What happens to the Animals?

What Happens to the Animals

Cows and Bulls - Dairy Cows - Veal Calves - Pigs - Breeding Sows - Chickens - Laying Hens - Turkeys - Ducks and Geese

Cows and Bulls

Beef cattle have it the easiest when compared to other animals raised for flesh food. Many spend years grazing in open pastures. But 70 percent of these will still spend some time at a confined feedlot, where they will be fattened up before the slaughter.
Cows, which are vegetarian by nature, are given a mixture of ground up sheep brains. The government now believes that this is the direct cause of the recent outbreak of "Mad Cow Disease". It is common that their feed mix contains barley, which often causes liver abscesses.

Bull skull Even though they are less restricted than other animals in factory farms, they still suffer in other ways. Almost all factory farmers cut off their horns, castrate them to make them more docile, and brand the cattle (burn the company name into their side with a hot iron). Anesthesia or painkillers are never used in any of these procedures.

After they get to the slaughterhouse, they herd the cow into the line that leads to the killing station. For this they use a high voltage electric cattle prod. This process takes the longest in the slaughter procedure because the cows are very aware of what is happening to their sisters and brothers in front of them, and are determined not to enter the killing station. The electric prods, which are used to 'persuade' them, are sometimes illegally applied to their genitals and anus. All this is carefully hidden from public view.

During the 40 seconds to a minute that each animal has to wait in the killing station before losing consciousness, the terror becomes visibly more intense. They can smell the blood, and see his or her former companions in various stages of dismemberment. During the last few seconds of life, the animal thrashes about the stall as much as its confinement allows. Death finally comes in the form of a pneumatic nail gun that is placed against their heads and fired.

The "kosher" kill is even more horrifying, the animal is hung by one of it's hind legs, flops about for a while, and when the farmer finds it is still for a moment, it's throat is slit and it bleeds to death while hanging. Of corse no anesthesia is used in this method either.
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Dairy Cows

Dairy cows have it even worse than cattle raised for flesh food. To continue to give milk, dairy cows must be kept pregnant every year by artificial insemination. A metal syringe is shoved in their vagina, and bull semen is inserted. She is not even allowed a natural conception, or interaction with a bull.

The calves are taken at birth, a traumatizing experience for both. (Read the veal calves section to what happens to them after they are taken.) After the calf is taken from the mother, she often bellows incessantly for days.

She is constantly hooked up to a milking machine, in a solitary pen, with only enough room to stand and lie down. She can not walk or move. Milking machines are automated, and other machines feed the cows. Even the light in the factory is artificially automated, to get the most milk from the cow. They are milked several times a day, causing their teats to become swollen, sore, and sometimes infected. When a dairy cow has stopped producing milk, she goes to slaughter.

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To err is human, to moo bovine

Veal Calves

Many people who are not vegetarians will not eat veal because of the cruel and inhumane way in which they are raised. Veal calves suffer from the worst confinement of all animals that are raised for flesh food. From it's first day to it's last, the life of a "milk-fed" veal calf is one of deprivation, stress, and disease.
Veal factories take newborn male calves from their mothers and chain them in crates measuring only 22" wide and 54" long. This is where they will spend their entire lives. In this tiny space they cannot walk, turn around or even lay down in a natural position. To prevent muscle development and speed weight gain, the calves are allowed absolutely no exercise.

To obtain the light colored meat sold as "milk-fed" veal, calves are deliberately kept anemic. They are denied any form of iron, so that their flesh will be "white". (see photos) They are kept in virtual darkness. They are never fed solid food therefore they suffer from chronic diarrhea. They are never allowed to drink water, and in a futile attempt to quench their thirst, the calves gain weight quickly by drinking more of their drug-laced liquid feed.

The calves are slaughtered at about 4 months old. They wouldn't live much longer anyway because of their iron-deficient diet.

What you can do to help
Your personal boycott of veal will help end this cruelty and stop one of the most bizarre agricultural practices ever developed - the deliberate raising of anemic animals. Please tell your friends and family to pass the word. If you see veal on the menu in a restaurant, tell the owner that it personally offends you and why.

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Pig Walking

Contrary to common belief, pigs are intelligent, sensitive, and clean animals. Unable to perspire, they roll in the mud to keep cool and are excellent swimmers. They have a highly developed vocabulary of sounds. They do not overeat, even with unlimited food available. When given the opportunity, they will allot separate areas for rest, play, delivering young and defecating. Pigs are also very active, able to travel 30 miles a day at a quick pace.

