Americans consume a million animals an hour. Every second,
300 living beings are slaughtered for food.
There are virtually no local, state or federal laws protecting
animals, either throughout their lives or during slaughter. Factory farm
managers and employees can treat animals in any way they wish in order
to maximize profits, with no regard whatsoever for the suffering
involved. The one law available, the Downed Animal Protection Act, is
Six million hens are being starved to death at any given moment in
the U.S. – called “forced molting.” This inhumane practice results in
greater egg production, but thousands die during this 10-14 day mass
starvation. Many more die by gorging themselves and choking to death
when food finally is provided. Factory farm managers count these deaths
“acceptable,” as long as overall profits remain high.
Every day in the U.S., over 200,000 male chicks are purposely
suffocated or thrown, fully conscious, into a grinder to be crushed, as
they cannot lay eggs or be sold for food and so are not useful to the
Dairy cows are forcibly impregnated. Their babies are taken away
within 24 hours of birth. They are fed massive quantities of drugs to
force unnaturally high milk production.
At auction time, if natural labor has not begun, the dairy farmer
may wrap chains around the calf’s legs and forcibly yank the baby from
his mother’s womb. These helpless infants, with umbilical cords still
attached, are shipped to the auction house.
After purchase and transport, these babies, now “veal calves,” are
imprisoned in crates so small that they are unable to even turn around.
This lack of exercise, combined with diet deliberately deficient in iron
and other essential nutrients, results in continuous diarrhea, but
creates the “pale” meat desired by restaurants. The abuse continues by
keeping calves in darkness 22 hours out of every day to prevent
“restlessness.” By the time the calves are slaughtered, they are often
blind, crippled, extremely weak and sick, and must be dragged or carried
to their own death.
Turkeys are genetically altered to produce such huge breasts that
their legs cannot hold their weight. Many are unable to stand for much
of their sad lives.
To produce the luxury item “foie gras,” farmers shove funnels down
the throats of ducks and geese, force feeding them huge quantities of
grain, causing extreme damage to their bodies and early and painful
Over 75 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States are fed to
animals on factory farms to mitigate the high rates of illness caused by
these horrendous conditions.
Transportation for most slaughtered animals is a nightmare. Packed
into trucks for up to four days, without food, water or rest, many
animals die from thirst, heat stroke, injury from other frightened
animals, or may become frozen to the sides of trucks or to other
Animals who are too weak or injured to walk to their own slaughter
are left to die on “downer” piles, sometimes for days without food or
water, or any regard for their suffering.
Workers on kill lines in slaughterhouses have begun suing
slaughterhouse owners for the horrific working conditions that require
them to scald, slit, club and dismember fully conscious animals who are
kicking, thrashing or clawing. For the slaughterhouse manager, speed of
the kill line is paramount. Slowing down the line for any reason,
including reducing the suffering of animals, is unthinkable.
There are two more reasons to eliminate factory farming: human
health and the environment.