These animals have no voice, so we need to be theirs. Their freedom, sociability and quality of life is striped. They spend their whole lives in these cages and pens around the country for the sake of their meat. Calves have it real hard, they can't even move in their crates so society can eat veal. I have not eaten veal in 14 years. These animals DO deserve better.


Horrible Slaughterhouse Closes Its Doors

Soon, no more pigs will be jabbed, beaten with chains, and repeatedly electro-shocked at the Southern Quality Meats, Inc. (SQM), plant in Pontotoc, Mississippi: The sordid slaughterhouse, which supplied meat to Mississippi and Alabama schools, will be closing its doors in June.

Last year, a whistleblower provided PETA with video footage captured inside the slaughterhouse. The footage shows one SQM worker jabbing pigs with electric prongs normally used to stun them prior to cutting their throats and even putting the prongs on one apparently stunned mother pig’s lower abdomen and/or genitals.

peta southern quality meats investigation

U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) records revealed that during a January 2013 inspection, 100 percent of the pigs observed by an FSIS official moved around in the facility’s “knock box,” which made stunning them difficult. Then, after an investigation in July 2013, the FSIS found that the slaughterhouse was breaking federal law by ineffectively stunning pigs in their final, terrifying moments. PETA alerted Alabama and Mississippi school officials to the mistreatment of pigs recorded at SQM and asked them to stop using taxpayer dollars to purchase meat from the slaughterhouse.

pig slaughterhouse

The SQM plant will close and merge operations with another facility in Alabama. However, suffering and cruelty are inevitable in slaughterhouses. In factory farms piglets often have their tails cut off and genitals removed without painkillers, and mother pigs are often forced to languish in cramped gestation crates, where they can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably.

The only way to ensure that pigs won’t suffer is by not eating them. Going vegan is now easier than ever, with tons of options and easy recipes. Many schools even offer a veggie burger for lunch.

Save the piggies: GO VEGAN!

cute baby pig vegans rule
Read more:

Original story: The flesh of animals from this slaughterhouse was reportedly still served in Mississippi and Alabama schools.

Because the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) requires that pigs be handled with a minimum of excitement and discomfort immediately prior to slaughter and during stunning, as is necessary to ensure rapid and effective insensibility to pain—and given that federal funds subsidize Mississippi and Alabama schools' meal programs—PETA alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to the conduct documented at SQM and requested an investigation.



Dear Friend,

 Do you remember the illegal slaughter operation in California? This past spring, Mercy For Animals obtained shocking hidden-camera video footage of an underground slaughter facility in Los Angeles County. The evidence showed goats and sheep being violently pinned down, having their throats crudely sawed open, and slowly bleeding to death in a manner that veterinarians and farmed animal welfare experts described as “horrifying.”

I’m pleased to announce that Roberto Celedon, the owner of the facility, has just pled guilty to the charge of felony cruelty to animals. For his crimes he was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation, fined, and ordered not to possess any animals for slaughter, not to operate a meat-producing facility, not to attend auctions where animals are sold, and not to sell any meat products. His remaining living victims are in rehabilitation at a California-based farmed animal sanctuary.

It is our moral obligation to protect all animals, including animals raised and killed for food, from needless suffering. This is the vitally important work of MFA.

 With your support we’ve won countless legal victories for farmed animals. Please take a moment and watch this inspiring video highlighting the successes you helped make possible.

 We cannot do the crucial work to bring animal abusers like Roberto Celedon to justice without your support. Their voiceless victims deserve to live free from suffering and harm, to be unshackled, uncaged, and untethered, and to know the love and tenderness that is their birthright.

MFA will not stop until we’ve obtained justice for all. With gratitude,

Nathan Runkle
Executive Director


Government Corruption Compromises Cruelty Investigation at Butterball

ButterballAbuseA.jpgIn a case of the fox guarding the henhouse, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture is under fire for compromising a criminal animal cruelty investigation at a Butterball turkey factory farm after an official for the agency admitted to warning the company days prior to a raid by state law enforcement officials.

According to a warrant issued for the phone records between Butterball and government officials, Dr. Sarah Mason, the director of Animal Health Programs with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, improperly leaked information about the criminal investigation and the impending raid to Butterball.

The Department of Agriculture is responsible for ensuring the health of farmed animals in North Carolina, but in this case, according to law enforcement authorities, the agency interfered with a criminal investigation after Mercy For Animals documented routine animal abuse and neglect at Butterball, including:

  • Workers violently kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their fragile wings and necks, and maliciously throwing turkeys onto the ground or into transport trucks in full view of company management;
  • Employees bashing in the heads of live birds with metal bars, leaving many to slowly suffer and die from their injuries;
  • Turkeys covered in flies, living in their own waste, with some unable to access food or water and suffering from severe feather loss
  • Birds suffering from serious untreated illnesses and injuries, including open sores, infections, rotting eyes, and broken bones; and
  • Severely injured turkeys, unable to stand up or walk, left to die without any veterinary care, because treating sick or injured birds was too costly and time consuming, as the farm manager explained to MFA's investigator.
MFA praises law enforcement for taking swift and decisive action in this important matter. While it is troubling that the government agency charged with overseeing the health of animals has allegedly helped protect a company that was caught abusing and neglecting animals, the good news is that each of us has the power to help prevent animal abuse by transitioning to a healthy and humane vegan lifestyle. Visit to learn more.

See the video below: Graphic tho...

Dallas Meat Packing Factory Under Investigation for Dumping Pig Blood Directly Into River

 Dallas Meat Packing Factory Under Investigation for Dumping Pig Blood Directly Into River

Written by Sara Novak

A Dallas meat packing factory, previously cited for inhumane treatment of animals, is under investigation for dumping pig blood and other chemicals into a nearby river. The river runs directly beside the Columbia Packing Company. Investigators fear that an open pipe was dumping the blood straight into the river.

The amount of blood was supposedly so large that a photographer taking aerial photos of the Trinity River noticed it seemed to be running red. The photographer reported the issue setting off an investigation from the Department of Health and Human Services.

CBS Local:

Dallas County health officials say photos investigators took show blood appearing to flow from the Columbia Packing Company into Cedar Creek and then into the Trinity.

Health and Human Services chief Zach Thompson says that the EPA discovered a secondary pipe not connected to a waste water system and the question remains who installed the pipe and why.

Again, CBS Local:

According to a letter by the Animal Welfare Institute posted on the USDA’s website, the plant was cited in 2008 and 2009 for inhumane treatment or slaughter of animals.  The letter also says the company received a one day suspension each time.

It seems beyond frightening to me that a factory that had previously been cited and suspended for inhumane treatment of animals would dump enough blood into the river that it ran completely red before an investigation began.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


PETA's Action Team AlertJoin PETA's Action TeamLivingTVShopDonate NowShare on Facebook

You may have seen PETA's post featuring shocking video footage of a soldier mercilessly beating a sheep with a baseball bat while other military personnel laughed at the animal's plight. At first, despite our calls and letters, the Army seemed to shrug off this cruelty. But thanks to pressure from PETA, including your letters and phone calls, the Army has now announced that it condemns this incident completely and is investigating to find out who is responsible.

 Click here to read more about this case on our blog.

Thanks to your support, PETA will continue to hold animal abusers accountable.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

Victory! Angel's Gate Founder Charged

Written by Michelle Sherrow  12-30-2011

PETA Weekly E-News101 Comments

The Delaware County, New York, District Attorney's Office has filed charges of cruelty to animals as well as a drug-related charge against Susan Marino, the woman responsible for the horrific suffering of hundreds of animals at Angel's Gate, Inc., which she founded, operates, and dares to call "a hospice and rehabilitation center."

PETA's investigation of this hellhole exposed the daily neglect and terrible suffering of disabled, elderly, and ailing animals, many of whom had been shipped to Marino by well-meaning but severely uninformed individuals and agencies, including the New York Center for Animal Care and Control (NYCACC), which doomed Malcolm the Chihuahua and hundreds of other animals to die slowly at Angel's Gate through its "New Hope" program.  

PETA had provided the District Attorney with the evidence that our investigator gathered while volunteering at Angel's Gate. Our investigator saw Marino allow animals to suffer, sometimes for weeks, from treatable conditions as well as terminal illnesses without providing veterinary care, medication, or pain relief. Paralyzed animals dragged themselves until they developed bloody ulcers. Animals developed urine scald after being left in soaked diapers for up to two days. Dehydrated animals were denied water, and others were forced to stay outside in freezing temperatures. The bodies of dead animals were left among those of the living for days.

While Marino has been charged, the nightmare is not over for the animals at Angel's Gate, as they have not yet been seized. Please help us ensure their welfare and the safety of future victims by joining us in urging the New York State Attorney General to revoke Angel's Gate's nonprofit status and ensure that the animals are removed from Marino's custody. Please click here to send a letter to the Attorney General, and please, when your animal companions become elderly or ill, let them live out their final days with dignity in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by their families, not at the mercy of a conniving stranger.


E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas

Last spring, Roy and three fellow calves -- Bob, Ari, and Mercy -- were rescued from the horrors of E6 Cattle Company, a deplorable factory farm in Hart, Texas, as a result of a pivotal Mercy For Animals undercover investigation.

County authorities in Texas are investigating a cattle farm for animal cruelty based on a graphic video of abuse being circulated by an animal-rights group. The Castro Country Sheriff's office confirmed Wednesday that it is investigating abuse captured in a hidden-camera video and made public by Chicago-based Mercy For Animals. The video shows a farm employee hitting a cow in the head with a pick ax and standing on the neck of a calf among other instances of cruelty. The sheriff's office plans to submit its findings to the district attorney for possible prosecution, chief deputy sheriff Tom Taylor said in an interview. The video, which has been posted to the internet, pressured live-cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Traders were concerned its graphic nature would cause a pullback in consumer demand for beef.

