Heinous Forms of Animal Cruelty
In today’s society animal abuse is growing rapidly and animals are suffering and receiving all different levels of punishments. Farm Factory animals are being neglected and having limited access to food and water. Animals endure burns, hair loss, rashes and gashes. Industrial agriculture in the United States involves billions of animals each year, with animals often treated in ways that causes them extreme suffering, pain and abuse over the course of their lives. Physical alterations, like teeth- clipping or tail docking without any anesthetic. Animals confined indoor with poor air quality and unnatural light pattern. Factories are breeding for fast growth and high yields of meat, milk and eggs which compromise the welfare of the animals. The overwhelming majority of laying hens used for commercial egg production in the United States are confined in battery cages and provided 432.3 cm2 (67 in2) of space per bird. (Shields, Duncan). Cages prevent the bulk of their natural behavior, including nesting, perching, dustbathing, scratching, foraging, exercising, running, jumping, flying, stretching, wing flapping, and freely walking. Cages also lead to severe disuse osteoporosis due to lack of exercise (Shields, Duncan). Imagine you being stuck in a cage with no room to move and living in conditions are unbearable and never seeing daylight. The environment for advocates for farm animal welfare in the U.S. is very difficult. Animal welfare is an area that receives a lot of attention and funding, but most of this is focused on pets and animals used for lab testing; (Sheingate,2013) The 10 billion farm animals raised each year in the U.S suffer in conditions that customers would not accept if they could see them. The horrors of factory farming are becoming more well-known. Factory farmed chickens raised for their meat—are called “broiler” chickens. They live miserable lives in horrendous conditions. While people recognize pets as individuals, they don’t often see farm animals that way. Farm animals are also individuals; they have likes and dislikes, and they want to avoid suffering, Farm animals are more than 9 out of 10 of all the animals who are institutionally killed in America. Other institutional uses of animals include experimentation and the fur, circus, and hunting industries; these uses together account for under 5% of total institutional animal usage. The United States raises and slaughters 10 times more birds than any other type of animal. 8.5 billion chickens are killed for their meat every year, while another 300 million chickens are used in egg production. All birds—egg-laying hens, meat chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and others—are excluded from all federal animal protection laws. By the numbers, these are the animals most urgently in need of protection. The ASPCA is focused on raising public awareness about the plight of chickens raised for meat, many people do not realize that the breed of chicken used for modern egg production is different than the breed used for meat production. If you put them next to each other, they look almost nothing alike! Each has been strategically bred for hyper-production: egg-laying hens for high egg volume, and “meat” chickens for maximum breast meat. Both types suffer from severe physical problems brought on by genetic manipulation (ASPCA). Behind closed doors of factory farms, most of the nine billion chickens raised in the U.S. each year are selectively bred to grow so large, so fast that many struggles to move or even stand up. With disproportionately large breasts, and bones and organs that often can’t support their huge and distorted bodies. Difficulty in standing, walking or exertion has major welfare implications for chickens. Beyond any immediate pain and frustration, they might be experiencing, an additional cascade of secondary problems can occur: illness, injury, disease and even starvation or dehydration from not being able to reach food or water. Because they live in large numbers all together on a shed floor. (Wideman, R.F., Rhoads, D., Erf, G., Anthony, N. 2013). Overweight, weak and with almost no room to move, birds spend up to 90% of their lives lying down in their litter, a combination of bedding and excrement, causing a series of secondary welfare problems. It’s common for a farm to place a new flock directly on top of a previous flock’s waste. In fact, one quarter of respondents to a 2008 USDA survey of chicken farmers raising birds under production contracts reported not fully cleaning out their sheds at all in 2006. As a result of these conditions, chickens’ eyes and lungs frequently become injured from the high ammonia fumes and dust content in their sheds. Many birds suffer from eye infections, and the USDA condemned over 4 million chicken carcasses in 2012 for respiratory infections. When chickens so much time lying or standing in their own waste, the skin is exposed to moisture and ammonia, which can lead to open sores on their feet, legs and chests. These wounds may become deep ulcers that can then further develop into abscesses. There are indications that chickens’ genetics, as well as the stressful conditions in which they are forced to live, suppress their immune systems, leaving them more prone to infections. It is not surprising that as birds lie with open wounds directly in their own waste, in which live bacteria is known to survive and their sores can become a gateway for bacteria which can causes secondary infections such as Staphylococci and E. coli. These are the most notoriously common foodborne pathogens