by Camryn Parsons
Today, the majority of the world’s population consumes meat. Most of these meat-eaters are not aware of where their food is coming from or what kind of life it lived. This is not necessarily their fault, for the meat industry tries to hide the horror by showing images of happy animals, grazing in a bountiful field with a surplus of space. However, what really happens is nearly the opposite.
To put it in perspective, 3,000 animals per second are killed across the world for the purpose of food. This makes 56 billion animals per year. Eight times our whole human population killed just for food that our bodies do not even need. Maybe you are told you get your meat from a farm that takes care of the animals and treats them “well.” I do not know what society thinks these days, but I know that if any living creature is being raised to die that it is not being raised well. Furthermore, 2 out of every 3 farm animals are in factory farms. So most farm animals never see the outside, or the light of the sun. And for the ones that do, they are still killed for humans. They are still living to die.
At this point you could still be wondering, what exactly is a factory farm? A factory farm is an industry built for the most efficient and profitable way to kill animals. Animals in factory farms usually never get to see the outside. They spend their lives being fed artificial hormones, squished among thousands of animals in one small space. The beaks of many birds such as chickens, turkeys, and ducks are removed to reduce cannibalism. This shows the kind of conditions animals are forced to live in. Young factory farm animals spend extremely little time with their mothers and siblings. They are forced too young into a life not worth living. Some do not even get this chance to live more than a day. For example, around 4 million male chicks are killed per day because they serve no use to the egg industry.
I have been vegetarian for seven years. When I first gave up meat, it was because I knew I loved animals and so it was not right for me to eat them. But now, I have realized so much more. I have read articles and seen videos about the treatment of animals. I have realized the pain one single animal must go through. For example, once a pig is born, she is soon after separated from her mother and siblings. She is by her self. She is alone. Most young animals need their mothers for nourishment, and now this little pig will never see her mom again. Perhaps she is wondering where her mother is. I bet you she doesn’t know she is in a McDonald’s being shoved into a to-go bag then eaten by some ungrateful human. That little pig did not do something wrong. That little pig was born. And now, it is that pig’s time for death. It is lead into a different room and stares into her murderer’s eyes. That little pig searches for a sign of what is going on. That little pig is thrown into a boiling pot of water while it is still conscious. That pig may be wonder when the pain will stop, and when it does it is too late to realize why. The only light that pig ever saw was the light leading it do death.
That little pig’s story was not unique. It is normal. Thousands of other pigs and “farm” animals will face that same fate every day. And what happens to them after that? Nothing; they are forgotten about. I think that pig, along with the millions of other animals killed for the meat industry, deserves to be remembered. They spent their life in the most horrid, unimaginable conditions. Then, they die and are forgotten.
Animals do not have a voice. Their cries are not heard. They need someone, anyone. For years, their dreadful lives have been hidden. They deserve a change. They may not be making huge advances in science or writing award winning books, but they deserve to live. They are living, beautiful creatures. They are unique. They have a beating heart, and no one should stop the power of that heart. No one should have that power.
This picture shows a factory farm space with pigs. In this example, the pigs are not caged which they often are. So, as squished as they are, this is more “freedom” then they normally get.
Genoways, Ted. “Hog Wild: Factory Farms Are Poisoning Iowa’s Drinking Water.” Mother Jones. Mother Jones, 21 Mar. 2014. Web. 3 Nov. 2015.