Food is life. It is the vital center of our daily lives. It gives us energy, strength, and enjoyment. The grocery store is stocked with convenient packages of meat, milk, cheese, and egg products. Some of these packages have serene images of happy animals and green rolling hills, or a story about the pleasant lives of the animals on that farm. The real stories are heartbreaking and filled with unimaginable cruelty. Once we learn more about what is really happening on factory farms and the processing lines, we find ourselves making very different food choices.
While touted by agricultural corporations as efficient and cheap food production, modern factory farms are actually places of systematic animal abuse, breeding grounds for disease, and a major threat to the environment. Animals are closely confined, packed into cages and crates. This leads to a lifetime of misery, denying animals the most basic natural experiences like normal movement, foraging and nesting behaviors, even sunlight and fresh air. Animals are often driven insane by the intense confinement and engage in self-mutilation and cannibalism. Painful procedures like de-horning, de-beaking, tail-docking, and castration are performed without anesthesia.
Severe overcrowding compounded with poor sanitation spreads disease. The only way to keep animals alive under such filthy and unnatural conditions is to feed them massive amounts of antibiotics. They are also given hormones and are genetically bred for rapid growth so that they can be slaughtered at a very young age, living out only a fraction of their natural life spans. Animals who are sick and too weak to walk are dragged or hauled to slaughter and end up on our plates.