Animals

This page makes for difficult reading. Here we reveal what food manufacturers don’t want us to see – as Paul McCartney famously once said – “If slaughterhouses has glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”

We highly recommend Ingrid Newkirk’s book: ‘Animalkind: Remarkable discoveries about animals and revolutionary new ways to show them compassion’.

Each year billions of land animals are killed for food around the world. Every year in the UK, around 1 billion animals are bred and killed for food – and that number doesn’t include fish.

The majority of these animals are confined to hard wire cages and gestation crates or packed by the thousands into dark, filthy sheds. Animals raised in these intensive farming systems are unable to raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural to them. Most animals kept on factory farms will not see the sun or breathe fresh air until the day they are transported to a slaughterhouse to be killed.

Cows

JVS - Image of cow on a factory farm.
© Animal Aid

Sheep:

© Animal Aid

*Further reading: Click here to read more about farmed sheep.

Chickens:

© Animal Aid
  • Chickens communicate using at least 24 distinct sounds, including separate alarm calls that identify different kinds of predators, such as a dog on the ground or a hawk in the sky.
  • When in their natural surroundings chickens enjoy full lives in which they form friendships and social hierarchies, recognise one another, develop pecking orders, love and care for their young, dust-bathe, make nests and roost in trees.
  • Mother hens cluck to their unborn chicks, and the chicks chirp back to their mothers from inside their shells. This establishes communication between them.
  • The majority of broiler chickens live in large, crowded, windowless sheds with tens of thousands of other birds.
  • Chickens in today’s factory farms grow three times as fast as they did 50 years ago as a result of selective breeding programmes and the use of antibiotics. This method of intensively farming chickens began in the late 1950s when the use of “dual purpose” chickens for egg and meat production came to an end and new poultry strains were introduced specifically for the production of meat.
  • Most birds suffer from painful, crippling bone disorders or spinal defects making it difficult to move, as a result of their fast pace of growth. This can lead to birds suffering skin burns and infections because they become trapped in the mess on the barn floor.
  • Click here to read more about chickens.

Fish:JVS image - Fish caught in a net

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