It seems like whenever you speak to non vegans and they ask about your “whole vegan thing” it always comes down to how we are all exaggerating the cruelty. After all, tigers kill their food, should we start making them feel guilty about that next? Killing animals is natural and a part of evolution!
And they’re right. Killing animals raised to be food isnt cruelty. In fact it’s the kindest part of their lives.
You see, when vegans talk about cruelty on factory farms, we are referring to more than just the end. The suffering that animals face during their entire lives from the moment they are born is far more gruesome.
From the moment a calf is born, their turmoil begins. They are immediately ripped away from their mothers and their paths are split into boy and girl. If the calf is male, he will be taken away to become veal before he can walk since males are useless to the dairy industry. And if the calf is female she is taken to become a dairy cow where she will be repeatedly raped throughout her life to become pregnant so she can give birth, have her babies taken away moments after birth and lactate for someone’s morning cereal, just like her mom. This is scratching the surface of the cruelty cows suffer. Bulls that are raised for meat are branded (burned with a metal label to mark them) and castrated without anesthesia to make them less aggressive. Their death is surely a sweet release from the nightmare that is their lives.
Like the dairy industry, baby male chicks are useless to the egg/chicken industries so they are promptly put into a large factory blender of sorts, where they are shredded to death. Female chicks are often injected with hormones to grow to double their size in half the time and since their body cannot keep up with these changes, their legs often break under their own weight. They are left to live like this until they get killed for meat, which is honestly the most merciful thing to do in that situation. Then, they are either kept together in cramped cages for the duration of their lives or if the eggs/meat are “cage-free” they live in a dark sort of warehouse where there are thousands of chickens kept together, neck and neck. Chickens are not a very social species and as a result they tend to peck one another if kept so close. Because of this, farms cut off their beaks (again without anesthesia).
These animals that have the intelligence of a 3 year old child, go through many of the same trials as cows such as castration without anesthesia, separation of babies from mothers immediatetly after birth and constant rape and constant birthing that weakens and often prolapses their uteruses. In addition, pigs are confined to a miniscule living space, which is the human equivalent of living your whole life in an airplane seat. Perhaps the worst part of this animal’s suffering is its intelligence and emotional capability, making it excruciatingly aware of its suffering.
When factory farming is referred to as an “animal holocaust”, this is in no way an insult or downplay of the suffering many jews faced at the hands of Adolf Hitler. In fact, it is given this title because of its accuracy in describing what animals (used for food, clothing, honey, etc, not just farm animals) have been going through every second of every day for hundreds of years.
To conclude, animals die all the time at the hands of nature. Factory farming is not nature. This is an insidious level of torture that starts from the second an animal is born and continues until its eventual slaughter and repeats over and over unless we put a stop to it by voting with our dollars, or rather lack thereof.
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