The video helped to push June futures down 1.3% to $1.1565 a pound after the contract hit a two-week high earlier in the trading day. Mercy For Animals identified the farm in the video as E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas, which is about 375 miles northwest of Dallas. The farm supplies calves to the dairy industry, the group said. E6 Cattle didn't return a call seeking comment.

We worked hard to secure justice for Roy -- and brought his abusers to justice.

Following our undercover investigation, MFA worked with law enforcement to bring charges against the owner and workers at E6 who had brought so much pain, terror, and neglect to Roy -- and thousands of other calves like him. In a landmark move by law enforcement, based on MFA’s hidden-camera evidence, the owner of the factory farm was arrested. He later pled guilty to cruelty to animals. Felony arrest warrants for five workers soon followed -- sending a strong message to factory farmers everywhere that cruelty such as that inflicted on Roy will not be tolerated.

The goal of MFA’s undercover investigations is to bring about a day when, like Roy, all animals are treated with respect and kindness -- and are able to live out their lives in peace.

Former DeCoster Egg Farm Agrees to Settle Animal Cruelty Case. DeCoster Eggs Farm is now Quality Egg of New England           06/07/2010

See the Video of abuse to chickens:

Animal rights activists say it is the largest penalty in a farm animal abuse case in this country. Jack DeCoster, the owner of Maine Contract Farming LLC, formerly known as the DeCoster Egg Farm, in Turner has agreed to pay more than $130,000 in fines to settle a case involving ten counts of animal cruelty. The case was first brought to light by an undercover investigator from the Ohio-based group Mercy for Animals.

For two months last year, the undercover investigator from Mercy for Animals worked sided by side with other egg farm employees and documented what he saw with a hidden camera. And when the video was turned over to investigators with Maine's Animal Welfare Board, even they were shocked to see birds crammed into cages with inadequate food and water; birds left untreated for injuries and illnesses and live birds swung by the neck and thrown in the trash.
"That was, I mean, incredible video. I think it basically portrayed what we found the day of the search warrant," says Dr. Christine Fraser, a state veterinarian who worked on the case. "It was inexcusable. It wasn't just one bad day at the chicken farm. It was a chronic problem and it had just been allowed to slide to the point that it got to cruelty."
In fact, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson cited Maine Contract Farming with ten civil counts of animal cruelty for depriving hens of necessary sustenance and proper shelter. The farm agreed to pay $2,500 dollars in fines for each count; to reimburse the Animal Welfare Board more than $9,000 for the cost of its investigation; and to make a one-time payment of $100,000 to the Maine Department of Agriculture for ongoing monitoring of hen treatment at its facilities as well as those of other egg farms around the state.

As part of the settlement, Maine Contract Farming will provide training to farm workers twice a year about the care and treatment of farm animals. The district attorney's office also has the option of bringing criminal charges if any of the terms of settlement are violated over the next five years.
Reported By: Susan Sharon
To read more about this story:

June 4, 2010

Warning:  this is a disturbing and graphic video. 

More Hatchery Horrors Revealed

On Wednesday, the nonprofit animal advocacy group, Compassion Over Killing (COK), released undercover video evidence of grisly abuse of chicks and ducklings at a California hatchery.

For nearly a month in 2009, a COK undercover investigator worked as a maintenance person at Cal-Cruz Hatcheries, Inc. in Santa Cruz. The miserable conditions and appalling cruelty documented include:

  • A chick drowning in liquid excrement
  • Birds entangled in machinery, their bodies mangled, decapitated or missing limbs
  • Unwanted hatchlings dumped down an egg shell disposal chute, then sprayed with a high-pressure hose
  • Birds thrown five to six feet across the room into buckets where they often languished for hours

Immediately upon completing the investigation, COK turned over the video evidence to the Santa Cruz County Animal Services Authority and the District Attorney's Office. A follow-up investigation by law enforcement corroborated COK's findings and resulted in the impoundment of 88 ducklings.

Forty of the impounded ducklings were too sick or injured to be stabilized and were euthanized. The remaining ducklings were transferred to Farm Sanctuary in Orland, CA for rehabilitation and to live out their natural lives in peace and safety.

The District Attorney's office held the hatchery abuse case for several months, but in late April of 2010, officially declined to prosecute the offenders.

Sadly, the cruelty documented during this investigation is not isolated. An MFA investigation at the world's largest egg-laying breed hatchery, released earlier last year, revealed shocking conditions - including the standard egg industry practice of dumping live male chicks into grinding machines.  

Click here to read the entire story and view the undercover video and photos of rescued ducklings.


UW-Madison scientists worry about chilling effect of potential legal charges.

Scientists and officials at UW-Madison may face state charges in relation to research in which sheep were killed in compression chambers in an effort to study the bends, a condition that can strike divers. Photo by Henry A. Koshollek/The Capital Times archives

A victory for animal rights groups this week could pose a frightening prospect for UW-Madison scientists. A judge Wednesday appointed a special prosecutor to decide whether nine scientists and officials should be criminally charged — which could mean a fine or jail time — under a state law that prohibits killing animals by decompression. The scientists used sheep to study decompression sickness, or the bends. Multiple sheep died in the studies, which were funded in part by the U.S. Navy to learn how to prevent the malady in divers. Officials at UW-Madison said they were aware of the state law but didn't believe it applied to them because of an exemption for scientific research in the state statutes. The case has attracted national attention because it is unusual for animal rights groups, Madison-based Alliance for Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), to use a state law to fight the research in court. Typically, such challenges fall under the federal animal welfare act and are investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The risk of criminal charges could be worrisome to scientists who want to do research involving animal studies, university research officials said. "Any kind of an approach that puts scientists or anyone else at risk for legal action obviously is going to have a kind of dampening effect," said Eric Sandgren, director of the UW-Madison animal care and use program, one of the nine who could be charged.

Violated state law

Dale Bjorling, chairman of the department of surgical sciences in the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, said the decompression research has saved lives and prevented suffering among Navy divers. He said the work resulted in more accurate decompression tables for divers, allowing them to better calculate the amount of time needed to surface without getting the bends. After Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard issued an opinion that the studies violated state law in the fall, the university stopped the experiments, officials said. Blanchard decided not to prosecute because he said it would not be a wise use of resources.

This is a really horrible way to die." PETA's Guillermo said she doesn't know how often her group will be able to pursue similar legal action. But she said PETA will continue to "try to be creative" in the way to approach these cases. "In most states there aren't provisions for seeking justice for animals in this way," she said. In a small way, the case has already had an effect at UW-Madison.

Deborah Ziff can be reached at or 608-252-6234. Ron Seely can be reached at or 608-252-6131.

To read all of this article:





Dear Friend, June 2 2010

The cruelty is shocking. Unspeakable. So brutal that it has sparked outrage, anger, and action worldwide. Last week Mercy For Animals released heartbreaking footage of malicious and sadistic abuse to cows and calves at an Ohio dairy farm. Workers were captured on film violently stabbing cows with pitchforks, mercilessly beating them in the face with crowbars, and punching, kicking, and body-slamming baby calves. These innocent animals suffered in silence for far too long, their cries falling on deaf ears.

Today we have an incredible opportunity to expand our investigative work, and other lifesaving programs. A generous supporter has pledged to match - dollar-for-dollar - all donations made to MFA by June 10th, totaling up to $25,000! That means that over the next ten days your contribution can go twice as far to help animals.

Don't delay, please make a contribution today. We need your support to continue, and expand, our important work to end farmed animal abuse.

I urge you to support our groundbreaking campaigns to protect farmed animals - perhaps the most abused and exploited animals on the planet. Please take advantage of this special opportunity to support MFA's vital work by making a donation today. Remember, your gift will be doubled! Thank you for your support and dedication to ending needless animal cruelty. Together, with you standing by our side, we will continue to stride toward a day when all animals are treated with the respect and compassion they so rightly deserve.

Truly yours,

Nathan Runkle
Executive Director

PS. By making a special gift today, your donation will be doubled! Please help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 by June 10th in support of our undercover investigations and other lifesaving campaigns. Please donate today.




Animal slaughter, abuse and cruelty. Behind the Screens

First it was necessary to civilize man in relation to man. Now it is necessary to civilize man in relation to nature and the animals. Victor Hugo (poet, novelist, and playwright)

Rate of Slaughter of Chickens, Pigs, and Cows in the United States.

Two pigs who died and where left next to the rest for collecting. 
The sad reality of pig factory farming.

The horrible life of factory farmed pigs

Before reaching the slaughter age of six months these pigs died and where left among the other pigs. Due to poor living conditions, low hygiene, crowded cages and stress pigs living in factory farms have a big change to die before they arrive at the slaughterhouse. Read more about pigs and factory farming at our Factory Farming Factsheet and Pigs Facts page Please download the Flash plugin to view movie

Cow Slaughter

Under law, slaughtered cattle and hogs first must be "stunned" -- rendered insensible to pain -- with a blow to the head or an electric shock. But on most plants this stunning doesn't always work properly, with cruel consequences for the animals. Enforcement records, interviews, videos and worker affidavits describe repeated not well stunned animals at dozens of slaughterhouses, ranging from the smallest, custom butcheries to modern, automated establishments.

Read more about cows at our Cows Facts page.

Chicken suffering and dying at a chicken factory farm

Chicken and Turkey Slaughter

Many birds are not or not correctly pre-stunned prior to throat-slitting and are being plucked alive due to not respecting the minimum two-minute delay between throat-cutting and plucking. Live turkeys' heads plunged into a vat of congealed blood as they bleed to death

Read more about the chicken farm industry at our Poultry Facts page.

