At first glance both dairy and eggs may seem humane when compared to factory farms and science labs but a lot of their horrors go unnoticed. One doesn’t have to do much investigating into either industry to uncover the horrible truth. Not only are these animals treated in such horrible and inhumane ways, but they are also considered to be exploited in some of the cruelest ways.
Dairy cows face numerous living condition nightmares of any farmed animal. As we all know cows produce milk just like any other mammal and use it to feed their offspring. In order to ensure a high yield of milk production they are artificially inseminated on machines which the industry has nicknamed “rape racks”.
When their calves are born they are taken away from their mothers before they even have a chance to meet. The sounds they make are so painful and chilling it is a wonder how anyone can stomach committing such a crime. Female calves are raised and turned into dairy cows just like their mothers. The fate for a male calf is far worse. They are put into tiny crates and fed nutrient deficient diets so that their meat is more tender. Suffering for months from conditions such as anemia, diarrhea, and pneumonia, they are then sent off for slaughter. Their lives are short, miserable, and lonely.
On the dairy farm cows are pumped with hormones and antibiotics so that they can produce ten times the amount of milk they naturally would produce. Standing in their own wastes, they are hooked up to complex milking machines. Though these devices are supposedly designed to not cause pain they in fact cause lots of harm. Since the machines are used so frequently their failure rate is severely higher than what is accounted for. When the milking machines are connected to the cows they often scrape and cut the teats allowing for infections, puss, blood and scabbing. Along with blood, pus, and hair, the added hormones and antibiotics also end up in the milk you drink.
A cows lifespan under normal conditions is 25 years but due to the extremely taxing conditions brought on by dairy farming their lifespan is drastically dropped to 4-6 years. When cows are too worn out and their milk production drops off they are then put to slaughter for their meat.
Chickens born into the egg industry are equally unlucky. When chicks hatched they are sorted by their gender. Male chicks are unusable to the egg industry and are thus discarded as waste. They are usually thrown into the trash where they are suffocated under the sheer mass of other chicks. Another method of disposal is grinding chicks up inside a commercial grinder, which is actually deemed “humane” by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Surviving females are debeaked which is an extremely painful process and no painkillers are used. A device with a searing hot blade is used to sever their beaks and often times this blade is dulled through such high and frequent usage. Once they are ready to start laying eggs, they are crammed into wire cages smaller than most office file cabinets.
Inside of these cages there is not enough room for the birds to move their arms. It is not uncommon to see severe bruising and scarring as a result of the confined space. Covered in their own filth it is here that they will die. After roughly two years when the hens cannot produce a profitable yield of eggs, they are shipped off to be slaughtered. Due to the different method of raising these hens their bodies are only useful for producing low grade filler meat for meals like chicken noodle soup.
An animal does not have to die to suffer. Having every one of your new borns taken away from you is incredibly cruel, and so is being born into a world where if you are unwanted or of a specific gender you die mere moments later. These animals are forced into a life of slavery no different than slaves of our own species. They have their own lives and wish to live outside the walls they are trapped within. A vegetarian diet can no longer be considered cruelty free when it contributes to such enormous amounts of pain and suffering. Make the change today and go vegan.