Most people are familiar with the cruelty that can be inflicted upon dogs and cats. People are justifiably outraged when they learn of someone being cruel to a household pet. Most would not hesitate to report a dog or cat abuser to the appropriate authorities.
Pets aren’t the only animals that can suffer and be subject to cruel and inhumane conditions. Farm animals are often subjected to brutal conditions, and they are often treated as if they are simple economic units instead of being treated as the living beings that they are.
Farm animals most often face abuse on what are known as factory farms. These type of farms make up well over 90 percent of the farms within the United States. Factory farms are often owned by large corporations whose main concern is maximizing their profits.
On factory farms, animals are often forced into overcrowded conditions. Chickens can be packed into cages so tightly that they cannot move. Pigs are often kept in very small crates. They are kept indoors in buildings without the proper airflow and sanitation. Cows on factory farms face feedlot conditions which are filthy and crowded.
Many factory farms feed hormones and antibiotics to the animals in order to make them unnaturally larger and to combat the diseases that are rampant in substandard conditions. These hormones and antibiotics then get into the food chain and can harm people who eat meat.
Animals should not have to live in substandard conditions, and they shouldn’t be treated in an inhumane manner. People who care are not powerless to take action and make a difference.
One way to make a difference is through what is purchased. The ASPCA has a list of labels that are placed on products that let consumers know if the meat they are purchasing is from a humanely raised source. If consumers would only buy meat that is humanely sourced, this would be an economic incentive for animals to be raised and housed in better conditions. Eating a vegetarian or vegan diet would also be a great way to help farm animals.
People can help end farm animal suffering by being politically active. Laws need to be placed on the books that regulate the way in which farm animals are housed and the way that farm animals are treated.
Farm animal cruelty is a terrible reality. However, if people make important lifestyle choices and work to pass laws to help animals, much animal suffering can come to an end.