From commercials with chickens grazing on open green pastures to images of kind farmers gently milking happy cows, the egg and dairy industries spend millions of dollars on advertising to deceive the public. Because of this, many people believe that animals don’t die for dairy and eggs. But the truth is that dairy and eggs are part of—not separate from—the meat industry.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, if you’ve found yourself wondering why more people are consuming plant-based foods, this is for you.
What’s Wrong With Eggs?
First off, many people don’t realize that no federal laws provide protection to animals during their lives at factory farms, and the law that protects cows and pigs at the slaughterhouse—the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act—does not extend to birds, leaving chickens with virtually no protection from abuse.
Eggs are truly one of the cruelest foods on the planet. At hatcheries for egg-laying hens, baby chicks are subjected to horrors we can’t even imagine, like having their beaks seared off with a hot blade. This is an extremely painful procedure and many chickens die from starvation because it’s too excruciating to even eat.
And because male chicks will never lay eggs and don’t grow quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat, they’re killed within hours of hatching. These babies are often ground up alive in macerators—giant grinding machines.
As countless Mercy For Animals investigations have documented, many hens are left to suffer from open wounds, serious injuries, and infections without proper veterinary care. Often kept in extreme confinement, most hens endure lives in barren battery cages, each bird with floor space smaller than the surface of an iPad. Their lives are filled with misery.
In addition to severe mental and social deprivation, forcing a naturally active bird to spend her life in a cramped and nearly stationary position causes numerous health problems, including lameness, bone brittleness, and muscle weakness. Many hens have broken bones at the time they are slaughtered.
What’s Wrong With Dairy?
Though it may seem obvious, many people have no idea that to produce milk, cows have to be pregnant or have just given birth. Just like other mammals, cows produce milk for their babies.
Because of this, dairy cows are subjected to forced impregnation, a highly invasive and stressful procedure. Newborn calves are taken away from their mothers within hours of birth. Mother cows often bellow for hours or even days, pacing and searching for them in distress.
Since male calves don’t produce milk, they are useless to the dairy industry. Many are sold for veal production.
Female calves are raised as “replacements” and will suffer the same life as their mothers. For cows in the dairy industry, the cycle of abuse lasts about five years until they are considered “spent” and sent to have their throats violently slashed at the slaughterhouse.
The bottom line is this: Factory farmers care about one thing—profit. And it’s the animals who truly pay the ultimate price. Fortunately, we can withdraw our support from an industry that treats animals as mere commodities by eating more plant-based foods. You can get recipes, meal ideas, and more at ChooseVeg.com.