by Emily West
If you want a more intelligent pet than a dog, try a pig. Pigs learn tricks quickly. They have even figured out video games. Scientists have compared pig intelligence to that of a 3-year-old child.
In factory farms, pigs have been observed going insane and committing cannibalism.
Factory farming should be illegal.
In factory farms, corporations raise thousands of animals in a confined area. Chickens spend their lives in about one square foot of space. Once they reach full size, they die in slaughterhouses that process thousands of animals each day. Factory farmers ignore animal health and welfare in favor of a cheap steak. Around 98 percent of America’s meat comes from factory farms.
Animals suffer in factory farms. Scientists genetically engineer unhealthy animals to produce the most meat. In chickens, this means their breasts and thighs are so large that they can barely stand.
Poor slaughtering technique leads to inhumane killing. For example, if pigs do not lose consciousness after an initial shot with a stun gun, they remain aware when they get dipped in a scalding tank to remove their hair.
In factory farms, animals get sick. Rather than treating them on a case-to-case basis, farmers maintain their stock by feeding all of them antibiotics. Overusing drugs creates breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria or “superbugs.” These bugs kill people and could create a worldwide disease outbreak.
Learn where your meat comes from before you eat it. Demand that your government outlaw factory farming. End an inhumane system.
Emily West is a junior majoring in theater and journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University.
photo credit: Vegetarians International Voice for Animals