Factory farming is animal cruelty

02 October 2019

The treatment of farmed animals is the world’s biggest animal welfare issue, with more than 70 billion animals farmed for food each year.

World Farm Animals Day, October 2, is a time to remember that farm animals, such as pigs and chickens, are sentient animals that deserve lives worth living.

A day in a life not worth living

Pigs

During pregnancy, mother pig “78114” is kept in a cage (sow stall). She wakes up feeling hungry and sore. She’s been lying on a hard, concrete floor. She’s in a metal cage so she can’t turn around or move from side to side.

She struggles to her feet in the small space. She hasn’t walked for three months and her muscles are growing weak and starting to waste. She’s also developed painful sores from the metal bars and hard concrete slats.

She’s stressed by the noise of the feeders. Around her, pigs squeal with anticipation creating a high-pitched noise. The feed is concentrated and there is not enough to stop her feeling hungry.

Mother pig kept in cage

Mother pig “78114” has a strong urge to forage, but with nothing around her to explore, she begins to chew the bars of the metal pen in frustration. Tomorrow she’ll do the same. In fact, every day until the end of her miserable life.

Chickens

This chicken doesn’t have a name or a number as she’s just one of approximately sixty billion that will be bred and slaughtered this year.

The shed she lives in has no windows and the artificial lights create long days and short nights making it difficult for her to rest properly. 

And it’s cramped. When she’s fully grown, she’ll have less space than a piece of A4 paper.

The poor quality litter is full of her, and other chickens’, faeces which has given her painful sores and burns on her chest, legs and feet. 

32 day old broiler (meat) chickens in a commercial indoor system

At just five weeks old she’s nearly full sized. She tries to stand but the pain in her weak leg bones means she’s only able to waddle to the feeder, her heart straining. She sits again, too tired and sore to continue.

Around her thirty thousand little hearts beat weakly. Too many of them never having experienced a life worth living.

You can help farm animals

Consumers worldwide have already shown their power by making governments, retailers and farmers improve conditions for egg-laying hens. We know the same can be done for meat chickens, pigs and other intensively farmed animals.

As food consumers, we need to put pressure on retailers, demanding that the animals in their supply chains are given better lives.

Farm animals, such as pigs and chickens, are sentient animals. They deserve lives worth living. Is this a life?