This is one of my favorite topics. I wanted to break down this post into 3 parts about reasons to go vegan (animals, environment, and your health) I wanted to start with the animals first because this is my favorite reason and in my eyes, the best reason for making this lifestyle change.
The lives of animals are completely in our hands. They are completely helpless. Your food choices determine if animals live or die even if you aren’t doing the killing yourself.
The life of a factory animal is far from glamorous. These animals are mistreated, tortured, enslaved, and given absolutely no rights. Do you think there is anything humane about that? If so, why don’t we all just load up the family and make a day out of it? Because it’s not humane at all. If you wouldn’t eat or hurt your own pet, why should any other animal be any different? Just because you aren’t taking part in killing the animals doesn’t mean it isn’t effecting the environment. If you are contributing to purchasing meat and dairy from these huge corporations, you might as well be killing the animals yourself.
I realize that people don’t like seeing the sad animal photos and videos but if you can’t watch them then that should be telling you something! There are several documentaries that you can watch to get a better idea of what I’ve been talking about. These include: Earthlings, What The Health, Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy & many more. All of these can be found on YouTube or Netflix. I definitely recommend watching these.
Let’s discuss the different kinds of animals in factory farms and the process they have to go through.
Pigs and Hogs:
First of all pigs are highly intelligent animals and they each have their own unique personality. Millions of pigs are killed every year in the U.S. for food. Pigs are very bad travelers. They are extremely sensitive and end up being sick by the time they arrive to the slaughterhouse from all the stress the journey causes them. Pigs are kept on what is called a grid, which allows the manure to fall through the cracks. They stand in the same spot the entire day because they have absolutely no room to turn around. The grid gives them foot injuries. Female pigs are artificially inseminated and imprisoned for their entire pregnancy. Once they have the piglets they are moved to another crate only big enough to nurse the piglets. She will then be returned once again to a separate crate to be impregnated again and start the whole process over again. This whole process of being by themselves with no interaction causes health problems. The mothers start to go insane from being in confinement and from being lonely. This causes them to have abnormal behavior such as biting the cage bars and chewing at the air. In conclusion, they are exhausted and are shipped off to be slaughter sooner than normal.
The piglets are taken away from their mothers much sooner than they should be. They are exposed to all kinds of horrible actions such as their tails being cut off, ears being mutilated, and males are often castrated with no kind of pain relief. The piglets are then confined to a pen for the next 6 months until they are fat enough to slaughter. Unwanted piglets are killed right away by smashing their heads against the floor or just slitting their throats.
Dairy Cows and Calves:
Dairy cows only produce milk for ONE reason & that is to nourish their young. Most calves are torn away from their mothers within a day of birth causing both of them extreme stress and anxiety. After their babies are taken away from them the mothers are hooked up to milking machines. Artificial insemination and administration of drugs are used to get them to produce more milk than they should be producing. Cows today produce as much as 5x as much as the normal cow should. A cow’s natural lifespan should be about 20-30 years but cows in the dairy industry only live about 5-6 years because their bodies are worn out from constantly being pregnant. Crate confinement prevents the performance of a cow’s natural behavior including resting, sleeping, grooming, grazing, etc.
Hens and Chickens:
Chickens are by far the most abused animal on the entire planet. The spend their lives in entire confinement from the moment they are hatched until they are killed. They are confined with 10s of thousands of other birds and live in their own feces and waste. When chicks are hatched they are taken and placed in a fattening farm depending on their sex. The males are killed instantly either being shredded to death or suffocated alive. Fattening chickens live for about 6 weeks. In this short period they are pumped full of steroids and other drugs so they are almost fully grown in half the time. In the slaughterhouses their legs are shackled, their throats are slit, and they are forced into scalding hot water to remove their feathers. Most of the chickens are all conscious during this process.
This is just a little insight into what goes on in the factory farm setting. You can contribute to saving innocent lives if you make the commitment of a vegan diet. The animals don’t have a voice, they need YOU! X x