What do you think folks would do if they learned that in less than half a decade, 3 million humans were burned alive in preventable fires? They would do something about it.
A new report found that from 2013 to 2017, 2.7 million animals confined on farms in the United States died in preventable barn fires. The study concluded that 95 percent of them were chickens. According to the report, the single deadliest fire during this time occurred in 2017 in Indiana, when 1 million chickens died at Hi-Grade Egg Producers.
Barn fires commonly kill massive numbers of animals. These buildings can have many fire hazards—such as dry materials and shoddy wiring—and they often lack safety measures, such as fire escapes for the animals, sprinkler systems, and fire detectors.
Animals confined on farms and raised for their flesh are excluded from protection under the federal Animal Welfare Act. There’s no federal law that prevents workers from cutting off their tails and testicles—as happens to pigs—let alone one to protect them from preventable barn fires.
Tragedies like this occur when living, feeling beings are treated as if they’re crops and nothing more than inanimate objects.
People would flood the streets in protest if millions of humans endured preventable deaths like this. Don’t kid yourself—these animals felt their skin boil and their lungs burn just like humans would. They most likely cried out for relief that would never come, and until their final seconds, they did everything they could to escape a painful death.
On farms today, sensitive animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and stuffed into wire cages, metal crates, and other torturous devices. They will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that is natural and important to them. Most won’t even feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they’re loaded onto trucks headed for slaughterhouses.
In the wake of Hurricane Florence, PETA’s Emergency Rescue Team saw firsthand that animals were left to die and fend for themselves. Trapped inside farm warehouses, 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 pigs were abandoned to drown in the floodwaters. These animals deserved to have a fighting chance at survival. But because meat producers see them as something, not someone—as items to claim on insurance policies, rather than as individuals who value their own lives—they didn’t care enough to evacuate them or even give them a chance to live by releasing them before the storm hit.
These animals didn’t have to die—they were killed because humans still eat animal flesh.
The best thing that you can do for animals right now is to go vegan. By leaving living beings off your plate, you’ll save nearly 200 animals a year from a senseless, terrifying death.