28th March 2010
How many people who think of themselves as animal lovers are cruel to animals on a daily basis? The majority, I would think.
Now I'm not saying that these people are knowingly cruel to animals, they're not, it's simply that they are unaware of the suffering that they unwittingly inflict on farmed animals when they buy meat, milk and eggs. And it's hardly surprising. When bought in the store in their sterile containers these products appear little different from any of the other grocery items.
Consequently, consumers could be forgiven for forgetting that they even came from an animal in the first place. And this, of course, is exactly the way the producers want it to be.
The last thing they want is for consumers to pick up a tray of meat and say, "Oh no, this poor pig must have gone through hell!" or, "How the chicken who laid that egg must have suffered!"
Do producers ever throw open the doors of intensive piggeries, broiler sheds or battery egg farms so that we can see how our food is produced? Of course not. On the contrary, these establishments are usually surrounded by electric fences and guard dogs.
The livestock industry does not want the public to know about the suffering inflicted on the millions of hapless animals imprisoned behind their closed doors.
What they do want is for the public to forget about the "animal connection" and think only about their propaganda - their propaganda being that the consumption of meat, milk and eggs is essential for good health.
On Meat and Livestock's website we are not told that calves are brutally castrated without painkillers and cattle are agonizingly de-horned and branded. We are told that " red meat is part of a healthy balanced diet."
On the egg industry's website we are not told that millions of adorable male chicks are cruelly ground up live or suffocated on day one of their lives. We aren't told that hens are painfully debeaked with lasers or red hot blades and imprisoned in small wire cages in gloomy, stinking sunless sheds containing up to 80,000 others.
We are told that "Eggs are a source of omega 3 fats, which can have significant benefits for the heart and blood vessels."
The chicken meat industry doesn't tell us that most birds are in chronic pain by the time they reach slaughter weight and that most suffer from crippling leg disorders because they have been bred to grow rapidly for maximum profit. They tell us that chicken meat has only 0.3grams of saturated fat per 100g
Likewise, Dairy Australia doesn't tell as that cows are forced to produce 10 times more milk than their bodies were intended to and that 1 million "bobby" calves are heartlessly slaughtered each year so that their milk can be stolen for humans. They simply say that, "Dairy foods are unique energy bundles crammed full of nutrients vital for a healthy diet."
Brainwashed by this constant propaganda, is it any wonder that the public have somehow been lulled into forgetting that meat, milk and eggs come from animals who are every bit as sensitive, intelligent and life-loving as the dogs and cats we cherish as companions.
Last week when somebody shot and maimed a wild cockatoo in Queens Park I'm sure the majority of people immediately recognized it as cruelty.
Surely it's time we "took off our blinkers" and recognized that the severe deprivation and pain inflicted on modern day farmed animals constitutes even greater cruelty.