Factory farms and animal abuse
As demand for meat and dairy products continued to grow, small family farms started getting replaced by large scale industrialised units often handling thousands of animals within a single facility. To help deal with such a large number of animals, the factory farming industry started creating ‘standard operating practices (SOPs)’ with relation to the processing of these animals for their meat, milk or eggs.
In a search for higher productivity and profits, it was easier to frame the SOPs by considering animals as inanimate objects, similar to coal and steel. Various of the SOP’s that have been created by this industry are an outright violation of the most basic of animal rights, and would be considered animal cruelty or torture liable for legal prosecution were these to be applied to any other animal.
SOP's in factory farms
Consider the following SOPs that are routine practices in factory farms globally (to name just a few):
- starving of animals to increase egg productivity
- mass killing or genocide of male calves and chicks by the egg and milk industries
- tying animals to a single spot their entire life and denying them any movement whatsoever
- painful body mutilations to animal children
- a mother being denied access to her child
- slaughter in automated assembly lines
The livestock industry knows that most of these practices would be unacceptable to a majority of its consumers and to society at large. To prevent consumers from knowing the truth, the livestock industry uses it's tremendous pool of profits to (a) spend on advertising campaigns and attractive product packaging, that depicted happy, content and health animals (b) and to lobby with the government to pass legislation making legal practices that are in clear violation of basic animal rights and to disallow investigative footage of their facilities.
To increase profits, factory farms cram the maximum number of animals possible within the space available. Animals have their basic natural instincts to move, explore and mate denied, as they are confined in crammed spaces for their entire life.
When raising hundreds of animals even basic hygiene is typically neglected. The accumulation of wastes generated from their urine & faeces within their living areas, leads to a build up of toxic chemicals in the air, leading to a constant stench and a number of associated respiratory & skin diseases.
The dairy & eggs industries are dependent on animals giving birth. Male babies are a useless waste products of this process. Male calves (dairy industry) are either sold to the beef industry, starved to death in front of their mothers or simply abandoned. Male chicks (egg industry) are ground alive, gassed or suffocated to death in plastic bags.
In a quest for greater efficiencies, animals raised for meat are made to grow unnnaturally fast. To prevent stressed animals from attacking each others, animals are subjected to painful body mutilations at a very young age. Mothers are forced into repeated pregnancies before their bodies have had a chance to recuperate.
To reduce transportation costs, animals are crammed tightly into tiny cages, tempos and trucks. Packed in as tightly as they are, they end up injuring each other inadvertently. Animals are denied water or food for the entire journey, or a space to defecate. Frightened, sick and exhausted, these animals are transported in all weather conditions without shelter from natural elements.
In any slaughter house, whether modern or traditional, animals are made to stand and watch while their companions are killed in front of their eyes. Slaughterhouses looking to maximise profits, try to kill as many animals as fast as they can. This leads to carelessness in the methods used to kill them. Often half alive animals end up being disembowelled or skinned before they lose consciousness.