We’ve been hearing a lot about animal abuse in factory farming and live animal transport recently. The subject has come to the forefront thanks in part to undercover videos that provide concrete proof that factory farming in no way resembles farming of the 1950s.
Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Farmed Animals (CETFA) was founded in 1990 “to promote the humane treatment of animals raised for food.” What the founders witnessed then was horrific and systemic abuse of animals in farms, during transport and in slaughterhouses. One of their primary goals became educating the public.
From the CETFA website: “Few people seemed aware of the cruelty inflicted on conscious animals, with their capacity to feel and fear, before they arrive as food on our dinner plates. Today, as then, we strive to inform people about the appalling suffering which is hidden from view in the production of cheap food.”
Twenty-five years later, I still see a lack of awareness about the realities of factory farming. I admit I was in the dark myself until recently. For example, did you know that the egg industry invented a live chick shredder for male chicks? That’s inconceivable to me.
Once I knew what was going on behind those closed doors, I immediately realized that I could not be a part of that industry in any way, including my consumer dollars. As a lover of all animals, I don’t want any animal to suffer to fill my belly. I believe that most people would react the same way I did if they were to watch even 30 seconds of an undercover video.
It breaks my heart that an organization like CETFA needs to exist at all, but I’m so glad that there are caring people willing to do the work necessary to be a voice for the animals for food industry.
The site FactoryFarming.com outlines the evolution of factory farming. It’s always been about the bottom line—making as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, with as many animals as possible, on the least amount of land as possible, completely disregarding the animals themselves. From 1975 to 1980, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) “become firmly established.” For additional insight into CAFO, please see The CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories.
Without a doubt, there is no upside to factory farming—not for animals and not for the consumers of those animals. In their effort to present all sides of the issue, FactoryFarming.com originally intended to report the good and the bad of factory farming. However, it became quickly apparent that the good is nonexistent. “It quickly became an exercise in futility since no sustainable upside could be found, not for us, the workers, the community and certainly not for the animals.”
I urge you to become an informed consumer. Awareness is mounting around GMOs and chemical laden fruit and veggies. Let us no longer be blind to exactly how the meat, dairy and eggs end up on our grocery store shelves.