Pigs naturally live in groups and are governed by a well-defined social order. In the evening, group members will prepare a communal nest from branches and grass in which they will spend the night.

Unfortunately, the agribusiness, drug companies and large corporate farms that profit from factory farming vigorously oppose any system other than the drug-dependent confinement methods which now dominate the pork industry. (see photos)

90 percent of pigs in the United States today are in some kind of confinement system. Two thirds of them never see the light of day until it is time to hit the trucks that go to the slaughterhouse. Inside the factory farm, some farmers stack the cages on top of each other, so that the excrement from the pigs on top falls onto the pigs below. The stench from the excrement also damages their lungs.

The cages are all made of metal, and the pigs are never in contact with any natural fibers they like to play with. As a result, being a very playful species, the pigs turn neurotic and bite each others tails. Instead of letting the pigs play and get exercise, the farmers solve this problem by teeth clipping and cutting off their tails when they are still young. Although innumerable drugs are given to pigs throughout their lives, anesthetics or pain relievers are not one of them.

In the United States, about 95,000,000 pigs are killed every year for flesh food. In the United Kingdom, about 14 million are slaughtered.

What you can do to help
Stop buying and eating pork products. Tell your friends and families the truth about the so-called "other white meat".

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The Breeding Sow

When a free and normal sow is pregnant, she will isolate herself from the herd one or two days before delivering her piglets. She will seek out a site and bring materials to build a nest. She forms strong bonds with the piglets as she waits a few days before taking them back to meet the rest of the family. She continues to nurse them for up to seventeen weeks.

However the life of a breeding sow is quite different and even more miserable than that of her male counterpart. The newly impregnated sow is kept in a metal cage that is only slightly larger than her body. She is kept in this confinement for the length of her pregnancy, four months. On some factory farms, the sow is literally tied to the floor by a short chain or strap around her neck. Deprived of all exercise and any opportunity to fulfill her behavioral needs, she lives in a constant state of anxiety. When she finally delivers the piglets, she must nurse them, eat, sleep, defecate, drink, stand, and lie in the same cramped space. The nursing period is cut down to only three to six weeks. The piglets are then taken from her and she is immediately impregnated again. This vicious cycle repeats until her productivity wanes, usually after about 5 pregnancies, and then she is sent to slaughter. (see photo)

What you can do
Stop buying flesh food. Your money is all it takes to keep the system going.

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A free and natural chicken can be expected to live about 5 to 7 years. Broiler chickens, those bred for flesh food, don't live more than 7 weeks.

During their entire life, they each live in a space about the size of a sheet of paper. They never get to see the light of day, or breathe fresh air, or even get their cages cleaned. The air they breathe reeks of ammonia from their urine, and they often get blisters and ulcers from sitting on their own decaying litter.

The conditions are so crowded, they often get irritable and fight with and hurt each other. To combat this problem, the chickens beaks are cut off with a hot blade. This is not a painless procedure as they will have you believe, like cutting a toenail. There are nerve endings in their beaks, they bleed profusely and sometimes die if it is cut too close. Some of them die from the shock alone. Instead of considering ways to make their environment more natural, which might lead to less egg production per bird, scientists are now working on ways to genetically engineer a more docile bird.

What you can do to help
Buy only free-range chickens, or better yet, stop eating chicken altogether.

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Laying Hens

In the United States, 95 percent of our eggs come from caged birds in automated factories. There are appx 292,000,000 laying hens in the United States. Each hen lays about 250 eggs per year, 10 times the amount laid by free and natural hens.

The Laying Hens are kept in wire cages, which are only about 48 square inches. They cannot even turn around or stretch their wings. Because their feathers are constantly rubbing against the wire, many hens have few feathers, and their skin is rubbed raw and bleeding. Their claws were made to scratch in dirt, not constantly stand on wires, so they often get damaged.

Their entire life is spent in the cage. Since they are never on natural ground, their toenails grow too long and get tangled in the wire. Hens that get stuck cannot reach their food and water, and they die. Instead of allowing the hens to walk on their natural ground, the farmers solve this problem by cutting their toes just above the nail. Plenty of drugs and antibiotics are fed to them, bur never any painkillers.

When egg production declines, the hens are starved and denied water for several days. This "forced molting" shocks the hens into losing their feathers and starting a new laying cycle. Many die during this torturous process.

Veterinary care is non-existent. Individual hens are considered cheap and expendable. Critically ill birds are simply thrown onto the "dead pile".

