Hens can naturally live up to 10 years, but in this industry they are no longer valued the minute they can't make a profit. So from as young as 18 months, when their egg production slows down, hens are packed into crates and trucked to slaughter.
Over the last 50 years, most egg production has moved from small family farming into factory operations, run by huge companies. Animals are crammed into smaller and smaller spaces, so that fewer staff are needed to keep an eye on the animals. For hens this means a lifetime of misery. For rural towns this means less jobs and profits funnelled into large corporations rather than farming communities.
Male chicks can't produce eggs, so they have no value to the egg industry. On their first day of life at hatcheries, they are dropped into grinders or gassed to death. Sadly, this happens across the whole egg industry.
At every meal, you have the chance to make life-changing choices for hens. By refusing to buy cage eggs you can help free hens from cages. You can even join the growing number of people discovering delicious egg-free alternatives, and know that you'll be saving the lives of hens and chicks at every meal.
Did you know that humans aren't the only ones who adopt? Animals do too. And what's more, sometimes they look after babies that aren't even the same species as they are :) Here's 5 of my personal favourite interspecies adoption stories:
Shortly after giving birth to three of her own kittens, Della cuddled up to three orphaned ducklings like they were her own :) (Can you see the little kittens curled up under the fluffy ducklings? So cute!)
A bottlenose dolphin born with a spinal deformity was seen nuzzling against a family of large sperm whales in the North Atlantic. Researchers were surprised to see that the young dolphin seemed to have been accepted into the pod.
Now this one is really bizarre -- a lioness in Kenya, named Kamunyak, took in a baby oryx and protected her from other predators for as long as she could. Experts were dumbfounded as to why Kamunyak had decided to adopt the calf but said she treated the baby as if she were her own cub.
This is my colleague Lisa and her rescue dog Nellie. Lisa adopted this special munchkin a little over a year ago. Nellie lived the first five years of her life in a puppy factory, kept purely to breed pups :( But don't worry, she's catching up on her love quota from Lisa and all of us here in the office :) (I even helped her make her own Instagram page so she can share her adventure stories.)
Have you got an amazing animal adoption story of your own? Do you know of a guinea pig who adopted a bear cub? (That's something I'd like to see!)
Maybe you've been a hero and adopted an animal from a shelter yourself? Giving an animal in need a loving home is one of the kindest things you can do.
Share your animal adoption story in the comments below. Can't wait to hear it :)
Is anyone else feeling a little broken by all the tragic world affairs of late? I know I'm prone to getting a bit down and out about the stuff human beings can be capable of ...
So this is for you and me -- a reminder that kindness exists everywhere and is happening every day ...
Bring on the happy tears!
Feel good? Good :) But there's one more person who should've been in that video -- you! Every day, people like you are making the world a kinder place. Did you choose a meat-free meal today? Or cuddle your rescued companion animal? Or help spread the word about kindness to animals? If so, you are one of the everyday heroes making a world of difference. So here's a big high five from me to you.
P.S. Got another good rescue story? Share it in the comments below.
What's more, this investigation footage from PETA taken in 19 Australian shearing sheds, (aired on SBS), revealed more about the suffering of sheep in the wool industry than I ever needed to know :(
WARNING: This footage is bad. If graphic vision upsets you, skip the vid and take action now.
Sheep don't deserve this -- kicked, stomped on, punched, hit with shears, thrown ... one animal was even shown being beaten over the head with a hammer!
This horrific abuse has sparked an investigation by authorities and even the wool industry itself is calling for tough action. But here's the thing, even if the wool industry could stamp out those shearers who are hitting and throwing animals, there's at least 3 reasons I'm happy to leave wool out of my wardrobe:
First up shearing is stressful. Sheep can get stressed out just from being separated from the flock, let alone being pinned down and taken to with shears.
Secondly, even if a shearer is slow and careful, sheep can get cut. And with shearers getting paid per sheep, they're not going slow -- in fact, they're in a rush to shear as many sheep as quickly as possible.
