Aerial footage taken by The Humane Society of the United States just days after Hurricane Harvey shows thousands of cattle trapped on small patches of land in east Texas, surrounded by treacherous floodwater. Lack of food and fresh water places these poor cows at risk of dying.
See the heartbreaking video yourself.
In a press release, Dickie Vest, senior medical director of Texas-based animal sanctuary the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, said:
Cattle can go without food for a number of days, but they cannot go without fresh water. In areas where there was an ocean surge, the water that they are surrounded by or standing in may be too brackish, and that creates a life-threatening crisis for them.
Sadly, Texas raises more cows to be slaughtered for beef than any other U.S. state. After the storm, the USDA reported that 54 counties that are home to over 1.2 million cows had been declared disaster areas. While thousands of cows were rescued, it’s impossible to save them all.
This isn’t the first time a natural disaster has claimed the lives of farmed animals. In 1999 Hurricane Floyd dumped 19 inches of rain on North Carolina, killing more than 2 million turkeys, chickens, and other farmed animals. And in 2016 more than 35,000 cows froze to death at Texas dairy farms during a blizzard. And just last year, thousands of chickens and pigs drowned in floods after Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina.
Farmed animals are often left behind to die while farmers flee with companion animals for safety. Unlike dogs and cats, who by law must be included in government evacuation plans, farmed animals are afforded no legal protection during natural disasters.
In fact, many animals are left to drown in cages, another reminder of the dangers farmed animals face when cruelly confined and unable to escape floods and fires.
Disasters like Hurricane Harvey are tragic, but for animals trapped at factory farms, life itself is tragic. Farmed animals spend much of their lives in filthy, unnatural conditions. Many are crammed in cages or crates so small the animals can barely move. Most are mutilated without painkillers, and all are violently killed.
The best way to help farmed animals is to withdraw your support from the industry that neglects and abuses them. Make the compassionate choice and switch to a vegan diet. Click here to get started.