Informational Sheets – What you should know before starting outreach
Animals used for food
In India, animals most widely used for food include chickens, fish, goats, buffaloes, cows and pigs. Furthermore, due to India’s huge population and a raging misconception that more dairy products leads to better health and richer food, consumption of dairy products is skyrocketing, which can be correlated to an increased consumption of cheap beef and veal (flesh of infant calves) that are natural byproducts of the dairy industry.
Welfare laws are virtually nonexistent for farm animals in India, and with the increasing demand for meat and dairy products, the condition of all food animals is getting more precarious. Maximum production in minimum time has become the new credo, and new and more inhumane methods are continuously being introduced to maximize production, where animals are little more than profit making machines.
Breeding, milking and slaughtering practices are inter-related. Commercial animal trades have become extremely mechanized: animals can barely move, lack sufficient veterinary care and suffer from mutilations and cruel transport conditions. Mothers are rarely allowed to nurse their young, and many male infants like calves and chicks in the egg industry are put to an immediate cruel death.
Chickens are bred and killed in billions each year. Genetically manipulated, broiler chickens grow from a new born chick to a full size in a short span of 6-7 weeks. Thousands of birds are kept in filthy dark sheds with no ventilation and fed artificial growth-enhancing and antibiotic-infused food.
Goats, Sheep and Pigs
While these animals are taken for grazing, they’re often kept in over-crowded and filthy enclosures. Often, nursing mothers or young lambs only a few months old are taken for slaughter in terrifying conditions. Most show signs of mental illness as a result of intensive confinement.
Fishing has devastated the oceans and sea beds and it hurts more than fish. Endangered sea animals like dolphins, whales and turtles get stuck in large fishing nets. While some fish die from being crushed and suffocated; others are still alive when their throats and stomachs are slashed open.
Fish farms, proliferating as an alternative to ocean and lake fishing, are little more than cesspools—over-crowded, under-supplied with natural plant-life necessary to the health of the species, and filthy.
Milk and dairy products are now conclusively co-related to diseases such as diabetes, heart-disease, stroke and many cancers.
Much of our milk today comes from assembly-line milk production facilities, where cows and buffaloes are [umped with hormones, antibiotics and raped by insemination syringes, Arthritis, depression, infection, chronic mastitis, laminitis, ulcers—are quite common. The male calves are often starved to death in view of their mothers.
Egg laying hens live their entire lives in caged facilities with no room for natural behaviour such as pecking, foraging, dust-bathing or flapping. When the hen’s egg production declines, she is sent for slaughter. The newborn male chicks, deemed useless to the egg farmers, are often dumped into plastic bags or dropped into grinders while alive and conscious.
Breeding practices hurt animals, be they dogs, cats, cows or horses. Live mutilation of infants, castration and debeaking (practice of shearing of the beak of young chicks with hot iron blades) are standard practices.
During transport to slaughterhouses, hens are picked, dragged and often tied upside down by their weak legs and transported by two wheelers or in open cages in tempos.
Transporting cows, buffaloes and goats includes pulling them by their tails, ears, kicking, beatings and brutally shoving injured animals out of trucks and tempos. Very often they are skinned before fully losing consciousness.
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