Cut the Crap:
So we all know that meat is murder, right?
But is that enough for you guys to stop eating dead animals?
ow about if we told you that the animals people eat everyday lived lives of agony - most animals raised for food never see sunlight, never feel grass in between their feet, and never breathe fresh air until they are being transported to slaughter. To make it worse, these animals are mostly just babies.
Meat your "Meat"
- Dehorned, branded, without anaesthetic
- Many cows are kept in high-density feed-lots
- Transported to the slaughterhouse long distances in heat and cold, and many cows die in the process
- Some cows are shipped to other countries in huge container ships in the worst conditions - the death rates are high - then face unregulated slaughter where they can be stabbed in the eye or hacked to death
- Debeaked without anaesthetic
- Crammed into sheds, with 40,000 other birds
- Parent birds are constantly mated with roosters
- Killed after only eight weeks
- Fed growth-promoting antibiotics, which leads to crippling when their bodies cannot support their own weight
- Kept in concrete pens without straw or bedding, and get abrasion sores
Their tails are docked, teeth and
ears cut and often-times
- Sows (mother pigs) are kept in tiny stalls where they can't turn around
- The piglets are mixed from different mothers, so there is often fighting between them
- Most wool sheep are mulesed, a cruel procedure where the flesh is removed from their ass without anaesthetic to prevent flystrike (which can be controlled in other ways)
- Like cows, sheep are shipped to other countries in huge container ships in the worst conditions - the death rates are high - then they face unregulated slaughter
- When drought hits, sheep are left to rot, since the farmer doesn't want to waste money on food or water
Meet the Hens Who Lay Your Eggs
- Debeaked without anaesthetic
- Crammed into tiny cages with 7 other hens, in sheds of around 60,000 birds
- Because they have to lay so many eggs, they suffer calcium depletion (hypocalcaemia) so up to 90% of birds have broken bones
- Dead hens get canabalised by other hens
- The lighting is controlled to stimulate the hens to lay more eggs
- They can't stretch or flap their wings, dust-bathe, or see the sunlight
- There is nothing for the hens to look at - ever
- Some hens fall through gaps in the cages to the manure pits below, where they get stuck in hardened manure and die a slow death without food or water
- Baby male chicks are of no use for laying eggs, so they're thrown into industrial blenders and mashed
Sick and dying hens are often left
for days rotting in the cages
while other birds are
forced to live with
Barnlaid / Free-range
- Many people think it's ok to buy eggs as long as they're free-range or barn-laid, but the hens still get killed after 2 years when their egg-production decreases
- Barnlaid hens are still kept in huge, windowless sheds crammed with thousands of other birds, just like broiler birds
- And most supposedly free-range systems are the same - huge windowless sheds, except with the addition of a few small hole-ways that the birds lucky enough to notice can go through into small outdoor pens. Often more aggressive birds 'guard' the holeways and prevent others going through.
- Just like in the battery egg system, the male chicks get dumped into industrial blenders and are liquefied because they are of no use to the egg industry - that's half of all hatchlings in the egg industry or approximately twelve million male chicks each year. In smaller operations male chicks are drowned or suffocated in plastic bags
- Many eggs labelled as free-range are cage-eggs purposely mis-labelled. The Australian Bureau of Statistics calculated that it was impossible for the number of free-range hens in Australia to provide the amount of free-range eggs sold in Australia, and therefore a large number are illegally labelled
- The only way to be sure you are not contributing to terrible cruelty is to not eat eggs at all. It's easy to replace eggs in cooking, and anyway, they're loaded with cholesterol and fat
Meet the Mothers of Your Milk
- Cows are forced to continually breed - like humans (and all other mammals), cows need to be either pregnant or lactating to produce milk. This equates to giving birth every year.
- The mothers are (artificially) impregnated again which is nothing less than rape.
Calves are taken away from their mums just 12-24 hours after
birth and sent away to
- Cows are maternal animals and form a bond with their calf from birth - separating them is just as traumatic to both the cow and calf, as it would for a human mother and child to be forcefully separated. It’s common for a mother cow to bellow for days after the loss of her calf
- Cows have their horns hacked off and often their tails removed, all without anaesthetic or pain-relief - blood spurts from their horn-stumps for hours afterward and it's incredibly painful
- The life of a dairy cow is cut by approximately two thirds from these intense conditions
- Due to "selective breeding" and, more recently, genetic manipulation, cows are now more susceptible to diseases such as mastitis (a painful condition of the teats caused by bacteria), ketosis (liver disease), milk fever (low blood calcium levels as a result of calving) and EBL (contagious viral cancer)
- Their front teats are often subjected to vacuum pulsing for up to two minutes after the quarter has been emptied and while the hind teats are still yielding. On Australian farms, modern technology can milk around 650 cows an hour - with no respect for the cow's health
- When you take into account all of the water used to grow the crops to feed the cows, cleaning of machinery, transport etc, it takes an astonishing 4000 glasses of water to produce just one glass of milk!
- And the dairy industry tops the list in water usage for irrigation in Australia - 39.5% of all water used in irrigation.
Aren't we supposed to be in a drought?
But What About Health?
Well, the most trusted dieticians in the world - the American Dietetic Association and the Dieticians of Canada - agree that a vegan diet is healthy for EVERYONE, at ALL stages of life. Check it out here
For great information about the nutrition-side of going vegan, visit Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) website, and take a look at their "Vegetarian Starter Kit":
Even though they use the word "vegetarian" a lot, they actually recommend veganism as the best choice for your health.
You have to remember that most sites take the condescending approach that people aren't ready for veganism and we should talk about vegetarianism instead as a "soft" approach.
But we'll only ever be straight with you - the only way to stop cruelty is to not contribute to it at all. There's just as much suffering (or even more) in a glass of milk as there is in a steak, and you've just heard all about eggs. So if you're a vegetarian, don't let that be your final destination, just a stepping stone toward a true cruelty-free lifestyle.
Another great source of information is Dr McDougall's website:
You'll find lots of newsletter articles on a variety of health topics, all related to veganism. Dr John McDougall has been an outspoken advocate for a vegan diet for over 30 years, sourcing his medical information from only the most trusted research papers and major clinical studies.
How Does Going Vegan Help the Planet?
The livestock industries admit that there are "environmental challenges" in their work. This includes greenhouse gas production (nitrous oxide, methane, carbon dioxide), decreased biodiversity through habitat loss and ecosystem damage, aquifer depletion (reduction in the availability of irrigation water), nitrogen, phosphorus and pesticide contamination of water, heavy metal contamination of soil, soil erosion, acid rain from ammonia emissions, manure contaminating surface waters and damaging aquatic ecosystems - the list goes on!
Basically, if everyone went vegan, we wouldn't have a climate problem - it's that shockingly simple. A vegan driving a Hummer car would still use way less greenhouse emmisions than a meat-eater riding a bike!
Think of it like this: a single dairy cow produces about 55 kilos of wet manure every day. That's equivalent to the waste produced by 20-40 people in Australia.
That means one dairy cow
produces 20,075 kilos of
waste every YEAR!
That's a hell of
a lot of
As mentioned above, Australia is suffering some of the worst drought conditions ever, and yet the animal industries are the worst offenders when it comes to water use.
Not only is water used for drinking by the animals, but the crops that are grown for them to eat use massive volumes of water as well. And then the whole slaughtering process maxes out on water to clean the muck and guts left over - if you've ever been to a slaughterhouse you'll know just how much water it takes to wash all of that blood and filth down the drain.
And yet what are we being told to do - shower for a few minutes less in the morning! Get real!
With that in mind, we think the billboard below is far more realistic :)