Animals Raised On Factory Farms.


   These animals may not be as familiar to us, but they are just as capable of pain and suffering as zebras and tigers are.  Animals on factory farms are crowded in small cages or stalls, many never see the sun, breathe fresh air, or feel grass under their feet. 

Cows raised for beef are branded, castrated, and de-horned without anesthesia. They often die of pneumonia, dehydration, or heat exhaustion from spending days without food or water in overcrowded trucks on their way to feedlots or slaughterhouses. 

Veal Baby Cows.. This is why I have not eaten Veal in 13 years..

These calves that will be slaughtered for veal never see the light of day.
They spend their whole lives indoors and it looks like mostly in the dark.
Look at the few single light bulbs in the ceiling, and they aren't even turned on.

Front View: The baby calves are chained by the neck to restrict their movement.

Rear View: This is how these sweet baby cows live their entire lives.
Chained by the neck, side by side, not allowed to walk or even turn around
in their confinement. Can you imagine how terrible their little lives are?

Female pigs are kept pregnant or nursing constantly and are squeezed into narrow metal stalls where they can’t turn around or even nuzzle their babies. Males are castrated and have their tails cut off without any painkillers. 

Chickens spend their entire lives crammed in cages so small they’re barely able to move. They lose their feathers and their skin turns red and raw from rubbing against the wire walls. To keep them from pecking each other in frustration, factory workers slice off chicks’ beaks with a hot blade, sometimes taking part of their tongues or faces with it.

Our understanding of the cruelty inherent in the meat industry becomes even clearer when we realize that it’s all unnecessary: Humans do not need to eat animal flesh. In fact, we’re healthier if we don’t. And since we have so many choices as consumers these days, there’s simply no excuse for continuing to raise and slaughter animals for food. The only truly humane option is to choose alternatives to animal products—which, luckily, isn’t as hard as you might think.

The Exquisite Cruelty of Factory Farming

by Camille Marino


Cows Left to Suffer
for Land O’ Lakes.

Over the course of several months, PeTA documented the systematic cruelty that dairy cows endure at the Fortune 250 Company, Land O’Lakes in Pennsylvania.  Since “food” animals are considered about as sentient as a rock by their capitalist overlords, I’m not quite sure why anyone finds the following circumstances surprising…  they’re fairly standard holocaust practices:  “the investigation documented deplorable, filthy conditions for cows on the farm, such as pens that were filled with deep excrement (see video and photos), and cows who suffered from ailments and conditions so severe that they collapsed and became “downers” but were not put out of their misery or given veterinary care in a timely manner, if at all.” Clearly, we can see the abomination that is welfare. This facility was inspected as recently as June 2009; although the report noted infractions, Land O’Lakes concentration camp passed.

COWS: To mark cows for identification, ranchers restrain the animals and push hot fire irons into their flesh, causing third degree burns, as they bellow in pain and attempt to escape. Male calves’ testicles are ripped from their scrotums without pain relievers, and the horns of cows raised for beef are cut or burned off.  While on the farm, most cows receive inadequate veterinary care, and as a result, many die from infection and injury. Every winter, cattle freeze to death in states like Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota. And every summer, cows collapse from heat stroke in states like Texas and Arizona. After about a year of facing the elements, cows are shipped to an auction lot and then across hundreds of miles to massive feedlots—feces- and mud-filled holding pens where they are crammed together by the thousands. Many arrive crippled or dead from the journey.

CHICKENS:  Tens of thousands of birds are crammed into a single closed broiler house; many are maimed and live with broken wings and other bones. Each chicken is given less than a square foot of space, so hardly any floor is actually visible. The birds are unable to roam, to scratch, or, indeed, to avoid each other at all. Their instinct to live in a hierarchical community is thwarted, and social tension results. Chickens living in these stressful conditions will peck and fight with each other, which has led chicken producers to the “solution” of debeaking chicks shortly after they hatch in order to minimize damage.  Many chicks die from starvation because the excruciating pain makes eating impossible. This debeaking process, like much else in factory farming, is run assembly-line fashion, without anesthesia; the chicks are placed beak-first into an apparatus that quickly cuts the tips off the beaks with a hot blade.

PIGS: Pigs are kept in the dark for nearly 24 hours a day to keep them calm.  When they have youngsters, sows are jammed between two rails (gestation crates), so that they cannot turn around and take care of the piglets, only feed them. This prevents the sow from crushing a piglet to death, because of the lack of space.Since 2002 pig breeders are supposed to keep pigs on two thirds of solid floor. One third of a pig’s floor is made of grid, to let the manure fall through. They are constantly suffocated by the overpowering smell of ammonia.  The animals stand on the grid floor all day, which cause them to suffer from foot injuries.  Because they are more manageable being confined in almost permanent darkness, they panic when they have to be transported to the slaughterhouse (usually after 3 to 6 months).  Pigs are very sensitive and often get sick on their journey to death.

DAIRY COWS & VEAL CALVES:  Dairy cows, on average, don’t live longer than four and a half years. In ideal circumstances they can reach the age of thirty.  During their short, miserable lives, they are repeatedly raped and given growth hormones and steroids to produce abnormal quantities of milk.  Their calves, naturally, are torn away from them so that the milk can be stolen for human consumption.  The babies are given formula, kept anemic (white meat) and weak (no pesky muscle to ruin your dinner) and are dragged away and slaughtered for veal.

HENS: When chicks crawl out of their eggs in the hatchery, they are moved to a laying or fattening farm, depending on their race and sex. The young cocks are worthless and are killed with carbon dioxide in a plastic bag or they are shredded. The chicks that go to the battery will live in a shed with long rows of cages made of wire mesh, with three or more storeys on top of each other. The animals live in small cages, 4 chickens are crammed together.  Hens lay their eggs on the wire mesh and cannot spread their wings. As a result of this distressing situation they peck at each other. That’s why their beaks are burnt (without anaesthesia). They don’t have a roost to sleep on and a disrupted day/night rhythm is forced on them, to have them lay as many eggs as possible.  In order to increase unnatural egg production, the hens are starved for up to two weeks at a time.  If their bodies can withstand the constant abuse, they may live to be a year old during which time they will have produced 300 menstruations (eggs) for the slobbering masses to consume.

TURKEYS:  These animals are kept with thousands in a small, dark space causing aggression, foot problems, stress, feather pecking and cannibalism. Because of the intensive farming, it is not unusual that in the first week of their lives, 40% of the turkeys die! The sole objective is to fatten the turkeys as quickly as possible.  The plump butterballs on the serving  platter were crippled because of the unnatural weight packed onto their frames.  Seems the more miserable to animal’s life, the more marketable their corpse.



Factory-Farm Workers Face First-Ever Felony Cruelty Charges

A Minnesota turkey farm; PETAFor the first time in U.S. history, former factory-farm workers are facing felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds. 

Last fall, an undercover investigator from PETA caught workers at Aviagen Turkeys in West Virginia stomping on turkeys, punching them, beating them with pipes and boards, and twisting the birds’ necks repeatedly. One worker even bragged about shoving a broomstick down a turkey’s throat because the bird had pecked at him.

Watch undercover video here. 

Just recently, a Greenbrier County, West Virginia, grand jury indicted three of the workers on 19 animal abuse charges—eleven of the 19 charges are felony offenses. Each felony charge is punishable by one to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. The eight misdemeanor counts are punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of $300 to $2,000, or both. This is a precedent-setting victory for factory-farmed birds. Although PETA’s exposés of hog farms have led to felony cruelty charges, never before have farm workers received more than a slap on the wrist for abusing chickens or turkeys.

Industry-Wide Abuse

The abuse documented at Aviagen Turkeys—the self-proclaimed “world’s leading poultry breeding company”—is the norm on factory farms. More than 9 billion birds are raised and killed for food each year in the U.S. alone. Every time PETA’s investigators have gone undercover at chicken and turkey farms, they’ve witnessed shocking cruelty. For example, workers at a Butterball slaughterhouse in Ozark, Arkansas, were documented punching and stomping on turkeys, slamming them against walls, and more, and the manager of a turkey factory farm in Minnesota was seen wringing turkeys’ necks and bludgeoning turkeys to death with a “killing stick” (shown in photo above).

Routine Practices: Routine Pain

But even when factory-farmed birds aren’t gratuitously abused, they still suffer greatly. Before they’re slaughtered, turkeys spend five to six months packed together so tightly in dark sheds that flapping a wing is nearly impossible. To keep the severely crowded birds from pecking and clawing one another in frustration, factory workers cut off parts of the birds’ toes and a portion of their upper beaks. These procedures are known to cause chronic and acute pain. The birds live mired in their own waste, breathing strong ammonia fumes, which burn their eyes and lungs. To keep them alive in these filthy, disease-ridden conditions—and to stimulate their growth—farmers feed them antibiotics. Because the birds are drugged and bred to grow so large in such a short period of time, their bones can’t support their weight, and many suffer from broken legs. Some birds attempt to drag themselves by their wings to reach food and water.

At the slaughterhouse, the terrified turkeys are hung upside-down, and their heads are dragged through an electrified “stunning tank,” which immobilizes them but does not kill them. Many birds dodge the tank and are still conscious when their throats are cut. If the turkeys’ throats are not cut properly—which happens often—the birds are scalded to death in the tanks of water used to remove their feathers.

Scratch Turkey Off Your Shopping List

The indictment of the Aviagen Turkeys employees should help convince other turkey-farm workers that there are consequences for abusing birds. Of course, the only way that consumers can be sure that they’re not supporting such cruelty is to stop eating turkeys and other animals. For information about great-tasting vegetarian alternatives, visit

To read more:

 Factory Farms


Around the world and in Korea, modern intensive farming methods mean that most animals live the whole of their unnatural lives imprisoned in small spaces and suffer under appalling conditions. Just for the sake of human stomachs, billions of animals yearly endure tortures before being slaughtered.     

