More than 23 million animals were killed in the past 24 hours, and another 23 million will be killed today and again tomorrow. Sound insane? Just keep reading.
An estimated 99 percent of all meat, dairy, and eggs come from factory farms. On these industrial farms, animals are abused in ways that would warrant felony-level animal cruelty charges if the victims were dogs or cats.
Egg-laying hens are crammed by the thousands into tiny wire cages and given less floor space each than the size of an iPad to live out their entire lives. Mother pigs are kept in gestation crates, cages barely larger than their own bodies, and calves raised for veal are ripped away from their mothers within hours of birth and chained in barren crates where they are immobilized.
These animals never see the sun, feel the grass, or breathe fresh air. Instead they are imprisoned in windowless, filthy sheds until the day they are loaded onto transport trucks destined for the slaughterhouse where they will meet a violent, bloody death.
You’re probably wondering how we got here. This sounds like a far cry from the idyllic barnyard scenes of children’s books. Sadly, it’s a question of supply and demand.
Just over 50 years ago, farmers discovered they could breed thousands of animals in smaller spaces and limit the spread of disease through use of antibiotics. At the time, the country’s population was exploding and diets were changing. People were demanding cheaper meat and the industry and government responded. Even today, the government spends billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize the meat, dairy, and egg industries.
Thankfully, in recent years, things have begun to change. In fact, the USDA reports that 400 million fewer animals were slaughtered in 2014 than in 2007. Millennials, the largest generation in history, are leading the country’s charge toward plant-based eating, citing environmental, health, and animal welfare concerns.
You can change the future for millions of farmed animals by choosing to leave them off your plate. Join the movement to lower the number of animals killed for food each year in the U.S. from 9 billion to zero.
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