that are often traced back to chicken farms (Wideman, R.F., Rhoads, D., Erf, G., Anthony, N. 2013) Factory farmed chickens aren’t the only animals suffering. Cattles are they only factory farm animals that are raised outdoor but that don’t mean that they get to live life pain free. Cattles are branded, castrated and have their horns removed all without painkillers. Sometime between the ages of six months and one year, most beef cattle are sent to live their last few months in crowded feedlots with hundreds or thousands of others. Without pasture and often without shelter, the cattle must stand in mud, ice, and their own waste. Most cows used for dairy production are kept indoors, with some having access to outdoor concrete or dirt paddocks. Many are tethered by chains or other materials around their necks in what are called “tie stalls.” Unnaturally high milk production leads to mastitis, a painful bacterial infection causing a cow’s udder to swell. Dairy cows often have up to two-thirds of their tails removed without painkillers. The cows are also dehorned and disbudded having their horns, or developing horn material, cut or burned off without painkillers (ASPCS). Cows only produce milk as a side effect of giving birth. To keep the milk flowing, dairy farms artificially inseminate cows once a year. Their gestation period lasts nine months, so the majority of dairy cows’ lives are spent pregnant. When a calf is born, he or she is removed from the mother—that same day—to make the mother’s milk available for collection. This is very traumatic to mother cows and to their calves. Male offspring are often raised for veal, while females become the next generation of dairy cows. While large-scale dairy operations are typically separate from beef cattle operations, these industries are connected. Dairy cows usually meet their ends at beef slaughterhouses when, at just two to five years of age, their milk production has slowed, or they are too crippled or ill to continue in the industry. At that point, they are slaughtered for beef. The U.S. raises some 100 million pigs for food each year, the vast majority of them on industrial-scale farms known for their crowded, inhumane conditions. At just two to three weeks old, piglets are removed from their mothers and placed in large, windowless sheds without fresh air, sunlight or outdoor access. Their pens are too small and crowded for adequate movement and exercise and have hard slatted floors that prevent natural behaviors like rooting. Ammonia fumes rise to dangerous, uncomfortable levels due to the pigs’ waste. Pigs tend to be extremely curious and intelligent, so their barren surroundings cause them extreme frustration. The tail-biting that sometimes results leads farms to cut off the ends of pigs’ tails, and their teeth, without painkillers. Female breeding pigs (called sows) in the U.S. spend their reproductive lives confined to a gestation crate. These crates are barely bigger than the sow’s body and prohibit her from turning around. Sows are artificially inseminated and kept in their gestation stalls until a few days before birth; at which time they are moved to equally restrictive farrowing crates to give birth. They remain there while nursing their young, and then are placed back in their gestation crates and re-inseminated. This cycle continues for several years, until the sows are no longer as productive and are sent to slaughter (ASPCS). Animal cruelty is a nationwide problem animal are being beaten and starved and slaughter every day and millions of helpless animals die each year in extreme pain. Every year, more than 75,000 American horses are trucked over our borders to be slaughtered for human consumption. Until this practice is banned and Congress passes a law against slaughter here in the U.S., no horse is safe. The term “horse slaughter” refers exclusively to the killing and processing of horses for human consumption. Horse slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia. While “euthanasia” is defined as a gentle, painless death provided in order to prevent suffering, slaughter is a brutal and terrifying end for horses. Horses bound for slaughter (who may include pregnant mares, foals and horses who are injured or blind) are shipped for more than 24 hours at a time in crowded trucks without food, water or rest. The methods used to kill horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths for these animals and sometimes they even remain conscious during dismemberment. The last three U.S. slaughterhouses—two in Texas and one in Illinois, all foreign-owned—were shuttered in 2007. In 2006, these facilities killed and processed more than 104,000 horses for human consumption, shipping the meat overseas. Slaughterhouses are not clean or green enterprises and these facilities have proved to be environmentally damaging as well as economically draining to the communities that have housed them. It is clear that states with experience hosting horse slaughter facilities do not want them back: Texas and Illinois have implemented laws that specifically ban selling, giving and possessing horse meat intended for human consumption. Looking at data from 2012 to 2016, an average of 137,000 American horses were trucked over our borders each year to slaughter facilities in Mexico and Canada. In 2017, that number dipped to just under 80,000. Reopening slaughterhouses in America is not the answer to ending this form of cruelty. In fact, even when horse slaughter facilities operated in the United States, tens of thousands of American horses were still exported to other countries for slaughter.