In fact, over 53 billion animals and birds yearly are imprisoned, abused, drugged, mutilated, and slaughered around the world in farming operations. To supply the great need for meat, huge factory farming operations are replacing traditional farms, with maximizing profit as their primary goal.

0v07Animals are caught from birth in the grip of the massive machinery of this industry, one that treats them like inanimate products--totally ignoring their status as sentient beings. They live a nightmarish life. Many die from disease and stress before reaching the slaughterhouse. For others, even the slaughterhouse does not bring a quick death, as many people mistakenly believe. Animals can survive the initial stages of the slaughter process, which means they are alive and conscious when they being skinned, dismembered or scalded in boiling water.

0v08Pigs are smart, and many of the beliefs surrounding them, such as their uncleanliness, are myths. In factory farms, pigs are born onto concrete then penned behind steel bars for the rest of their live. That is all they'll ever know. They get no exercise. They see no sunshine. They are forced to breath choking ammonia from their waste. They live in a constant state of over-crowding and stress.

Female pigs are raised separately in special sheds where they endure their own special kinds of tortures. They are kept pregnant as often as is possible and are forced to live in steel "crates" in which they cannot even turn around. Many attack their crates with rage and frustration while others develop neurotic behavior.

0v11Hens are like machines for producing meat and eggs. Male chicks of egg-laying chicken breeds are of no use to the egg industry, so on the day they hatch, they are left to suffocate in plastic bags or killed by other means, including being ground up for feed.

The female chicks have their beak ends burned off with a hot blade. This is because the living conditions they have to endure are so stressful that they peck at each other. As battery hens, they will endure their entire lives in windowless sheds, packed into cages barely bigger than they are and deprived of everything required to satisfy their most basic natural instincts.

0v09Hens also have to breath air full of, among other things, ammonia fumes and dust. They suffer skin, respiratory problems, growths, infections, and blindness. Their confinement also produces weak muscles and bone brittleness, which results in broken bones.

Conditions are much the same for broiler chickens. Because of genetically engineered breeding to make them grow large quickly, broiler chickens suffer leg problems and are painfully crippled because they cannot support their weight properly. They also die from heart failure because of their unnatural growth patterns.

0v12Cattle are subjected to unnatural and crowded living conditions as well. They are branded, castrated and dehorned. They are feed unnatural diets that lead to a whole host of health problems--indeed, it is through eating artificial feed that cattle contract mad cow disease.

Like pigs, cattle have to endure inhuman transportation methods, packed into trucks in all kinds of temperatures. Also like pigs, many cattle are not initially killed in the slaughter process, meaning that some are skinned and dismembered while still conscious.

Cows can normally live 20-25 years. But their lifespan in the milk industry is much reduced: only 25% of dairy cows live past 7 years. Today, many must live their days on packed earth, standing or lying in their own filth. Dairy cows suffer a range of health problems as a result of living conditions and intensive farming.

Of course, once a dairy cow is worn out and no longer useful, she is carted off to the slaughterhouse.


Dairy cows are made pregnant as often as possible and when calves are born, mother and calf are separated within 24 hours, causing great distress to both mother and calf. Some calves might be reared for meat. But often dairy cow calves can end up as veal calves who have to endure a torturous short life. No more than babies, they are chained by the neck for 16 weeks in tiny, filthy wooden crates, unable even to scratch themselves. They cannot experience anything of what nature intended for them.

These are just a few summaries of what goes on in the meat, dairy and egg industries. They by no means detail all of the disgusting abuses and practices that occur. Remember, other animals such as ducks, rabbits, turkeys are also subject to tortures in intensive farming operations. If you object such horrors, please boycott products from the meat, egg and dairy industries.


Veal Calves... On A Personal Note: I haven't eaten Veal in 20 years.

Veal is a by-product of the dairy industry. In order for dairy cows to produce milk, they must be impregnated and give birth. Half of the calves born are female, and they are used to replace older cows in the milking herd. The other half are male, and because they are of no use to the dairy industry, most are used for beef or veal. Within moments of birth, male calves born on dairies are taken away from their mothers and loaded onto trucks. Many are sold through auction rings where they are subjected to transportation and handling stresses. The fragile animals are shocked and kicked, and when they can no longer walk, they are dragged by their legs or even their ears.

Every year, approximately one million calves are confined in crates measuring just two feet wide. They are chained by the neck to restrict all movement, making it is impossible for them to turn around, stretch, or even lie down comfortably. This severe confinement makes the calves' meat "tender" since the animals muscles cannot develop.    

Published scientific research indicates that calves confined in crates experience "chronic stress" and require approximately five times more medication than calves living in more spacious conditions. It is not surprising then, that veal is among the most likely meat to contain illegal drug residues which pose a threat to human health.

Researchers have also reported that calves confined in crates exhibit abnormal coping behaviors associated with frustration. These include head tossing, head shaking, kicking, scratching, and stereotypical chewing behavior. Confined calves also experience leg and joint disorders and an impaired ability to walk.

In addition to restricting the animals' movement, veal producers severely limit what their animals can eat. The calves are fed an all liquid milk-substitute which is purposely deficient in iron and fiber. It is intended to produce borderline anemia and the pale colored flesh fancied by 'gourmets'. At approximately sixteen weeks of age, these weak animals are slaughtered and marketed as "white" veal (also known as "fancy", "milk-fed", "special fed", and "formula fed" veal). Besides the expensive veal which comes from calves who are kept in small wooden crates, "bob" veal is the flesh of calves who may be slaughtered at just a few hours or days old. While these calves are spared intensive confinement, they are still subjected to inhumane transport, handling, and slaughter, and many die before reaching the slaughterhouse.

For more information on dairy and veal production:

Facts on Animal Rights and Factory Farming
Knowing is better than believing!

No light, but rather darkness visible serves only to discover sights of woe, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace and rest can never dwell, hope never comes. That comes to all; but torture without end...John Milton, Paradise Lost


Animals at the farm 

  • Chicken More

    The biggest losers in industrial farming. They loose by number as around 98% animals killed a year are birds.1 More than 95% of these birds have the misfortune to be born as a chicken. Turkey scores 4% due to Thanksgiving.

    • Egg machines: Around 95% of the eggs available come from egg factories, where the birds are held in battery cages -very small with slanted wire floors. Five to eight birds are crammed in 14 square inches cages. To prevent aggression (due to the stress) chicks are debeaked. To lift the production up the hens live in constant light.
    • Broiler Chickens: As male chicks are not useful for the broiler industry, and 50% of chicks hatched are males, they need to be disposed and killed at bird. Broiler chickens are selectively bred and genetically altered to produce bigger thighs and breasts, the parts in most demand. This breeding creates birds so heavy that their bones cannot support their weight. As they are bred to grown fast they reach market weight of 3 1/2 pounds in seven weeks. Broilers are raised in overcrowded broiler houses instead of cages to prevent the occurrence of bruised flesh which would make their meat undesirable. Their beaks and toes are cut off and the broiler houses are usually unlit to prevent fighting among the birds.
  • Pigs More

    Our closest relatives at the factory farm. Many never see the daylight, others are used as living breeding machines. Pigs are born and raised inside buildings that have automated water, feed and waste removal. Dust, dirt and toxic gases from the pigs' waste create an unsanitary environment that encourages the onset of a number of diseases and illnesses, including pneumonia, cholera, dysentery and trichinosis.

    • Hog Farms: As piglets, they are taken away from their mothers when they are less than 1 month old; their tails are cut off, some of their teeth are cut off, and the males have their testicles ripped out of their scrotums (castration), all without any pain relief. They spend their entire lives in overcrowded pens on a tiny slab of filthy concrete. more than 170,000 pigs die in transport each year, and more than 420,000 are crippled by the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse.2 Many are still fully conscious when they are immersed in scalding water for hair removal.
    • Breeding Sows: Breeding sows spend their entire lives in tiny metal crates so they cannot turn around. Shortly after giving birth, they are once again forcibly impregnated. This cycle continues for years until their bodies finally gives up and they are sent to be killed.
  • Cattle - Cows More

    The giant of the bunch, gentle, curious and clever.

    • Dairy Cows: As dairy cows only produce milk for about 10 months after giving birth, they are impregnated continuously to keep up the milk flow. Female calves are kept to replenish the herd and male calves are usually sent to veal crates where they live a miserable existence until their slaughter. When cows become unable to produce adequate amounts of milk they are sent to slaughter so money can be made from their flesh.
    • Veal Calves : Calves are kept in small wooden (to prefent iron intake) crates which prevent movement and inhibit muscle growth so their flesh will be tender. They are fed a iron deficient diet to keep their flesh pale and appealing to the consumer. Veal calves spend whole his life confined, alone and deprived of light for a large portion of their four-month lives.
    • Beef : Most beef cattle spend the last few months of their lives at feedlots, crowded by the thousands into dusty, manure-laden holding pens. The air is thick with harmful bacteria and particulate matter, and the animals are at a constant risk for respiratory disease.
      Before they are hung up by their back legs and bleed to death, the cattle needs to be rendered unconscious. This 'stunning' is usually done by a mechanical blow to the head, but as the procedure is terribly imprecise, adequate stunning isn't aquired a lot of times. As a result, conscious animals are often hung upside down, kicking and struggling, while a slaughterhouse worker makes another attempt to render them unconscious. Eventually, the animals will be "stuck" in the throat with a knife, and blood will gush from their bodies whether or not they are unconscious.
  • Sheep

    Shortly after birth, lambs are subjected to two painful mutilations: castration and tail-docking. Some four million newborn lambs - about one in five of the total - die every year within a few days of birth, mostly from disease, exposure, or malnutrition.3 And about a million adult breeding animals (out of about 17.5 million) also die in the fields annually.

