The Dalai Lama once said, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” This goes for animals too. Animals are now much more than creatures we coexist with on Earth. They are companions within our homes and hearts. Any living species has rights. Just as you and I deserve respect, animals do also.
When you think of animal farms, most of us resort to the image of animals and chickens on Old McDonald’s farm with a bright red barn in the background. However, animals have not always been in agriculture. In fact today, farming has very little in common with the images we remember in children’s books. Now, animals are killed and processed through large machines of mass production in factory farming. It is important to understand the history of farming and how it has made the transition into factory farming. When animals were first domesticated for consumption they were protected from predators, weather, and their food was guaranteed. Factory farming has now made the shift to being demeaning to not just animals, but humans also. In a description of the pig industry today Joanne Bower writes:
…reeking lagoons surrounding darkened warehouses of animals trapped in metal crates barely larger than their bodies, tails chopped off, pumped with corn, soy beans and chemicals until, in six months, they weigh about 240 lbs at which they are shipped off to abattoirs… (Bower).
Another issue of factory farming is the slaughterhouses. There is importance to recognize the impact and conditions slaughterhouses. Slaughterhouses are intended to minimize animal’s suffering, however federal law is usually broken. In an undercover research, PETA reveals:
…almost 300 instances of inhumane slaughter, in which cows’ sensitive faces
were shocked with electric prods, full conscious cattle had their tracheas and esophagi ripped from their throats with meat hooks or knives, and they writhed in pools of their own blood, trying desperately to stand up for up to three minutes as blood poured from their throats (Bower).
The discovery unleashed many accounts of abuse such as ripping into live cows’ throats to speed up the death process and workers mutilated the animal’s ears in order to acquire identification tags. The cows were handled so poorly that the last moments of their lives were no more than fear and stress prior to their deaths. Months later, PETA found that workers had continued their inhumane slaughter by making additional cuts by hacking holes into the cows after the initial fatal cut was already made (PETA Reveals Extreme Cruelty at…).
The first individuals to show a concern for these issues were veterinarians. Very few veterinarians spoke out against the cruelty at hand at first, however later their opinions became more voiced. In her article, “Treatment of Animals in Agriculture”, Bower maintains that there was a growing concern from people who had complained for a long time who “… found battery cages, veal-crates,...