What about “food-animal” cruelty?

This little rant is imported from somewhere else I posted it to, I am recycling it. The questions and ideas I presented were in response to animal cruelty fanatics- people who want severe jail time for beating a dog, then go home and sink their teeth into a steak. A titch hypocritical. But I think I make a valid point. 🙂

This is what I don’t understand- animal cruelty laws/groups/views that focus on only the animals we keep as pets (or at the very least, a small selection of animals, instead of all animals). Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc all deserve the same fair treatment as other animals do- pigs, cows, chickens, etc. Although I could just have limited exposure to these groups, I never see petitions for stiffer laws, enforcement, or penalties for widespread, systematic cruelty to animals in the hog and cattle industries, dairy and egg production or entertainment and clothing industries.

These industries all directly encourage acts of cruelty to these animals through time constraints and efficiency standards. Many cruelty laws that are in place are supposed to apply to these industries, and animals are supposed to be kept in healthy conditions, treated humanely and stunned before they are killed. In practice these conditions are often not met because of time constraints. This too is considered cruelty.

I will define cruelty below (based on what the group I was responding to defined it as)- and I will provide some examples in the food and clothing animal industries.
Cruelty is:

• “Guardians or custodians of animals to provide suitable and adequate food, water, shelter,and care for all animals.”

– egg production hens are routinely starved for food and water in an effort trick the hens body into another egg production cycle- called “forced molting”- where 5-10% of the hens die and the ones who survive can lose up to 25% of their body weight. Often, they are kept in tiny quarters where they can’t properly move, stretch their wings out, etc.

•Willfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal-

– In the meat, dairy and egg production industries, this happens routinely. Cows aren’t stunned well enough before slaughter and can go through several stages of the slaughtering process before going unconscious. Animals in these industries are not treated kindly- kicking, beating, shoving, prodding, and the use of electric tazers are routine- especially during transport in trucks or around the facilities. Tail and ear docking in pigs, beak ‘trimming’ in hens and horn removal for cattle is almost always done without any sort of anesthetic. Pain is also caused to many of these animals from being unhealthy- grossly overcrowded living quarters, dirty and unsanitary living quarters (literally living in their own waste), diseases/mutations/abscess

es, not enough food/water, and exceedingly large amounts of antibiotics and growth hormones all lead to an unhealthy, painful existence for many of these animals.

•Causing injury to an animal while it is being transported-

Sometimes injury can be caused to cattle, chickens or hogs in transportation to be slaughtered- many times this is because the animals are weak or sick, or because of hurried,rough or abusive handling by the owners. For many dairy cows and for laying hens being transported, broken bones can occur because of the severe calcium deficiency that these animals pocess from the unnatural amount of milk/eggs they are forced/drugged to produce.

•Fighting or baiting an animal

• Abandoning an animal in distress

• The willful (or without lawful excuse) killing or
injuring an animal owned by someone else

• Willfully poisoning, or placing poison in an area a domestic animal can obtain the poison

^ The last cruelty violations- I either don’t know of any real industry-wide violations for them, or am not confident in my knowledge of it to write here.

So, just to re-cap- I am not entirely sure why there is such a public uproar in many cases of dog, cat, horse, etc cruelty- but no push for stricter enforcement when it comes to our “food” animals? I am surprised there is no mention of it in this group, anyhow. Is this because of public ignorance to the issues within these industries? Is it simply (and very hypocritically), because we are friends with our pets and identify them as different than the animals we like to eat?

any thoughts out there?

p.s.- here are some of the resources I find useful for these topics. Let me just say I believe that if the methods that are employed in factory farming were smaller scale and more in line with traditional animal farming methods- then there would much less to worry about! Factory farming is mostly what my concern here is 🙂

just some basic resources:

http://www.factoryfarming.com/

http://www.goveg.com/factoryFarming.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factory_farming

http://www.themeatrix.com/ (this is a cartoon version based on the matrix- :D)

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