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Factory Farming: Cruelty to Animals

On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and confined to wire cages, gestation crates, barren dirt lots, and other cruel confinement systems. These animals will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural and important to them. Most won’t even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter. The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories.

The factory farming industry strives to maximize output while minimizing costs—always at the animals’ expense. The giant corporations that run most factory farms have found that they can make more money by cramming animals into tiny spaces, even though many of the animals get sick and some die. The industry journal National Hog Farmer explains, “Crowding pigs pays,” and egg-industry expert Bernard Rollins writes that “chickens are cheap; cages are expensive.”

Cows, calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and other animals live in extremely stressful conditions:

  • Kept in small cages or jam-packed sheds or on filthy feedlots, often with so little space that they can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably
  • Deprived of exercise so that all their bodies’ energy goes toward producing flesh, eggs, or milk for human consumption
  • Fed drugs to fatten them faster and keep them alive in conditions that could otherwise kill them
  • Genetically altered to grow faster or to produce much more milk or eggs than they naturally would (many animals become crippled under their own weight and die just inches away from water and food)

When they have finally grown large enough, animals raised for food are crowded onto trucks and transported over many miles through all weather extremes, typically without food or water, to the slaughterhouse. Those who survive this nightmarish journey will have their throats slit, often while they are still conscious. Many remain conscious when they are plunged into the scalding-hot water of the defeathering or hair-removal tanks or while their bodies are being skinned or hacked apart.

You can help end this abuse. Order a copy of PETA’s free “Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit” for tips and recipes to help you make the transition to an animal-free diet today.

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