Human beings are capable of great tenderness, compassion and mercy. Yet even with our generous nature, we largely ignore the day-in and day-out suffering of the animals from which we derive our food.
The production of meat, dairy and egg products causes great suffering. Huge animal agricultural operations confine billions of feeling, sensitive, intelligent beings to what amounts to a living hell. While personal health and the environment are excellent reasons to adopt a plant-based diet, for many, concern for the suffering of farmed animals is the most immediate and heart-felt reason. These animals, after all, give their entire life for us yet they have no say at all in this arrangement.
Cages and crates packed with closely-confined animals make for a lifetime of misery, denying them the most basic experiences like normal movement, foraging and nesting behaviors, and even sunlight and fresh air. Painful procedures like de-horning, de-beaking, and castration are performed without anesthesia. Injuries, social stress, and death are the norm. Most animals are slaughtered before they reach one year of age.
Animals sick with disease and too weak to walk are dragged or hauled to slaughter and end up on our plates. The sensitive beaks of tiny chicks are sliced off their tiny faces with a hot knife without anesthetic or post surgical care.
Aside from the many physical cruelties of agricultural operations, animals also suffer psychological and emotional trauma as they are forced to live in unnatural, agonizing conditions and often exhibit self-destructive behavior. Families are separated and mind-numbing monotony is endured day in and day out. But there is something that each of us can do to help.
Reduce and eventually eliminate animal products from our diets.
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