If You Care About Babies, PETA Urges You to Stop Eating Animals Now

Humans kill over 200 million babies every single day.

Every one of those frightened individuals wanted to live free from torment. But on farms and in live markets, animals—with all their personality and emotions—are jammed into cramped, filthy cages and pens. Their urine and fecal matter mix with blood and the water sprayed on the floor. Coming from factory farms, they suffer from respiratory diseases caused by living amid their own waste in severely crowded conditions. In live markets, they’re often butchered in front of each other.

If you still eat animals’ flesh or their milk or eggs, these are the babies being killed for your meals:

1. Cows Killed for Their Flesh

Cow Age at Death Beef

Natural life expectancy: 20 years

Age at slaughter: Around 2 years old

Cows have best friends and hold grudges against mean humans and other animals. These gentle giants mourn the deaths of loved ones, sometimes shedding tears over their loss. Imagine the anguish they must feel at a slaughterhouse.

Cows are transported hundreds of miles in all weather extremes, typically without food or water, to the slaughterhouse. Those who survive the trip are shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun, hung up by one leg, and taken to the killing floor, where their throats are cut and they’re skinned and gutted.


2. Cows Killed for Their Milk to Make Cheese, Yogurt, and Ice Cream

Cow Age at Death Dairy

Natural life expectancy: 20 years

Age at slaughter: Around 5 years old

The mother/calf bond is particularly strong, and there are countless reports of mother cows who’ve continued to call and search frantically for their babies after the calves have been taken away. Mother cows are hooked up to milking machines two or more times a day. Artificial insemination, milking regimens, and sometimes drugs are used to force them to produce more milk than they naturally would.

Milking Machines

Cows used by the dairy industry are typically killed after about five years because their bodies wear out from constantly being pregnant or lactating.

3. Calves killed for veal

Cow Age at Death Veal

Natural life expectancy: 20 years

Age at slaughter: 12–23 weeks, on average

These male calves are usually torn away from their mothers shortly after birth and live very short lives in individual crates designed to prohibit exercise and normal muscle growth in order to produce tender meat.

Veal calf

4. Pigs Killed for Their Flesh

Pig Age at Death for Meat

Natural life expectancy: 10–15 years

Age at slaughter: Around 6 months, on average

Pigs on factory farms are forced to live amid their own feces and vomit—and sometimes even amid the corpses of other pigs.

Piglet Birth on a Factory Farm

Pigs bond with humans, play games, and even enjoy a good massage. They’ve rescued humans from drowning and fires. Yet the food industry imprisons them on farms. They’re confined to metal crates full of their own waste, and they don’t even have room to turn around. By the time they’re sent to slaughter, many pigs on factory farms suffer from lung lesions caused by pneumonia.


5. Chickens Killed for Their Flesh

Chicken Age at Death for Meat

Natural life expectancy: 10–15 years

Age at slaughter: Around 7 weeks

Chickens love their families and value their own lives. Their social nature means that they’re always looking out for their family members and for other chickens in their group.


Chickens raised for their flesh spend their entire lives in filthy, cramped sheds where they’re bred and drugged to grow so large so quickly that their legs and organs can’t keep up. This can lead to heart attacks, organ failure, and crippling leg deformities.

6. Chickens Killed for Eggs


Natural life expectancy: 10–15 years

Age of “laying hens” at slaughter: Around 2 years

Age of male chicks at slaughter: Usually around 1 day

Chickens are caring mothers—a hen “talks” to her chicks in the shell before they’ve hatched to teach them to recognize her voice in a flock. Shortly after birth, male and female chicks are separated. The female chicks are used to lay eggs, while the male chicks are either tossed into trash bags or ground up while they’re still alive.

male chick used from egg industry

More than 100 million “spent” hens are killed each year at around 2 years of age, when their egg production begins to wane.

7. Turkeys Killed for Their Flesh

Turkey Age at Death

Natural life expectancy: 10 years

Age at slaughter: Less than 1 year old, sometimes as young as just 5 months old

Turkeys are social, playful birds who enjoy the company of others. They relish having their feathers stroked and like to chirp, cluck, and gobble along to their favorite tunes.

injured turkey

But on farms, turkeys are bred, drugged, and genetically manipulated to grow as large as possible as quickly as possible in order to maximize profits. Their unnaturally large size causes many of them to die of organ failure or heart attacks before they’re even 6 months old.


When you eat animal-derived food, you’re actually eating the flesh, fat, blood, milk, and eggs of tortured babies who never had a chance to live.

Thankfully, eating animals is completely unnecessary. Humans can enjoy healthier, cruelty-free lives by going vegan. When you do, you’ll save nearly 200 animals each year.

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Cute, happy black-and-white piglet
© iStock.com/HadelProductions
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