"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.
"The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals."
Egg laying hens are among the most abused of all farmed animals. On factory farms, four or more hens are forced to live inside tiny wire enclosures called battery cages. In these confines, the hens are unable to stretch their wings or legs, fulfill social needs or engage in natural behaviors. Constantly rubbing against the wire of battery cages, hens suffer severe feather loss and are covered with bruises and abrasions. To prevent injuries caused by excessive pecking, a result of unnatural, overcrowded conditions, chickens' beaks are seared off with a hot blade. Damaged beaks never grow back.
In order to shock their bodies into another egg-laying cycle when production declines, the hens are denied food, water, and light for up to two weeks. This cruel process is known as forced molting. Poultry producers also use selective breeding to make chickens and turkeys grow larger more quickly. Raising more birds in less time increases producers' profit, but also severely compromises the health of chickens and intensifies their suffering. Hundreds of millions of broiler chickens die every year from organ failure, because the birds' hearts and lungs do not grow as rapidly as the rest of their bodies, and cannot deliver enough oxygen to the muscles. The resulting strain can cause heart failure. The birds'
legs also do not grow fast enough to support their abnormally heavy bodies, causing crippling joint disorders, skeletal deformities and lameness. Birds who are unable to walk cannot reach food and water stations, and may die from starvation or dehydration.
When birds reach slaughter weight (about 5 lbs for broiler chickens), they are gathered up and sent to slaughter. For most chickens, this is the first and only time they will see the sky or breathe fresh air. The journey from grow house to slaughterhouse can be long and arduous, subjecting these frightened and defenseless animals to more misery. Chickens are commonly shipped to slaughter in open crates stacked on large
flatbed trucks. Though countless birds die en route from exposure to temperature and weather extremes, it is more economical for the industry to absorb high mortality rates than to shelter the birds during transport. At the slaughterhouse, workers pull the birds from the crates as quickly as possible, giving little thought to their welfare. A crane or forklift may also be used to lift the crates off the truck and dump the birds roughly onto a conveyor belt. As they are unloaded, some birds inevitably fall onto the ground, where they may be crushed by machinery or die slowly from injuries or starvation. While the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act requires that animals be rendered unconscious
prior to slaughter, birds are specifically excluded from it. Though they feel pain just as other animals, and comprise more than 95% of all farm animals killed every year in the U.S., their suffering is disregarded. Birds are commonly shackled by their feet on a moving rail that dips them head first into an electrified bath. The electricity paralyzes their muscles, but is not strong enough to numb the birds to pain or fear; it simply ensures that they hang limp as they continue down the line to another machine that cuts their throats. After the birds emerge from the water, their throats are slashed, usually with mechanized blades, and they bleed to death. Next, they are submerged in a scalding tank containing boiling water to facilitate feather removal. The mechanized blades meant to kill the birds before they reach the scalding tank invariably miss some of their intended victims. These birds are often dunked into the boiling water fully conscious. Sadly, this is an occurrence so common that the industry has developed a name for such birds: "redskins."
"Free-Range" VS. Battery Cage
*The bottom line is, that There is simply NO way to humanely produce eggs for human consumption.*
For additional information you may visit the FreeRangeMyth website.
The New Four Food Groups
Vegetables (fresh, frozen, raw, or cooked)
- 3 or more daily servings
- Serving sizes: 1/2 cup cooked vegetables; 1 cup raw vegetables
- Good sources of vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, riboflavin, and fiber
Fruit (fresh, frozen, raw, or cooked)
- 2 or more daily servings
- Serving sizes: 1 medium piece of fruit; 1/2 cup cooked; 1/2 cup fruit juice; 1/4 cup dried fruit
- Good sources of fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene
Whole Grains (breads, cereals, whole grains, & pasta)
- 6 or more daily servings
- Serving sizes: 1 slice of bread; 1/2 cup cooked grains, cereal, or pasta; 1 cup uncooked cereal
- Good sources of energy, protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, iron, and B-vitamins
Legumes, Nuts, & Other Protein Foods
(beans, lentils, dried peas, soybean products, nuts, seeds, & nondairy milks)
- 2 or more daily servings
- Serving sizes: 1/2 cup cooked legumes; 1/2 cup tofu or tempeh; 1 oz. veggie "meat"; 2 tbsp nut or seed butter; 1/4 cup nuts/seeds; 1/2 cup fortified soy milk
- Good sources of protein, iron, calcium, zinc, fiber, & B vitamins
*Additional information can be found at VegForLife's website*
"There's no reason to drink cow's milk at any time
in your life. It was designed for calves, not humans,
and we should all stop drinking it today."
-- Frank A. Oski, M.D.,
former director of pediatrics,
Johns Hopkins University
Most small farms have been replaced by industrialized factory farms. Cows are kept in huge sheds and mud filled lots where disease is rampant. Using Genetic manipulation, powerful hormones, and intensive milking, factory farms force cows to produce 10 times as much milk as they would naturally. In order to make them continually produce milk, cows are artificially inseminated to make them pregnant, only to have their babies traumatically taken away from them within a day of birth.
Male calves are typically sent to veal farms, where they will be chained inside filthy, tiny stalls for a few months and then slaughtered for their anemic flesh, and females are usually added to the herd and forced to give milk, just like their mothers. When their exhausted bodies can no longer provide enough milk, dairy cows are sent to slaughter and ground up for hamburger meat. As industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40% of dairy cows are partially crippled because of the intensive confinement,
filth, and strain of constantly being pregnant and giving milk. And up to 50% of dairy cows have mastitis, a painful udder infection by the time they are killed. According to former Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, roughly 400,000 "dead and dying" cattle are forced onto trucks bound for the slaughterhouse each year. Many cows are actually hacked apart on the production line while still fully conscious. Another big issue in this industry is the treatment of downers. That is the term the meat and dairy industries use to refer to animals so sick, diseased or disabled that they cannot even stand on their own. Every year untold thousands of “downed animals” or “downers” suffer unspeakable abuse and neglect at production facilities, stockyards and slaughterhouses.
Dairy products contain no fiber, or complex carbohydrates and are laden with saturated fat and cholesterol. They are contaminated with cow's blood and pus and are frequently contaminated with pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Dairy products are linked to allergies, constipation, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. And studies show that dairy products actually cause osteoporosis, rather than preventing it. So what we can all do is give the bottle the boot! It's never been easier to cut dairy products out of your diet. Nondairy milks, such as Silk soy milk, Almond Breeze, and Rice Dream, are widely available in many grocery stores. Soy Delicious and Tofutti can satisfy any ice cream craving, and Smart Balance and Soy Garden margarines provide the perfect creamy spread. Plus, there are even dairy-free yogurts, cheeses, sour creams, cream cheeses, and coffee creamers. They taste great, many are good sources of calcium, and they don't support cruelty to animals. (This & additional information can be found at PETA's website, or at Milk Myths website.)