    Current EU rules allow sheep to travel for 14 hours without a rest or water. They must have a rest period of one hour after a 14 hour journey, after which, they may be transported for a further 14 hours.

  • Rabbits

  • Although rabbits aren't yet as common at the factory farm, there have been experiments in battery systems similar to does from hens. Young rabbits have a high death rate. The does (female rabbits) are as laying hens disposables. When a doe can't have seven litters a year anymore, she is slaughtered


Pig Farming - Here's your bacon!

Much scientific research has been done in to the inner life of these interesting animals which shows just how complex and social pigs are. Professor Donald Broom of Cambridge University Veterinary School in the UK has stated that pigs “have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly three year olds.”

Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University has noticed that pigs are capable of abstract representation and commented “there is much more going on in terms of thinking and observing by pigs than we would ever have guessed.” Co-researcher Dr. Sarah Boysen concluded that pigs are able to focus with a greater intensity than a chimp.

In fact pigs are also very sociable and are always communicating using body language and oinks or squeals. More than 20 verbal ques have been discovered so far including the vocalization for “I’m hungry” as well as a call to attract a mate. Pigs often form elaborate extended family units and learn from one another, this represents a sort of culture that is passed on. Pigs are also clean, loyal and affectionate animals that have good memories and learn from trial and error.

The horrors of pig factory farming

On the factory farms, the cruelty begins with sows or mothering pigs, who are merely considered machines used to produce piglets. Their babies are taken away from them to be fattened for the sole purpose of being killed for human consumption.

Mother sows are made pregnant by a painful and invasive form of artificial insemination. The sows are then confined to metal cages, called gestation crates, for their entire four month pregnancy.

Pigs have a strong biological urge to prepare a nest before giving birth and go insane from their inability to act in a natural way on these factory farms. Their need to nest is so intense that the expectant mothers rub their snouts on the floor until they go bloody and raw. This frustration-induced insanity is often exhibited by the sows repetitively chewing the metal bars of their cages till their mouths bleed or by sham chewing, in which the sow chews the air.

Being in continuous discomfort, the mother pigs urinate and defecate where they lie and spend day and night in their own waste. Unable to move they must live in these unhygienic conditions and quickly develop large, painful “bed sores.” These become infected and go untreated. Moreover, their lack of exercise causes obesity and leg problems, making it very hard for the sows to walk.

The farrowing crate

At the end of their pregnancy the sows are transferred to an even more confining “farrowing crate,” which has an additional concrete platform so that that the piglets can nurse on the mother’s milk.

To get the sows to the farrowing crates the mothers are beaten and prodded. Once in the farrowing crate, the sows also have her legs tied apart so that they do not push away their nursing piglets in order to get a brief rest.

After ten days to three weeks, the baby piglets are wrenched away from their mothers.

The mother pigs are then re-impregnated and returned to the gestation crates where the whole process is repeated again and again. Pushed to the limits of their reproductive capacity, the average sow gives birth to 20 piglets a year for up to three or four years. Once a sow has been drained physically and mentally, she is no longer considered useful and is sent for slaughter.

The piglets

What is the fate of a sow’s young, innocent offspring? Ten percent of the piglets die even before their separation from their mothers. Runts or under-developed piglets are considered unprofitable and are killed on site by a method called “thumping.” This is when the baby is slammed head first with as much force as possible into a concrete floor.

At less than a month old, these poor creatures have their tails cut off, their teeth are snapped off using pliers and their testicles are cut out of their scrotums. These excruciating procedures are forced on the animals without anesthetics or painkillers by non-medical staff. They also have their ears cut so as to make them easily identifiable.

The terrified infants are then imprisoned in small metal battery cages and piled on top of each other. The urine and waste from the higher cages naturally falls onto the lower piglets, creating extremely unhygienic conditions which provide a breeding ground for a host of diseases that afflict the piglets and subsequently the humans who consume pig products.

Poor ventilation in their quarters means that respiratory problems and disease are rampant. They are forced to live among their own excrement and the dead, decaying bodies of other pigs. In these conditions, seventy-percent of pigs develop pneumonia and more than a quarter develop mange, a parasitic infection of the skin.

Illness, lack of exercise and genetic manipulation that causes them to grow faster than normal leads to lameness, arthritis and other limb conditions that may incapacitate the animals and cause death. To keep the pigs alive they are fed massive amounts of antibiotics.  

The average pig in the wild can live for approximately nine to fifteen years but factory farmed pigs are slaughtered at just six months of age. Many of the sickly and distraught animals do not survive the drive to the slaughterhouse.


To get the terrified pigs on to the vehicles for transport the animals may be hit on their highly sensitive noses or prodded with electric rods. There is no law regulating the maximum voltage usable.

The animals are then packed so tightly into the vehicles that as one former transporter observed, their intestines are actually forced out of their anus'.

Millions of pigs die in transport each year. The pigs may be moved over long distances for three days or more. During transport, the pigs usually are not provided with food or water.

Traveling through extreme climatic conditions from burning hot to freezing cold, pigs have been found frozen to the sides of the vehicle. These animals are then just left to die as they can not be sold for meat. Workers then drag and kick the remaining pigs to remove them from the truck.

The cruelty of slaughter

The first step in the slaughtering process is stunning the animals, the three main methods used are (1) poisoning with carbon dioxide, which slowly chokes them to a torturing death; (2) the use of a captive bolt gun shot into the pigs’ head, which often needs to be repeated as the brain lies deep in the pig’s head and so it is hard to induce unconsciousness; (3) electric shock using shock paddles placed on the head, which is also not effective.

These methods are limited in their efficiency and as the average slaughterhouse processes approximately 1,000 animals per hour this often means that the animals are fully conscious when they are hung up by their feet and cut open with a knife to drain away their blood.

Some pigs are still conscious when they are submerged in scalding hot water to loosen their skin and remove their hair. They are essentially boiled alive!

 Every year 1.3 billion pigs around the world face this fate.

Click here to find out how you can help!

Click here to go back to the factory farming section or read more about other issues regarding animals.

Brief description of various “Factory Farming”, Livestock Transport, Abattoir practices, as contained in the aforementioned pictures.  It may be one thing for people to eat Animals raised for Food but it quite another to know these Animals were treated inhumanely and suffered immense pain and suffering, in part, by ‘greedy and self-serving make a profit at any cost people’ whom rationalize, perpetuate and condone, such as Government, these inhumane Factory Farming methods, so, Consumers should buy where they know the food they purchase is safe and that Animals raised for Food were done so in humane ways.

 MALE CHICKS DIE IN HORRIFIC WAYS – unwanted male chicks struggle to survive amid egg shells and garbage in a dumpster behind a hatchery for laying hens.  What does your favourite Food Store “supplier” do with their unwanted male chicks?

 A VIEW AT BIRTH – at a hatchery, chicks enter this world inside drawers of huge incubators.

 BATTERY HEN CAGES – four or five egg laying hens are typically packed into wire battery cages which are the size of a folded newspaper.  They cannot even stretch their wings.  “Free Range” is the natural way, where normal instincts of foraging and exercise can be done, but alternative “Free Run” is acceptable.

 MILKING MACHINES – two or three times every day, dairy cows are hooked up to milk machines.  They are commonly pushed to produce ten times more milk than is normal.

VEAL CRATES – veal calves are often chained by the neck in small wooden crates where they are unable to walk or stretch their limbs.  Confined in crates just two foot wide.

 PIG FARROWING CRATES/GESTATION CRATES – Pregnant Pigs are confined in “farrowing crates” just before giving birth.  They remain here for a few weeks until their babies are weened and then they are transferred to similarly restrictive “gestation crates” where they spend most of their lives – unable to even turn around.  The Pigs “breeding sows” basic needs are denied and they experience severe physical and psychological disorders.

 SHEEP DEAD PILES – Sheep who die during transit are thrown on deadpiles like the one described in above picture.  The Sheep at the far right was still alive and was rescued by Farm Sanctuary.

 LIVESTOCK TRANSPORT – Chickens are crowded on the back of trucks to be taken to slaughter; chickens raised for meat are crowded by the thousands into factory farm warehouses; chickens are routinely and harshly thrown into cages often injuring wings or limbs in the process.  Cattle often “stick to sides of unlined trucks in winter”

 DOWNERS – Death losses during transport are too high, amounting into millions of dollars per year but it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out why we load as many, for example, Hogs, as we do – it’s cheaper!  Examples describe a ‘downed cow left to suffer and die as her frightened calf looks on’; another downed cow has a broken neck that was broken when she was forcibly separated from her calf; a downed cow is left to die in a stock yards parking lot; another downed cow is left to suffer after being dragged off a truck by a rope tied around her neck and she was unloaded when the truck drove off; a disembowled calf is left to suffer, workers refused to humanely euthanize him; only a few hours old, a downed calf is left for dead, still wet from birth, in this example, it was so cold temperature could not be read on a thermometer.

 SLAUGHTERHOUSE – hung upside down by shackles, thousands of chickens and similar numbers of turkeys are killed every hour; cows are hung upside down, their throats are slit and they are bled to death.  In one example, with the smell of blood in the air and cows bleeding to death within sight, a terrified cow waits in the “knocking box” just prior to being stunned and slaughtered.  Remember, Animals are sentient-beings and capable of fearing and feeling pain, they are not merely “property”, thus, this is one reason why we and others have proposed change to the Criminal Code removing from being property, recognizing as a sentient-being and imposing severe penalties for cruelty but “Opposition Parties” have in misguided fashion blocked passing of Bill C-15, such shame!