And here's the clincher: If sheep are badly cut during shearing, they can have their gaping wounds sewn up using needle and thread, without any pain relief. *Shudder*. I can't even begin to imagine how painful that must be. And the wool industry accepts this practice :( Along with other painful procedures like mulesing and tail docking. (Again, with no pain killers!)
If you're thinking that this is an industry you'd rather not support, then I have some very good news for you. You can make the choice today to not buy into cruelty and give wool the flick. There are so many other things to make jumpers and scarves out of that don't involve any cruelty to animals at all that it's easy as to make the switch :) Make the pledge today.
I've heard about how poop can help your garden grow and how you can make paper out of it and even how it can be used as an energy source but THIS ... this is the coolest.
New research suggests that whale poo could be the answer to reversing the effects of climate change. Baleen and sperm whales, known as the 'great whales', feed on stuff deep down in the ocean. BUT they come up to the surface to take a dump. Their massive amounts of poop help feed loads of other organisms (bit gross, I know), including phytoplankton, and therefore help keep the ocean alive and healthy. The healthier the ocean, the more carbon it can absorb. The more man-made carbon the ocean absorbs -- the healthier the whole planet!
Researchers suggest that as whale populations recover from the terrible impact of whaling over the last 100 years, they could help us wind back the effects of climate change. How cool is that? What's more, these studies also show that whaling could have played a part in making climate change such a stinker of a problem. (Pardon the pun.) If we'd have left the ocean and the animals in it alone, maybe we wouldn't be in such deep ... trouble.
But as my favourite philosopher Rafiki would say ...
It's up to us to make sure that the mistakes of the past never happen again. Killing whales is cruel, unnecessary and seemingly has a negative impact on the global ecosystem. But there are three countries who still find excuses to hunt whales -- Japan, Iceland and Norway. You can help put a stop to this by contacting their representatives in Australia and asking them to cut out whaling for good. Click here to send a strong message for whales today.
Also, did you know that there is a single industry that emits more greenhouse gasses than all of the world's cars, trains and planes combined? If you give a crap about the planet you can choose not to support this industry, starting today! Click here to find out more.
Wouldn't it be great if animal abusers just brought themselves forward and owned up to what they'd done? Actually, since we're hypothesising, it would be better if animal abuse didn't happen at all! But unfortunately that's not the world we live in...yet (we’re working on it!). And in this world, the most horrific animal abuse happens behind closed doors, far away from the public eye.
Disturbingly, new laws are proposing to help keep it that way – hidden. They want to make it illegal for anyone to film and expose cruelty.
You've probably heard the word "ag-gag" thrown around. Laws to prevent whistle-blowers exposing animal cruelty have already been put in place in some states of the US. And the debate has begun in Australia.
US journalist Will Potter explains better than I can why ag-gag laws are so disturbing:
Cruelty investigations over the last few years have shocked the Australian public. You might have seen the recent footage supplied to Aussie Farms which exposed for the first time EVER what the term "humane" slaughter really means for pigs ... or the story of 'retired' racehorse Nature's Child who was shot and dragged, still alive, to the killing floor at Laverton Knackery ... or the distressing truth about pet shop puppies and the horrific places they are born into ...
If ag-gag laws were in place in Australia, none of this cruelty would have been brought to light. Worrying hey?
A bill to prevent abuse being documented and exposed is currently being debated in South Australia. And it's not just the animals who need to worry in that state! Old people, poor people, disabled people, you, me ... pretty much everyone would be vulnerable under these proposed laws.
Other states are watching closely, with NSW and Victoria also considering ag-gag type legislation. If, like me, you don't want to live in a country where laws protect the abusers rather than the abused, you can take action today by contacting your state MP.
Because of people like you speaking out in the US, many ag-gag bills have been voted down. (Yay!) Your voice will help make sure this disturbing legislation to keep cruelty hidden doesn't take hold here in Australia. Click here to get contact details for your state MP.
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.