10 Shocking Facts about Factory Farms!

10 Shocking Facts about Factory Farms!

People like to imagine that the animals they eat come from small farms, where they presumably enjoy bright green pastures in peace. However, this is far from today’s truth. In the United States, 99% of animals raised and killed for meat, dairy, and eggs suffer behind closed doors on factory farms. 

Learn 10 shocking facts about what these animals endure. 

1. Egg-laying hens, whether in factory farms or free-range egg farms, are —more often than not— debeaked. The agonizing debeaking process involves searing off birds’ beaks with a hot blade without the use of painkillers. This procedure is done to minimize damage caused by pecking one another, which is common in birds who are kept confined in unnatural settings and denied opportunities to engage in natural behaviors. Unfortunately, 99% of these hens who are commonly referred to as “layers” are raised in factory farms. 

2. Is the answer to buy your own hens and build a backyard chicken coop? Even if this was easy to do, which it isn’t at all, unfortunately, the hatcheries that supply female chicks for egg-laying brutally kill around 250 million male chicks every year. These chicks are useless to the egg industry, and do not grow big enough to become broiler chickens, who are specifically bred and raised against their wills to quickly grow large for their flesh. Thus, these males are usually ground up alive with heavy machinery. 

3. Most of the animals who people eat are babies who were killed at just a fraction of their natural lifespan. Broiler chickens, who are raised for meat, are often killed at 6 weeks of age, cattle are killed for meat between 18-24 months, pigs are killed at 6-7 months, and lambs are killed between 3-6 months. There is nothing natural about eating animals these days. Animals become numbers and are treated as objects instead of living beings.

4. Broiler chickens have been selectively bred to grow ridiculously and unnaturally large over the past few decades. They now grow so large so and so quickly that a number of debilitating health issues ranging from broken bones and lesions on their feet to heart and lung issues and muscle damage that results in diseases known as woody breast syndrome and white striping.

5. Unfortunately, eating dairy products doesn’t mean animals aren’t killed. Dairy cows are artificially inseminated, quickly separated from their babies, and intensively milked with machines. They will usually have 2-4 babies and be killed when they’re around 6 years old once their milk production slows down. Some female calves will be used to replace their mothers, while others will be sold for meat. Males, who have no value to this industry, will be slaughtered for veal or meat.

6. Have you ever seen a baby pig? They are one of the most adorable animals in the world! Unfortunately, since 98% of pigs in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, they also endure horrible pain in order to prevent problems due to stress and overcrowding in pens. Piglets often have their teeth ripped out as well as their tails cut off without anesthetics or pain killers. 

7. Foie gras is the fatty liver from a tortured duck or goose. It is considered a delicacy to some. However, there’s nothing fancy and joyful about ducks and geese having metal pipes shoved down their throats and being force-fed completely unnatural amounts of food, which is how foie gras is produced. 

8. Male calves are considered to be useless in the dairy industry, so some will be raised for veal. They will typically spend up to 16 days in tiny veal crates where they cannot turn around or move. The movement restriction keeps their muscles tender. 

9. They all end up terrified and hacked apart in bloody, smelly, loud slaughterhouses. There is no such thing as a “humane death” in the food industry. If you are not willing to endure the incomprehensible end that any animal raised for food endures, why is it okay for any other animal to die this way?

10. Animals in the food industry are nothing more than money-makers. They rarely have names, and even if they do, it in no way compensates them for what is taken from them in return. They rarely live natural life spans or in the manner appropriate for their species. To identify them, they are often branded with hot irons which is incredibly painful. Others will get tags punched through their ears which is also painful. 

The meat and dairy industry does everything in its power to hide the cruel truth about what truly happens on factory farms. It is often easier to believe,  “Oh, that doesn’t happen here,” or “I don’t buy from farmers who do these horrible things,” but unfortunately, all of these practices are incredibly common. The easiest way we can stand up for animals and their rights is to stop eating them. Please download our free Veg Starter Guide today!

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