The hens go to the slaughterhouse as soon as their production drops which is usually about the age of two years. The process of moving them to the slaughterhouse is also inhumane. Chickens are grabbed by aptly named "Chicken stuffers" who are paid on speed not gentleness, who literally stuff the hens into smaller cages by any limb they can grab. The cages are stacked in the transport truck.

Injuries and smotherings are common during this process. But it does not hurt the corporation, because the chickens that arrive in bad shape, bleeding, with broken bones or bright red bruises are pre-sold to manufacturers of diced and shredded chicken products. They already know there are going to be wounds and fatalities, before it ever happens! It is more profitable for the corporation to sell damaged goods (read: abused chickens) than to take time and precautions to spare the chickens any further harm. Why bother? They already have orders for the damaged goods, before they are even damaged!

When they arrive at the slaughterhouse, the maimed and dead birds are weeded out and thrown into a pile. The birds who miraculously made the trip without suffering further damage are hung upside down by their legs and travel along a conveyor belt (see photos) for as long as 3 minutes (6 minutes for turkeys). Next, they are stunned, usually by their heads being brought into contact with an electrically charged water bath, which holds them still for the kill. Then their throats are cut, if they are lucky. Unfortunately it is a well known fact in the industry this method is inefficient and results in many birds actually being boiled alive in the scalding tank which is designed to loosen the feathers after slaughter. How can the people of our world allow this to keep happening?

What you can do
If you still choose to eat eggs, and you must buy them in a city store, please purchase eggs labeled "Free range hens". Look for a disclaimer similar to this one which can be seen on "Phil's Fresh Eggs" cartons: "Laid in NESTS by UNCAGED hens, free to run and scratch, ROASTED grain is fed without drugs or antibiotics". Depending on the producer, this could still mean that they are confined to a large building. But at least there is some evidence they are not coming from battery cages.

Look in natural food stores for fertile brown eggs that state "free range" and "no antibiotics" on the carton. Hens allowed a healthy diet, fresh air and exercise don't need antibiotics to survive. (same as people!)

If you live close to a rural area, go out of your way and pay a little more for eggs that come directly from a family farm. They will be fresher, you will taste the difference and best of all, you can rest assured that family farm workers are not treating their chickens the way the impersonalized factory farms do.

Discover the variety of egg-free alternatives used in cooking.

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Egg replacements


  • one half to one banana (for cakes or pancakes)Banana
  • 1/4 cup applesauce or pureed fruit
  • two tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot (starch from the arrowroot plant)
  • 1-tsp. soy flour plus 1 Tbsp. water to substitute for one egg.
  • 1/4 cup tofu (blend with liquids in recipe)
  • One Tbsp. flax seeds (found in natural food stores) with 3 Tbsp. water can be blended for 2 to 3 minutes, or boiled for 10 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved to substitute for one egg.
  • use a commercial premixed egg replacement

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Five hundred years ago, before Columbus began his reign of terror, an estimated ten million wild turkeys roamed free in what is now the United States and Mexico. They lived happily in the plains and the forests, consuming grass, nuts and water. Heavy hunting and development of land for peoples use decreased their number and living space.

Pregnant females create nests for her eggs away from the flock. She is very protective of her newly born poults, and if approached she will make a warning sound, which causes her babies to run for cover. The hen is very brave, and will attack any predators, even to the point of losing her own life. She is even intelligent enough to pretend to be hurt in an effort to divert attention away from the poults, when certain types of potential attackers come too close to the nest.

When the poults are old enough to fly, they move to roost with their mom in the trees. They live closely bonded for a year, and finally grow up and become a part of the rest of the flock.

95 percent of all turkeys living today experience quite a different life. 15,000 or more birds may spend their entire life one factory, each granted a tiny three square foot space. They are forced to sit and stand and breathe their own litter, which causes blistered and ulcerated feet, and ammonia burned eyes, and numerous lung diseases.

Their feed contains multiple vaccines, sulfonamides and antibiotics including mycins and tetracyclines. A few years ago, the International Hatchery Practice reported that modern turkeys are now becoming afflicted with new diseases such as rhinotracheitis, paramyxovirus 2, and Salmonella enteritidis, a major source of toxicity for humans that causes arthritis, blood diseases, impaired immunity, and possible death.

A weekly agribusiness publication called Feedstuffs has reported that modern turkeys suffer from a combination of problems. Because turkeys have been so quickly bred to produce more meat, their skeletons and legs cannot support their heavy bodies. They are pathologically obese, and frequently develop congested heart, kidney and lung diseases, just like humans. Their hearts literally explode. These turkeys are still sent to the slaughterhouse, and converted to flesh food for humans.


