Just like humans, livestock should have the right of living a happy and healthy life but unfortunately that is not the case. Several of these animals are forced every day to undergo cruel and unusual forms of treatment.
In order for the consumption of meat to be ethical, livestock found on industrial farms and slaughterhouses need to be treated fairly and not inhumane; it is crucial that the procedures that are used when handling and caring for them up to the day that they are killed are revised and altered.
The issue revolving the treatment of livestock in industrial meat industries is more serious and concerning than some people may come to think. Every year millions of those animals are treated horrendously up to their last day of life where they are brutally killed for our use.
In several occasions, these animals are killed by farmers if they are too sick or injured instead of providing veterinary care because they want to save money, now how careless and cruel does that sound? Each animal found on these industrial farms face different yet very similar acts of cruelty performed on them.
Chickens are in greater need of protection because they are more in demand in comparison to other livestock. According to about 8.5 billion chickens are slaughtered every year and almost another 300 million are used for egg production.
The unfortunate thing is that these animals are more intelligent that people may know and the things that they have to endure in these types of places is heartbreaking. Chickens are raised to grow at shocking and unhealthy rates. They grow so much that it becomes a problem in their day to day life; for example, many struggle to do basic tasks like standing and moving around and that’s because they have grown so unnaturally large that they can not support their own bodies.
They are also at a higher risk of heart failure. Alexandra paul, animal rights activist said, “ If humans were forced to grow at the same rate as factory-farmed chickens, a six pound newborn would weigh 660 pounds after just two months”. The fact that they are unable to move around, also due to the fact that they are often overcrowded, causes them to just lay in their own filth which could lead to infection. Although being forced to grow at fast rates is unquestionably wrong, there are other horrendous acts being performed and practiced on these innocent animals.
When being transported, they are roughly stuffed into crates and some experience broken wings and legs. They also undergo things like dehydration or heat stroke. Several die before even making it to the slaughterhouses and in some cases have been buried alive or rid of for arriving too sick or injured. Those who actually make it to the slaughterhouse do not have it any better.
The chickens are scalded which is a method of pouring or dipping the chicken in extremely hot water or steam to remove their feathers with ease. The inhumane aspect of this method is that it is all done while the chicken is still alive; imagine it kicking and screaming in agony because of how much pain it is in. Chickens should not feel like prisoners in their own bodies and suffer for the majority of their life.
Similar to chickens, pigs and cattle are kept in cramped areas where it is difficult for them to move and have no choice but to lay in their own waste; they are also denied fresh air and sunlight. Pigs are also intelligent animals that are being confined in metal crates. Pregnant pigs are reportedly placed in extremely small crates where they are imprisoned for their entire pregnancy.
They are literally going insane from being locked away; PETA reported that pigs that were forced to confinement were doing abnormal behavior like biting the cages and naming at the air. Once the piglets are born, they are immediately torn away from their mothers. Piglets many times will have their tails cut off and teeth clipped and unfortunately for male piglets, their testicals are cut off with no pain relievers provided.
Cattle is used to either produce beef and dairy. Like pigs, cows have their testicles removed or clamped without any type of pain relief. In addition to these unfair treatments of cows, those raised for beef, have their horns burned or cut off and in order to mark cows for identification purposes, they have scorching hot irons pressed against their bare flesh while they can do nothing but take the pain; this process used to identify cows can result in third degree burns.
Several of these cows are fed an unusual diet that may result in them developing health problems, more specifically having to do with their breathing. Cows are reportedly fed a diet of stickly corn that causes too much gas to form inside them which affects their breathing because their lungs are being compressed.
Some people may argue that eating meat is ethical but there is nothing ethical about eating meat coming from an animal that was most likely tortured for the majority of their life, and all for what? Yes, eating meat may come with its benefits and be appetizing but is it worth it if it means putting innocent animals through hell? We need to make things right and fight for theses animals in order to make the consumption of meat truly ethical. We are starting to forget that these animals are living things just like us and that they have just as much of a right to live a happy, cruelty free life.