Pictures courtesy Compassion in World Farming and FARM SANCTUARY


Cruelty to Animals: Mechanized Madness

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The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories. On today's factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, and other confinement systems. These animals will never raise their families, root in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural to them. They won't even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter.

Animals on today's factory farms have no legal protection from cruelty that would be illegal if it were inflicted on dogs or cats: neglect, mutilation, genetic manipulation, and drug regimens that cause chronic pain and crippling, transport through all weather extremes, and gruesome and violent slaughter. Yet farmed animals are no less intelligent or capable of feeling pain than are the dogs and cats we cherish as companions.

The factory farming system of modern agriculture strives to maximize output while minimizing costs. Cows, calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and other animals are kept in small cages, in jam-packed sheds, or on filthy feedlots, often with so little space that they can't even turn around or lie down comfortably. They are deprived of exercise so that all their bodies' energy goes toward producing flesh, eggs, or milk for human consumption. The giant corporations that run most factory farms have found that they can make more money by cramming animals into tiny spaces, even though many of the animals get sick and some die. Industry journal National Hog Farmer explains, "Crowding Pigs Pays," and egg-industry expert Bernard Rollins writes that "chickens are cheap; cages are expensive."

"The Life of
Broiler Chickens"

Pig Farm

They are fed drugs to fatten them faster and to keep them alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them, and they are genetically altered to grow faster or to produce much more milk or eggs than they would naturally. Many animals become crippled under their own weight and die within inches of water and food.

While the suffering of all animals on factory farms is similar, each type of farmed animal faces different types of cruelty.
  • Chickens killed for their flesh in the United States are bred and drugged to grow so quickly that their hearts, lungs, and limbs often can't keep up. Read more about chickens.
  • Hens used for eggs live six or seven to a battery cage the size of a file drawer, thousands of which are stacked tier upon tier in huge, filthy warehouses. Read more about laying hens.
  • Cattle are castrated, their horns are ripped out of their heads, and third-degree burns (branding) are inflicted on them, all without any pain relief. Read more about cows raised for their flesh.
  •    Factory Farming Photo Gallery
  • Cows used for their milk are drugged and bred to produce unnatural amounts of milk; they have their babies stolen from them shortly after birth and sent to notoriously cruel veal farms so that humans can drink the calves' milk. Read more about dairy cows.
  • Mother pigs on factory farms are confined to crates so small that they are unable to turn around or even lie down comfortably. Read more about pigs.
  • Fish on aquafarms spend their entire lives in cramped, filthy enclosures, and many suffer from parasitic infections, diseases, and debilitating injuries. Conditions on some farms are so horrendous that 40 percent of the fish may die before farmers can kill and package them for food. Read more about fish.
  • Turkeys' beaks and toes are burned off with a hot blade. Many suffer heart failure or debilitating leg pain, often becoming crippled under the weight of their genetically manipulated and drugged bodies. Read more about turkeys.
When they have finally grown large enough, animals raised for food are crowded onto trucks and transported over many miles through all weather extremes to the slaughterhouse. Those who survive this nightmarish journey will have their throats slit, often while they are still fully conscious. Many are still conscious when they are plunged into the scalding water of the defeathering or hair-removal tanks or while their bodies are being skinned or hacked apart.


Victims of the fur trade living captive on fur factory farms

The fur trade makes many casualties. Animals are slaughtered under horrible conditions.
On the clip you can see undercover investigators documenting animals on fur farms being slammed head-first into the ground, bludgeoned to death, and even skinned alive. Eighty-five percent of the fur industrys skins come from animals living captive on fur factory farms. These farms can hold thousands of animals, and the practices used to farm them are remarkably uniform around the globe. As with other intensive-confinement animal farms, the methods used on fur factory farms are designed to maximize profits, always at the expense of the animals.

Read more about the fur industry at our Fur Facts page.

See the video below: Beware this video is graphic.


Factory Farming: Mechanized Madness

The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past, which are still portrayed in children’s books, have been replaced by windowless metal sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, and other confinement systems—what is now known as “factory farming.”

Farmed animals have no legal protection from horrific abuses that would be illegal if they were inflicted on dogs or cats: neglect, mutilations, genetic manipulation, and drug regimens that cause chronic pain and crippling, transport through all weather extremes, and inhumane slaughter. Yet farmed animals are no less interesting, intelligent, or capable of feeling pain than are the dogs or cats whom we cherish as companions.

Deprivation and Disease

The factory farming system of modern agriculture strives to produce the most meat, milk, and eggs as quickly and cheaply as possible, and in the smallest amount of space possible. Cows, calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits, and other animals are kept in small cages or stalls, often unable to turn around. They are deprived of exercise so that all their bodies’ energy goes toward producing flesh, eggs, or milk for human consumption. They are fed drugs to fatten them faster and are genetically altered to grow faster or to produce much more milk or eggs than they would naturally.

Because crowding creates a prime atmosphere for disease, animals on factory farms are fed and sprayed with huge amounts of pesticides and antibiotics, which remain in their bodies and are passed on to the people who eat them, creating serious human health hazards. Both the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have supported ending the use of antibiotics.(1,2) Although McDonald’s has announced that it will phase out growth-promoting antibiotics, the fast-food chain is not likely to decrease overall antibiotic use.(3) The industry simply cannot raise the billions of animals per year that it does in such gruesome conditions without the drugs that allow their bodies to survive conditions that would otherwise kill them.


Chickens are inquisitive animals, and when in their natural surroundings, they form friendships and social hierarchies, recognize one another and develop pecking orders, love and care for their young, and enjoy a full life that includes dust-bathing, making nests, and roosting in trees. On the factory farm, however, chickens are denied these activities.

Laying hens live in battery cages stacked tier upon tier in huge warehouses. Confined seven or eight to a cage, they don’t have enough room to turn around or spread even one wing. Conveyor belts bring in food and water and carry away eggs and excrement. Farmers induce greater egg production through “forced molting”: Chickens are denied food and light for days, which leads to feather and weight loss.(4) To prevent stress-induced behaviors caused by overcrowding, such as pecking their cagemates to death, hens are kept in semi-darkness, and the ends of their beaks are cut off with hot blades (without pain relief). The wire mesh of the cages rubs their feathers off, chafes their skin, and cripples their feet. Chickens can live for more than a decade, but laying hens on factory farms are exhausted and unable to produce as many eggs by the time they are 2 years old, so they’re slaughtered.(5,6) More than 100 million “spent” hens die in slaughterhouses every year.(7) Ninety-eight percent of the egg industry’s hens are in cages on factory farms.(8)

Nearly 9 billion “broiler” chickens are raised in sheds each year.(9) Artificial lighting is manipulated to keep the birds eating as often as possible. To keep up with demand and to reduce production costs, genetic selection calls for big birds and fast growth (it now takes only 6 weeks to “grow out” a chick to “processing” weight), which causes extremely painful joint and bone conditions.(10) Undercover investigations into the “broiler” chicken industry have repeatedly revealed birds who were suffering from dehydration, respiratory diseases, bacterial infections, heart attacks, crippled legs, and other serious ailments.

At the slaughterhouse, chickens are hung upside-down, their legs are snapped into metal shackles, their throats are slit open, and they are immersed in scalding hot water for feather removal. They are often conscious through the entire process. Learn More


Cows who are left to roam pastures and care for their young form life-long friendships with one another and have demonstrated the ability to be vain, hold grudges, and play games.(11) But the cows raised for the meat and dairy industries are far removed from sun-drenched pastures and nursing calves.

Cattle raised for beef may be born in one state, fattened in another, and slaughtered in yet another. They are fed an unnatural diet of high-bulk grains and other “fillers,” which can include expired dog and cat food, poultry feces, and leftover restaurant food.(12) They are castrated, their horns are ripped out of their heads, and they have third-degree burns inflicted on them (branding), all without any pain relief. During transportation, cattle are crowded into metal trucks where they suffer from trampling, temperature extremes, and lack of food, water, and veterinary care. At the slaughterhouse, cattle may be hoisted upside down by their hind legs and dismembered while fully conscious. The kill rate in a typical slaughterhouse is 400 animals per hour, and “the line is never stopped simply because an animal is alive,” says one worker. Calves raised for veal are the male offspring of dairy cows. They’re taken from their mothers within a few days of birth and chained in stalls only 2 feet wide and 6 feet long with slatted floors.(14) Since their mothers’ milk is used for human consumption, the calves are fed a milk substitute designed to help them gain at least 2 pounds a day.(15) The diet is purposely low in iron so that the calves become anemic and their flesh stays pale and tender.(16)


With corporate hog factories replacing traditional hog farms, pigs raised for food are being treated more as inanimate tools of production than as living, feeling animals.

Approximately 100 million pigs are raised and slaughtered in the U.S. every year. As babies, they are subjected to painful mutilations without anesthesia or pain relievers. Their tails are cut off to minimize tail biting, an aberrant behavior that occurs when these highly-intelligent animals are kept in deprived factory farm environments. In addition, notches are taken out of the piglets' ears for identification. By two to three weeks of age, 15% of the piglets will have died. Those who survive are taken away from their mothers and crowded into pens with metal bars and concrete floors. A headline from National Hog Farmer magazine advises, "Crowding Pigs Pays...", and this is exemplified by the intense overcrowding in every stage of hog confinement systems. Pigs will live this way, packed into giant, warehouse-like sheds, until they reach a slaughter weight of 250 pounds at 6 months old.