Factory farms are now forced to hire scientists to engineer new ways to keep the diseased birds alive long enough to get them to the slaughterhouse.

While in living in the factory farms, the turkeys beaks and toes are cut off, to minimize fighting with each other in the crowded conditions. Research has shown this to cause lifelong pain and suffering in the mutilated birds.

These turkeys are unable to mate in the normal way, due to their obese bodies. Male turkeys must be milked of their semen by phallus manipulation teams, who then attempt to impregnate the females by hanging them upside down and inserting a semen filled metal syringe inside her vagina.

When they are three to six months old, or whenever they are fat enough to sell, the turkeys are grabbed by their legs and carried upside down to the transport truck. When they arrive at the slaughterhouse, they are again hung upside down, and moved over a conveyor belt up to 6 minutes, until they are rendered motionless by dipping their heads into electrified water bath, or a hand held stun gun. Thousands of turkeys are insufficiently stunned, or regain consciousness. They suffer incredible pain, from severely cut necks that failed to kill them. In an effort to loosen the feathers, they are immersed in boiling water, some of them still conscious and breathing.

What you can do
Have a turkeyless thanksgiving this year. Ask your guests to bring a vegetarian dish. Include mashed potatoes and brown vegetable gravy. Let thanks be given that one turkey's life was spared. If enough people stop buying turkey flesh, eventually these horrors can be stopped. It happens one person at a time, one dinner at a time, one holiday at a time.

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Ducks and Geese

Pate de foie gras, commonly known as Pate, means "pate from fat livers". These livers come from ducks and geese that have been force-fed. The ducks and geese suffer so greatly that the production of pate has been banned in a few countries, including the United Kingdom. However many people are still able to purchase it, because there is no law against importing the "luxury" appetizer.

France, Hungary and Israel are the largest producers of pate. In Paris, I have seen popular postcards with a picture of an old woman sitting on a goose while pushing food down it's throat. This is meant to be a humorous look at the old way pate was produced.

Modern pate producers start force feeding ducks and geese at around 4 months of age. They are kept in tiny cages so as to prevent any exercise. They are heads and bodies are held motionless with their necks stretched out and a 16-inch metal tube is forced down their throat. A man operated machine forces cooked and salted corn down into their stomach. An elastic band is tied tightly around their throat, to prevent involuntary vomiting.

They are fed like this 4 times a day, for 3 weeks straight, the amount of food increasing every day until they are being fed 60 pounds a day.

The birds look away from the person who is force feeding them, and wont watch each other being fed. This is the direct opposite behavior of free and natural farm ducks and geese who will crowd around whoever is feeding them.

They also suffer painful diseases and injuries from the forced feeding. Heart disorders, torn intestines and ruptured livers are common. Many birds have massive neck wounds so severe that when allowed to drink water it trickles out of their necks. Some of their necks are infested with maggots. Veterinary care is not provided, as their short life would not provide time enough to even heal. The farmers don't care about any other wounds, as only the livers bring in the profit.

Birds raised for pate are not transported to a slaughterhouse. They must be killed on the premises because they are too weak to survive any length of transport time.

When the organs are removed after slaughter, you can see indentations against the lungs, showing how difficult it was for them to breathe while still alive.

A valuable liver to the farmers is one that is yellow and still has visible rib-marks on it, clearly indicating pain suffering. A normal liver of a duck or goose is red and smooth.

What you can do
Even if you don't eat pate, you can help stop the needless suffering. If you come across a store or restaurant that sells pate, please speak to the owner and ask them to stop purchasing this gruesome product. The most common places you will see pate is in "gourmet" stores and luxury type restaurants. Pate is a popular appetizer of the wealthy, and can usually be found in places they shop and eat. If you know someone who eats pate, kindly enlighten him or her to the horrors of pate production. Since pate is largely fat, it is also a very unhealthy thing to eat.

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Does your down jacket give you comfort?

The process of live plucking is widespread. The geese are lifted by their necks with their legs bound, then all of their body feathers are ripped out. They sustain painful injuries and after the ordeal they are thrown back to join their fellow victims until their turn comes round again.

This torture, which has been described as "extremely cruel" by veterinary surgeons, and even geese breeders, begins when the geese are only eight weeks old. It is then repeated at eight-week intervals for two or three more sessions. The birds are then slaughtered.

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Meat Is Torture - Don't Eat Meat

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Meat is Murder

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