Why Did the Kansas Cows Die? Catastrophic Heat, Farming, and Human Cruelty

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3 min read

The scorching heat of the Kansas summer sun is being blamed for the deaths of thousands of cows—but mass deaths are the norm in the animal agriculture industry. If the photos and videos of the dead Kansas cows shocked you, there’s one thing you can do to prevent more catastrophes like this one: Go vegan.


The Farming Industry Only Cares About Profiting Off Animals

The cows who died in 100-degree heat on Kansas feedlots were the victims of an industry that doesn’t care about animals. Cows are sensitive, loving individuals who communicate with one another and have unique personalities—but humans continue to traumatically separate calves from their mothers, steal their milk, and otherwise exploit them for food. Farm owners aren’t required to have any evacuation plans for the animals in their care when disaster strikes, and cows and others are left behind to drown in hurricanes and floods or burn to death during fires. They’re also killed en masse when there’s a whisper of disease. The climate catastrophe is only intensifying, in large part due to the exploitation of animals in agriculture, so it’s no shock that heat waves are on the list of disasters.

And if they don’t die from injury, disease, or natural disaster on the farm, conditions during transport to slaughter are so horrific and poorly regulated that every year in the U.S., around 20 million animals die—from heat stress, hypothermia, or trauma—before ever making it to the slaughterhouse.

Cows Always Suffer When Humans Exploit Them

The cows who died in Kansas were forced to live on feedlots where it appears that there was no way for them to escape the heat—not enough shade, water, or shelter. Their deaths were likely slow and painful, but had they lived long enough to be useful to the farming industry, their deaths would have been no less horrific: They would have been shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun and strung up by one leg, and then their throats would have been cut before they were skinned and gutted.

Cows are social animals who form complex relationships with others in their herd. They love their calves and enjoy frolicking with friends in green pastures at sanctuaries. However, more than 29 million cows suffer and die in the meat and dairy industries every year in the U.S. alone.

Farming Animals Is One of the Biggest Causes of the Climate Catastrophe

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the waste from just 200 cows produces as much nitrogen as the sewage from a community of up to 10,000 humans. Rainforests, prairies, and wetlands are systematically destroyed and converted to farmland in order to grow the enormous amount of crops needed to feed cows. A typical cow produces 120 pounds of waste each day—and when this manure is used as fertilizer, it can contaminate streams and lakes, destroy entire ecosystems, poison food products, and pollute the atmosphere with ammonia and methane. None of this is the cows’ fault—they don’t want to be exploited any more than you want the environment to be destroyed.

You Can Help Cows and Other Animals

If you want to help prevent more animals from dying—and benefit the planet and your own health, too—start making a difference today with our 3-Week Vegan Challenge!

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