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7 Horrific Farming Practices That Happen Every Day

*Disturbing images. 

Could you imagine being trapped in a dark cage by someone more powerful than you, with no hope of escaping? This sounds like something from a scary movie, but unfortunately, for billions of animals around the world, it’s a living nightmare. 

Here are seven common farming practices that seem like they’re straight out of a horror film:

1. Extreme Confinement

At industrial farms, animals are forced to live in cramped sheds with hundreds or thousands of other animals or in cages that are so small the animals often can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably. Many won’t see the sunlight until the day they’re shipped to the slaughterhouse.

2. Grinding Live Chicks

Because male chicks don’t lay eggs and aren’t the breed the meat industry prefers, they’re killed en masse shortly after hatching. Typically the baby birds are tossed into macerators (grinding machines), gassed, or electrocuted. This is known as “chick culling.” It occurs in all modern egg production and is done while the animals are fully conscious.

3. Mutilations

In the meat, egg, and dairy industries, painful mutilations, such as grinding down or clipping teeth, castration, tail docking, debeaking, dehorning, and ear tagging, are commonplace. Animals are usually forced to endure these practices without any veterinary care or pain relief.

4. Force-Feeding

To make foie gras, ducks and geese are confined and force-fed massive amounts of food multiple times a day for weeks. This horrific practice causes the birds’ livers to fatten to as much as 10 times their natural size before the birds are slaughtered.

5. Thumping

When piglets are sick or aren’t growing quickly enough, farmers sometimes kill them by slamming them headfirst against concrete floors or walls. This is known as “thumping,” and it’s considered an acceptable form of “euthanasia” by the industry.

6. Forced Impregnation

In the dairy industry, farmers forcibly impregnate cows, usually via artificial insemination. The animals are typically treated as nothing more than milk machines. They’re kept in a constant cycle of pregnancy and milk production until they can’t make enough milk to be profitable to keep around. Of no use to dairy farmers, they’re slaughtered. 

7. Slaughter

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Could you imagine being kept captive and raised so that you could be killed, cut up, and eaten? Even under the least-cruel circumstances, slaughtering an animal who doesn’t want to die is inherently violent.

What You Can Do

It’s hard to believe that the practices above aren’t from a horror film. Instead, they’re happening to animals every day in real life. But the good news is that you can help end farmed animals’ living nightmare by choosing more plant-based foods. 

Check out ChooseVeg.com for tips, recipes, and plant-based advice!