Cages or animal abuse?


The Mirror reporter

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) polled, 94% of Americans agree that animals raised for food deserve to live free from abuse and cruelty.

Unfortunately, the American people do not realize what actually goes on within the walls of the factory farms and how bad the living conditioned are for the animals. Most Americans hear about what be happening but then turn a blind eye instead of doing something to solve the issue.

A factory farm is a large, industrial operation that raises large numbers of animals for food. Over 95% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, which focus on profit and efficiency at the expense of animal welfare.

One of the most common animals found on a factory farm is chickens. Approximately 8.5 billion chickens are killed for their meat every year, while another 300 million chickens are used in egg production.

Chickens are not the only animal that can be found on factory farms. Anything from cows to pigs, goats, and sheep, including poultry like chickens, ducks or turkeys as well as fish and horses can be found.

Factory farms are not around to only produce meat, but also leather. Leather can be made from cows, alligators, crocodiles, horses, sheep, goats, lambs, pigs, and goats as well as ostriches, cats and even dogs.

The demand for leather products and many others like eggs and meat, have increased dramatically.

The increase in demand has led to the development of new antibiotics, vaccines and even steroids to increase production for chicken breasts and eggs.

Each animal is put into unbearable living conditions. With meat chickens, they are put into small cages and are given no bedding. Due to the steroids, most of the chickens have weak legs that will break.

Laying chickens are put into small cages as well but at the end of their laying cycle, they are forced into molting. This is a process that entails withholding food and water for up to 18 days and keeping them in the darkness so that their bodies are shocked into another laying cycle.

Normally hens live 15 to 20 years but layer hens are slaughtered when they are one or two years old.

When baby chicks are hatched they are put onto a conveyor belt. Workers pick them up and check their genders. Females are put back on the conveyor belt to move to the next station but males are thrown into trash bags where they suffocate, are gassed, crushed, decapitated or ground up alive.

When it comes to free-range labeled products, the United States Department of Agriculture takes the word of the producer that the farm animals are free-range.

According to the Last Change for Animals (LAC) there are few requirements for labeling products free-range. For instance, birds raised for meat may be called free-range if they have some sort of access to the outdoors, regardless of how much space each individual animal has.

Unfortunately, there are not many laws that tell you how many animals you can have per acre of land that is owned. The Natural Recourses Conservation Service (NRCS) has established a guideline of the minimum amount of animals per acre of land, however many industrial farms do not follow the guidelines.

The horrors of factory farming continue as the demand for products increase, but we can stop this inhumane way of producing food by donating to the ASPCA or by forming laws about how many animals permitted per acre of land or regulations all factory farms must follow to allow the animals safety of cruelty.