After the sows give birth and nurse their young for two to three weeks, the piglets are taken away to be fattened, and the sows are re-impregnated. An article in Successful Farming explains, "Any sow that is not gestating, lactating or within seven days post weaning is non-active," and hog factories strive to keep their sows '100 % active' in order to maximize profits. When the sow is no longer deemed a productive breeder, she is sent to slaughter.

Prior to being hung upside down by their back legs and bled to death at the slaughterhouse, pigs are supposed to be 'stunned' and rendered unconscious, in accordance with the federal Humane Slaughter Act. However, stunning at slaughterhouses is terribly imprecise, and often conscious animals are hung upside down, kicking and struggling, while a slaughterhouse worker tries to 'stick' them in the neck with a knife. If the worker is unsuccessful, the pig will be carried to the next station on the slaughterhouse assembly line — the scalding tank — where he/she will be boiled, alive and fully conscious.

Dairy Cows

Traditional small dairies, located primarily in the Northeast and Midwest, are going out of business. They are being replaced by intensive 'dry lot' dairies, which are typically located in the Southwest U.S.

Regardless of where they live, however, all dairy cows must give birth in order to begin producing milk. Today, dairy cows are forced to have a calf every year. Like human beings, cows have a nine-month gestation period, and so giving birth every twelve months is physically demanding. The cows are also artificially re-impregnated while they are still lactating from their previous birthing, so their bodies are still producing milk during seven months of their nine-month pregnancy.

With genetic manipulation and intensive production technologies, it is common for modern dairy cows to produce 100 pounds of milk a day — ten times more than they would produce naturally. As a result, the cows' bodies are under constant stress, and they are at risk for numerous health problems. Approximately half of the country's dairy cows suffer from mastitis, a bacterial infection of their udders. This is such a common and costly ailment that a dairy industry group, the National Mastitis Council, was formed specifically to combat the disease. Other diseases, such as Bovine Leukemia Virus, Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus, and Johne's disease (whose human counterpart is Crohn's disease) are also rampant on modern dairies, but they commonly go unnoticed because they are either difficult to detect or have a long incubation period.
A cow eating a normal grass diet could not produce milk at the abnormal levels expected on modern dairies, and so today's dairy cows must be given high energy feeds. The unnaturally rich diet causes metabolic disorders including ketosis, which can be fatal, and laminitis, which causes lameness. In a healthy environment, cows would live in excess of twenty-five years, but on modern dairies, they are slaughtered and made into ground beef after just three or four years. The abuse wreaked upon the bodies of dairy cows is so intense that the dairy industry also is a huge source of "downed animals" — animals who are so sick or injured that they are unable to walk even stand. Investigators have documented downed animals routinely being beaten, dragged, or pushed with bulldozers in attempts to move them to slaughter.

Calves born to dairy cows are separated from their mothers immediately after birth. The half that are born female are raised to replace older dairy cows in the milking herd. The other half of the calves are male, and because they will never produce milk, they are raised and slaughtered for meat. Most are killed for beef, but about one million are used for veal.

The veal industry was created as a by-product of the dairy industry to take advantage of an abundant supply of unwanted male calves. Veal calves commonly live for eighteen to twenty weeks in wooden crates that are so small that they cannot turn around, stretch their legs, or even lie down comfortably. The calves are fed a liquid milk substitute, deficient in iron and fiber, which is designed to make the animals anemic, resulting in the light-colored flesh that is prized as veal. In addition to this high-priced veal, some calves are killed at just a few days old to be sold as low-grade 'bob' veal for products like frozen TV dinners


There are approximately 300 million egg laying hens in the U.S. confined in battery cages — small wire cages stacked in tiers and lined up in rows inside huge warehouses. In accordance with the USDA's recommendation to give each hen four inches of 'feeder space,' hens are commonly packed four to a cage measuring just 16 inches wide. In this tiny space, the birds cannot stretch their wings or legs, and they cannot fulfill normal behavioral patterns or social needs. Constantly rubbing against the wire cages, they suffer from severe feather loss, and their bodies are covered with bruises and abrasions.

In order to reduce injuries resulting from excessive pecking — an aberrant behavior that occurs when the confined hens are bored and frustrated — practically all laying hens have part of their beaks cut off. Debeaking is a painful procedure that involves cutting through bone, cartilage, and soft tissue. Laying more than 250 eggs per year each, laying hens' bodies are severely taxed. They suffer from "fatty liver syndrome" when their liver cells, which work overtime to produce the fat and protein for egg yolks, accumulate extra fat. They also suffer from what the industry calls 'cage layer fatigue,' and many become 'egg bound' and die when their bodies are too weak to pass another egg. Osteoporosis is another common ailment afflicting egg laying hens, whose bodies lose more calcium to form egg shells than they can assimilate from their diets. One industry journal, Feedstuffs, explains, "...the laying hen at peak eggshell cannot absorb enough calcium from her diet..." while another (Lancaster Farming) states, "... a hen will use a quantity of calcium for yearly egg production that is greater than her entire skeleton by 30-fold or more." Inadequate calcium contributes to broken bones, paralysis, and death. After one year in egg production, the birds are classified as 'spent hens' and are sent off to slaughter. Their brittle, calcium-depleted bones often shatter during handling or at the slaughterhouse. They usually end up in soups, pot pies, or similar low-grade chicken meat products in which their bodies can be shredded to hide the bruises from consumers.

With a growing supply of broiler chickens keeping slaughterhouses busy, egg producers have had to find new ways to dispose of spent hens. One entrepreneur has developed the 'Jet-Pro' system to turn spent hens into animal feed. As described in Feedstuffs, "Company trucks would enter layer operations, pick up the birds, and grind them up, on site, in a portable grinder... it (the ground up hens) would go to Jet-Pro's new extruder-texturizer, the 'Pellet Pro.'"

In one notorious case of extraordinary cruelty at Ward Egg Ranch in February 2003 in San Diego County, California, more than 15,000 spent laying hens were tossed alive into a wood-chipping machine to dispose of them. Despite tremendous outcry from a horrified public, the district attorney declined to prosecute the owners of the egg farm, calling the use of a wood-chipper to kill hens a "common industry practice."

In some cases, especially if the cost of replacement hens is high, laying hens may be 'force molted' to extend their laying capacity. This process involves starving the hens for up to 18 days, keeping them in the dark, and denying them water to shock their bodies into another egg-laying cycle. Commonly, between 5 and 10% of birds die during the molt, and those who live may lose more than 25% of their body weight.

Another common method of disposing of unwanted male chicks is grinding them up alive. This can result in unspeakable horrors, as described by one research scientist who observed that "even after twenty seconds, there were only partly damaged animals with whole skulls". In other words, fully conscious chicks were partially ground up and left to slowly and agonizingly die. Eyewitness accounts at commercial hatcheries indicate similar horrors of chicks being slowly dismembered by machinery blades en route to trash bins or manure spreaders. Learn More


For millennia, fish have been taken from the world's oceans, lakes, and rivers and killed by humans for food. In recent decades, consumer demand for seafood has increased in the U.S., while new technologies have improved our ability to find and catch fish. Over the latter half of the 20th century, wild catches have increased by approximately 500% to nearly 100 million tons per year.

As a result, wild fish populations have been decimated. In addition to fish who are caught by factory trawling vessels, other — economically useless — sea life are caught and killed in the nets. Called 'by-catch,' these animals — including non-target fish, sea turtles, sea lions, and even dolphins — are thrown back into the water dead or dying. The U.S. government estimates more than 100, 000 marine mammals are killed every year by the U.S. commercial fishing industry, and worldwide, it is thought that approximately one third of wild-caught fish are considered 'by-catch.'

The life of a farm-raised fish begins in temperature-controlled hatching tanks. From here, small fish (called "fry") are transferred to rearing areas where they grow to maturity. The fish may be raised in highly- controlled tanks or raceways (rectangular concrete enclosures up to 20 acres in size) constructed inland, or they may be raised in artificial enclosures in coastal estuaries. Fish crowded into small areas are susceptible to disease and suffocation, as exemplified by an article from the Cornell Countryman, which states, "...growing 2,500 pounds of fish in 2,500 gallons of water doesn't give the fish much room to breathe..."Raising fish in crowded, excrement-laden water necessitates the broad use of agrichemicals. An FDA Veterinarian article explains that fish farmers "use chemicals as disinfectants and to kill bacteria; herbicides to prevent the overgrowth of vegetation in ponds; vaccines to fight certain diseases; and drugs - usually combined in the feed - to treat diseases and parasites." In addition, the fish industry insists that "access to spawning and production hormones is one of the 'essential and critical' needs of the U.S. aquaculture industry," as described in Food Chemical News. When aquaculture operates in coastal estuaries, the chemicals and waste products it generates pollute and destroy vast expanses of valuable and increasingly rare estuaries every year. When they reach market weight, aquaculture fish are loaded into oxygenated tanker trucks bound for the kill plant. Needless to say, this is a very stressful process. Feedstuffs comments, "Conventional pond harvest methods, such as pond draw-down or seining (the use of nets), often severely stress or damage fish." Upon arriving at the processing plant, the tanker trucks pour their cargo — water and fish — into large, metal, mesh cages. As the water pours through, fish who have survived the ordeal of "harvest" and transportation die of suffocation.

The ability of fish to feel pain and distress is given so little consideration that in some restaurants, fish are actually eaten alive — eviscerated, filleted, and delivered to the serving table. The eyes are covered so that the fishes will not see and react to diners reaching for parts of their bodies.

