(Global, mainly developed countries, but growing worldwide). Factory farming is the hidden shame of America and Europe (the developers of factory farming) which is responsible for about 95% of all animal misery and death worldwide. It includes such atrocities as shipping the animals under inhumane conditions, the shocking treatment of ‘downed’ animals, the eviscerating and skinning of animals still conscious, fomenting the perfect conditions for disease mutations, and rampant foul pollution from millions of tons of excrement.
The average American’s idea of a farm is the childhood fantasy of the big red barn and the animals happily sunning themselves in green meadows. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Developed after World War II as “modern” farming, the goal of factory farming is to mechanize as much as possible the care of farm animals, and to squeeze as many of them as possible under one roof, thereby saving money. Almost taking humans out of the system, they have also taken any humanity out. Farmers no longer know their animals as individuals; now they are just units to be processed.
Who’s fighting it: The impressive list of organizations includes (but is certainly not limited to) HSUS, Peta, Farm Sanctuary, Vegan Outreach, ALDF, United Poultry Concerns, Vegan Voice, Animal Aid (U.K.), Earthsave Canada, Animals Australia, IDA, Compassion Over Killing, Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center, RSPCA Australia, PeacefulPrarie, Animals Australia, ALV (Au.), SAFE (NZ), Meat-Free Media (N.Z.), Aukland Animal Action, ARLAN (Animal Rights Legal Advocacy Network N.Z.),Farmed Animal Watch, PALE (People Against Live Exports- Australia), PAWS (People & Animal Welfare Society), PACAT (People Against Cruelty in Animal Transport- Australia), WSPA, Animal Rights Africa, Compassion in World Farming, Mercy for Animals, WLPA (World League for the Protection of Animals), Vier Pfoten (Four Paws- Austria), Equanimal (Spain), savethesheep.com, VegNews.com, VegSF.com, Viva! (U.K), The Humane Leagues, ActiVeg, The Vegan Society, FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement), Compassionate Cooks, Vegan Campaigns (U.K.), Herbivore Magazine, AnimalRightStuff, Veganica, Vegan Radio, Animal Voices radio, VeggieVision & Animals Matter TV and many, many more, such as the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.
Recent progress: 2008 passage of Proposition 2 in California will outlaw gestation and veal crates, and battery cages by 2012. And in May 2009 Maine voted to ban veal and gestation crates as well. More states have legislation pending. In Australia and New Zealand, mulesing is being phased out and is targeted to stop by the end of 2010. Also, a new documentary about factory farm abuse, “Food, Inc.” was released the summer of 2009 and is very revealing.
Over 95% of the animals abused by man are on factory farms–billions of them endure conditions that would be criminal if it were done to dogs or cats. These deserve subheadings of their own, including Pigs, Chickens and Turkeys, The Myth of Free Range, Dairy Cows, Veal Calves, Sheep, Foie Gras production,
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