COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS
Living vegan allows us to extend the deep compassion we hold in our hearts to all living creatures. While many of us say we love animals and claim to be against animal cruelty, our actions often reflect the exact opposite. When we go vegan, and no longer support the exploitation and suffering of all animals, we begin to live up to our values of love and respect for all beings.
Being vegan is the most effective choice we can make as individuals to help animals. By excluding animal products from our diet and refraining from participating in activities that exploit animals, we are standing against the exploitation of, and cruelty towards animals.
Most of us are disgusted by the idea eating our beloved cats and dogs, yet most of us continue to contribute to the exploitation, abuse, and killing of the billions of farmed animals every day.
It’s easy to turn our heads to the truth behind what we put on our plates, but in order for our actions to truly align with our values, we must become aware.
In the dairy industry, cows are artificially inseminated each year. Once their babies are born, they are torn from their mothers typically within a day of birth. This causes extreme distress for both mother cows and their babies. Male calves are shipped to veal farms where they are confined in tiny crates or barren feedlots (see photo) where they are raised for meat. Female calves are raised to face the same tragic fate as their mothers.
Mother cows are hooked up to milking machines at least a couple times each day. Their reproductive systems are exploited through genetic selection, which causes serious negative health effects. Although a cow’s natural lifespan is about 20 years, cows in dairy industry are typically killed after about five years because their bodies are worn out from constantly being pregnant or lactating. At this point, a vast number of cows are lame due to constantly standing on concrete floors in intensive confinement. Cows’ bodies are often turned into soup, food for dogs and cats, or ground beef because they are too “spent” to be used for anything else.
Fortunately, the beneficial nutrients found in dairy products can be consumed through plant foods. There are countless alternatives to dairy products available that do not involve the cruelty, abuse, and violence of the dairy industry.
This calf is one of the countless calves that are stolen away from their mothers and sent to veal farms. He is cramped in this tiny pen, prevented from moving so that his flesh will stay tender. A painful moment captured by animal liberation activist, Samantha Fisher.
Chicks are born in large incubators. Shortly after birth, males and females are separated. Female chicks head to a life in the egg industry, while male chicks are suffocated in trash bags or ground up alive because they are not profitable to the industry. Female chicks then have a large portion of their beaks cut off by a hot blade without the use of pain killers. Five to eleven hens are crammed into tiny wire “battery cages” which measure roughly 18″x 24″. These cages are stacked one on top of another in long, dark windowless sheds. Hens often die in their cages due to the terrible living conditions.
Those who survive are eventually sent to slaughter where they are shackled and hung upside-down, electrocuted, and have their throats slit.
The beef industry involves serious abuse and cruelty towards cows. To mark cows for identification, they are often restrained have hot fire irons pressed into their flesh. Without the use of painkillers, workers typically cut or burn off the horns of male calves and cut their testicles from their scrotums or tightly clamp them so that they atrophy.