Hidden Crimes, Voiceless Victims:

Inside Factory Farming and Slaughterhouses
by Kim Summer Moon Wilson



It seems that since the 1980s, there are more salmonella and E. coli outbreaks, particularly the nasty 0157:H7 bacteria that has sickened and killed both adults and children. As I write this, Whole Foods has announced a voluntary recall of beef processed at the Nebraska Beef meatpacking plant. This surprised me, as I thought the Whole Foods Company was  wholesome, organic, and safe to purchase from -- not just another corporation that buys from industrial slaughterhouses that treats animals as commodities "per head" like the other slaughterhouses nationwide. But, sadly, it appears that even Whole Foods operates this way. I looked up Nebraska Beef and they appear to me as Perdue, Tyson, Hatfield, and all the other meat, poultry, pork, and other food processors do - animals are food and food alone, a commodity to be slaughtered, processed, and sold. All that matters is how much money they can get "per head."
This has given rise to conditions seen on factory farms that now flourish across the country.  If you visit the websites listed below, you can find articles and undercover video footage of what happens both on factory farms and slaughterhouses.


Humane Farming Association

Humane Society of the United States

Farm Sanctuary

Farmed Animal Watch


I warn you these articles and videos are not for those with weak stomachs. Some readers may have seen footage on national television in February 2008 of Westland/Hallmark meatpacking plant of an injured cow being dragged by chains, pushed with a forklift, and forced to stand for inspection before being slaughtered. The video was shot by a worker with the Humane Society of the United States   It is painful to watch, but it gained national attention, and the slaughterhouse was closed for violating animal cruelty laws.

This was also a catalyst in California Governor Schwarzeneggar's signing of a bill to keep disabled and sick animals out of the food supply. People do not realize, and maybe do not want to know, that these bits of undercover video footage actually show "business as usual" on factory farms and slaughterhouses. The slaughterhouses are especially difficult to document because management is often told when the inspectors are coming and "clean up" before their arrival, and there are not enough inspectors to visit all the plants. The inspectors are often not given access to the "kill floors" where the slaughtering happens, according to Gail Eisnitz in her 1997 book, "Slaughterhouse," which documented the process and politics of the slaughterhouse industry.

According to my telephone conversation with Gail in June 2008, I asked  about conditions in slaughterhouses that she described in her book. She said that from their investigative work at the Humane Farming Association, where she is Chief Investigator  - "nothing much has changed" at slaughterhouses since she wrote her book.

At this pig factory farm, these two young pigs died before reaching six months of age, when they would normally be slaughtered.  They slaughter babies for human food. They leave these dead pigs in plain sight of the other pigs increasing their stress.

Factory farms have overcrowded, unsanitary conditions which cause disease, fighting, and cannibalism among animals. Overcrowding also requires heavy use of antibiotics in the feed to prevent diseases from festering and spreading among the herds. Growth hormones are used to make the herds reach slaughter weight faster - faster growing herd, faster slaughter, more money. 


According to a report from the Seattle Times ("Report urges huge changes to factory farming practices" April 30, 2008), the widespread use of antibiotics in factory farm animals breeds drug-resistant bacteria which then spreads to humans, making it difficult to treat people with those same antibiotics because the bacteria are now resistant to the antibiotics.Overcrowded pigs will often cannibalize each other, especially if one pig has an open sore or is weaker than the others and are fighting over food. A report from the Humane Farming Association documents horrifying conditions at a pig farm in South Dakota, where pigs literally ate each other to death, with thousands of pigs crammed into barns and swimming in their own raw sewage.


Visit this video gallery at HFA's website for documentation on Rosebud's report and many other reports on factory farms and slaughterhouses: According to the Humane Slaughtering Act of 1978, slaughterhouse animals are supposed to be stunned "insensible to pain" with a captive bolt gun - but often the gun is not properly charged or the stunner misses the mark, or the animal is too big and strong for the stun gun to work properly. Sometimes animals go through the slaughter process - sticking, skinning, dismembering, eviscerating - alive, conscious, and kicking. This is dangerous for the workers, who suffer frequent injuries and have been killed on the job.  This causes enormous suffering for the animal who endures a slow, excruciating death. Depending on the slaughterhouse and the line speed, the process can take from 8 to 20 minutes - if you're being stuck, skinned, dismembered, and eviscerated while fully conscious, any amount of time is an eternity. This is true for cows and pigs, sometimes for other animals also. Pigs are also sometimes killed by a method known as "PACing," or "Pound Against Concrete," if they will not voluntarily come off a truck or out of a crate. Or a pig might be beaten to death with a lead pipe, rebar or a hammer if they're too big to PAC.  ("From Farm to Fork" presentation by Gail Eisnitz, visit

Turkey - Free Range Myth - Thousands of so-called free-range turkeys are raised in a single 'grow-out shed, forced to stand on fecal waste and breathe in ammonia fumes.

All that matters is getting the animals to slaughter - the more "head," the more profit is made. The big slaughterhouses process several hundred to a thousand or more "head" each day. As they say in the industry, they don't stop the line for anyone or anything. A worker is injured, she or he works through it, or they are replaced and lose their job. There is always someone who needs the job more. The worker has no rights, no voice, no recourse -- neither does the animal. The workers are often very poor, uneducated, illegal immigrants, migrant workers, or in bad situations. They're willing to do anything to keep their job, even brutalizing the animals they slaughter. During the slaughtering process, blood, feces , raw tissue matter and other contaminants are sprayed everywhere. This is how contamination happens - and this is also why raw meat, poultry and pork packages come with washing and safe handling instructions.  The speed of the conveyor line does not allow for proper sanitation procedures in a slaughterhouse. It is a situation waiting for disasters.

A Good Alternative to Slaughterhouse Meat


The typical American diet is based on meat and poultry - it is the cornerstone of most meals. You can still eat beef, pork and chicken, but you have to know where to find safer sources. Open a new browser window, go to, and type in your city or town name with "farmers markets." For instance, I live in Philadelphia, so I typed "Philadelphia farmers markets." I found a bunch of listings - my city has a few farmers markets, urban co-ops, and local farms.

It is impossible in one article to give all the information on this subject. In future articles, I plan to discuss organic farming, vegetable gardening, and other topics. Here are more resources where you can learn more about the topics discussed in this article:

"Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser (2001) - the dark side of the fast food industry  (This is available through the public library- if it is not available in your local library, you can order it online through the public library and have it sent to your local library for free.)

"Slaughterhouse" by Gail Eisnitz (1997 and revised editions) - inside the slaughterhouse industry (unfortunately this is not available through the public library, but it is available through HFA's website and

"Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats" by Sally Fallon - this book gives lots of good information on finding safer sources of meat and poultry from local farms and butchers. Lots of scientific data and research with historical anecdotes, and great nutritional information in general. You can browse the many links that are listed at the websites I referenced in this article for more information, and here are additional websites of interest:

Animal Welfare Institute:
Farm Animal Watch:
Farm Animal Sanctuary:
Compassionate Cooks:




Hens are 
crammed into battery cages so small that they can't even lift a wing.

Hens are crammed into battery cages so small that they can't even lift a wing.

 Chickens are inquisitive, interesting animals who are as intelligent as mammals like cats, dogs, and even primates.1 They are very social and like to spend their days together, scratching for food, cleaning themselves in dust baths, roosting in trees, and lying in the sun. Dr. Chris Evans, administrator of the animal behavior lab at Australia’s Macquarie University, says, “As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list [chickens’] attributes, without mentioning chickens, and people think I’m talking about monkeys.”2

Chickens are precocious birds. Mother hens actually cluck to their unborn chicks, who chirp back to their mothers and to one another from within their shells!3 The intelligence and adaptability of chickens actually make them particularly vulnerable to factory farming because, unlike most birds, baby chickens can survive without their mothers and without the comfort of a nest—they come out of the shell raring to explore and ready to experience life. Learn more about the intelligence of chickens.

But the more than 9 billion chickens raised on factory farms each year in the U.S. never have the chance to do anything that is natural to them.4 They will never even meet their parents, let alone be raised by them. They will never take dust baths, feel the sun on their backs, breathe fresh air, roost in trees, or build nests.

Chickens raised for their flesh, called “broilers” by the chicken industry, spend their entire lives in filthy sheds with tens of thousands of other birds, where intense crowding and confinement lead to outbreaks of disease. They are bred and drugged to grow so large so quickly that their legs and organs can’t keep up, making heart attacks, organ failure, and crippling leg deformities common. Many become crippled under their own weight and eventually die because they can’t reach the water nozzles. When they are only 6 or 7 weeks old, they are crammed into cages and trucked to slaughter.

Birds exploited for their eggs, called “laying hens” by the industry, are crammed together in wire cages where they don’t even have enough room to spread a single wing. The cages are stacked on top of each other, and the excrement from chickens in the higher cages constantly falls on those below. Their sensitive beaks are cut off so that they don’t peck each other out of the frustration created by the unnatural confinement, and farmers often deprive birds of food for as long as 14 days in order to shock their bodies into producing more eggs (the practice is called forced-molting). 5 After their bodies are exhausted and their production drops, they are shipped to slaughter, generally to be turned into chicken soup or cat or dog food because their flesh is too bruised and battered to be used for much else.

Because the male chicks of egg-laying breeder hens are unable to lay eggs and are not bred to produce excessive flesh for the meat industry, they are killed. Every year, more than 100 million of these young birds are ground up alive or tossed into bags to suffocate.

Chickens are slammed into small crates and trucked to the slaughterhouse through all weather extremes. Hundreds of millions suffer from broken wings and legs from rough handling, and millions die from the stress of the journey.6

At the slaughterhouse, their legs are snapped into shackles, their throats are cut, and they are immersed in scalding hot water to remove their feathers. Because they have no federal legal protection (birds are exempt from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act), most are still conscious when their throats are cut open, and many are literally scalded to death in the feather-removal tanks after missing the throat cutter.

Learn more about the lives of chickens.

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