut butter, spaghetti, almonds, soy milk, almond milk, soy yogurt, bulgur wheat, sunflower seeds, whole wheat bread, cashews, almond butter, brown rice, spinach, broccoli, potato, and the list goes on!
Q: Plants are living things that feel pain, why don't you stop eating those too?
A: Plants do not have a central nervous system, they do not have a brain. They have a system of hormones, methylxanthines, alkaloids etc. that allow them to respond to the changing environment. The difference between eating plants and animals is that we must eat plants to survive and we do not need animals or their products to survive. I think it is very obvious that animals are more sentient than a plant. You can torture a cow, a plant however has no cognition of this. Plants do not exhibit any behavior which would indicate consciousness, nor does the ability to feel pain give plants an evolutionary survival advantage. An animal's survival depends on reacting to situations which may cause pain and suffering. On the other hand, plants can not run away from a predator, nor can plants change their position to avoid a forest fire. Therefore, it is unlikely that plants would develop the ability to feel pain when it confers no survival advantage.
Q: What is the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan?
A: A vegan and a vegetarian share the same diet, meaning no animal products. They both eat a plant based diet. The only differences are that vegans exclude products that have been tested on animals, and they exclude animal furs, skins, and leathers. A lacto-ovo-vege-tarian chooses not to eat meat, yet allows dairy and eggs into their diet.
Q: Why do you care more about animals than people? People in this world are suffering just as much as animals.
A: There is more than enough food in the world to feed the entire human population. So why are more than a billion people still going hungry? Well, eating animal products is to blame. Huge amounts of our grain, soybeans, and corn get fed to the animals that we use for food instead of feeding starving people.It takes 5,000 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat—but only 25 gallons to grow 1 pound of wheat, so raising animals for food is extremely inefficient. Also, the largest user of fresh water is the livestock industry. Water is directly needed for drinking and the cleaning of animals. And that's a lot of water when we're talking about over 10 billion animals raised for food in the United States alone every year! On top of that, a large amount of fresh water is used to grow the feed that livestock animals eat. It takes a lot less water to grow grains, beans, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. So ultimately a vegan diet ends up saving people from world hunger.
Q: If everyone went vegan, wouldn't the world become overpopulated with animals?
A: First off, the only way this could ever happen is if the change took place over night, and we all know that is not possible. This type of change is something that would take many years. Slowly the demand for animal products would decrease, which would result in these companies not breeding/producing as many animals. Any leftover animals would be able to live out their lives peacefully.
Q: Whats the point of becoming vegan when the entire world will never do it?
A: People would never get anywhere in a world that thought like this. Never stop trying to achieve your goals. The first step in making a difference in this world is awareness, and you can only go up from there. People never thought slavery would end, but it did because people united against it, and spread the truth. Always try your best to cause the least amount of harm possible. Your cause will never be achievable if you don't believe in it.
"Isn't man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife by the millions in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billions and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions because eating all those animals leads to degenerative and fatal health conditions. So then man tortures and kills more animals to look for cures for the diseases. Elsewhere, other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Then some people are dying of sad laughter by the absurdity of man who kills and tortures so easily, and once a year sends out cards praying for 'peace on earth'."
Several million breeding sows on U.S. factory farms are subjected to some of the cruelest conditions in the industrialized agriculture industry, living most of their lives confined so tightly that they cannot walk or even turn around. Breeding sows are typically first impregnated at seven months of age and then confined in 2x7 foot gestation crates barely larger than their bodies. They remain in these crates during their four months of pregnancy. At the end of their gestation periods, the sows
are moved to similarly confining farrowing crates to give birth and nurse their newborns. After nursing for a period of ranging 10 days to 3 weeks, the piglets are taken away to be raised for pork. (In a more natural environment, sows will nurse their piglets for up to 17 weeks.) With their movement severely restricted, sows in farrowing crates cannot interact in any meaningful way with their piglets. Because the industry pushes sows to produce as many piglets as possible, more than 20 piglets per sow each year; more than 10% of the piglets die before weaning. Just four to eight days after
weaning their piglets, the sows are typically returned to gestation crates and are re-impregnated (through artificial insemination) to maximize production. Confining sows their whole lives in gestation crates and farrowing crates prevents them from engaging in basic natural behaviors and leads to physical and psychological maladies. With no straw or bedding, most sows are forced to stand and lie on uncomfortable concrete or metal floors for their entire lives. Paired with a lack of exercise, this unnatural environment leads to muscle
atrophy, skin wounds, abscesses, and crippling leg disorders. Their deprived environment causes chronic stress, anxiety and boredom, and the sows often exhibit abnormal coping behaviors, such as repetitively chewing on the bars of their crates. Recognized as inherently cruel, gestation crates are being phased out in the European Union. Several U.S. states have also recently enacted laws to phase out these cruel systems. While pigs in a more natural setting can live for about 10 to 12 years, the animals on factory farms live short, painful
lives. After three to four years of breeding, the sows' productivity drops off and they are sent to slaughter, sometimes barely able to walk due to their time in intensive confinement. Like their mothers, the offspring of breeding sows will only know pain and misery for their entire lives. Piglets who survive weaning are confined inside pens with concrete floors and metal bars where they never have a chance to root in the soil or feel the sun. At 6 months of age, they are sent to slaughter.
Painful mutilations performed on piglets without pain killers include cutting off piglets' tails to minimize tail biting (an abnormal aggressive behavior that results from overcrowding), cutting notches into their ears for identification purposes, and castrating males. Poor housing, unhealthy food, overcrowding stress, and noxious air are inside these pig factories that contribute to various maladies, including tumors, respiratory diseases, ulcers, and lameness, which can lead to death. The air inside hog factories is so polluted with dust, dander and noxious gases from the animals' waste that workers who are exposed for just a few hours per day are at high risk for bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, organic dust toxic syndrome, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Unlike these workers, the pigs have no escape from this toxic air, and roughly half of all pigs who die between weaning and slaughter succumb to respiratory disease.
After a life of confinement, most pigs will endure long, overcrowded transport in a tractor trailer to the slaughterhouse. Stress and overcrowding in transport trucks, coupled with highway accidents involving these trucks, kill more than 200,000 pigs every year. Producers attempt to maximize profits by packing as many animals as possible onto each truck, further contributing to the animals' stress and often causing many of them to become "downers" -- animals unable to stand or walk when they arrive at the slaughterhouse. Nearly 400,000 pigs every year arrive at slaughter plants as downers who all too often become the victims of abuse as handlers try to unload them as quickly as possible.
The federal Humane Slaughter Act mandates that pigs are to be stunned or rendered unconscious prior to slaughter. Improper stunning, however, can leave conscious animals hanging upside down, kicking and struggling, while slaughterhouse workers try to stick them in their necks with knives. If the worker is unsuccessful, the pig will be carried to the next station on the slaughterhouse dis-assembly line: the scalding tank. Designed to prepare hair for removal and disinfect pigs' skin, the scalding tank boils alive any pig unfortunate enough to survive botched stunning and sticking.