Demand for meat and dairy in the United States has caused the once pastural experience of farming to go almost entirely industrial. Today, most of the meat and dairy products you buy in the U.S. come from"factory farms." Inside factory farms, animals are crammed into metal cages without enough space to turn around and rarely see the light of day. Factory farmed animals are not regarded as sentient beings, but rather, as commodities, thus allowing for terrible mistreatments to occur.
Here are a few examples:
"Downed" animals are those animals that are too sick or injured to either stand or walk. They are often left unattended or cared for until they are dragged (alive and without treatment) by tractors and even added to the food chain.
Many animals are fed growth hormones in order to fatten them up to unnaturally large sizes. As a result, many turkeys break their legs under all the unnatural weight and cows develop mastitis from the frequent milking.
Chicken and turkey beaks are cut without the use of anaesthetic. They are trimmed because of their natural instincts to peck at each other when crammed into tight spaces.
Egg laying hens are "force molted" when they are not producing the number of eggs that the factory desires. This is a common practice of depriving them of any food, water, or sunlight for many days, which causes their bodies to go into panic mode, which prompts the aforementioned "forced molting" and thus initiates a new egg laying cycle. Many hens die from starvation and stress during this process. In addition, unwanted chicks are sometimes discarded alive, in bins or through shredders.
Dairy cows are impregnated repeatedly in order to obtain their milk. When they give birth, their calves are taken away so that machines can start pumping the milk from their bodies. The quick separation of mother and calf creates great anxiety for both animals. The continual machine milking is also known to create serious infections of the mammaries. The male calves of dairy cows are deemed too small to be raised and sold for beef, so they are often put in very tiny crates and fattened up without any ability to move, so they can be sold as veal. May people are unaware that veal is a by-product of the dairy industry.
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