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4 words that simply shouldn't exist

4 words that simply shouldn't exist

Posted 21 July 2015   by Thomas         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: factory farming, chickens, pigs, cows, dairy

If you could choose 4 words to describe your companion animals I'm 100% sure these would NOT make the list.

For most of us, the animals we share our homes with are not something -- they are someone. We know their quirks, their likes, their dislikes. We talk about them as part of the family. But this isn't how most animals in human 'care' are talked about.

You won't believe these 4 words are used to describe living, breathing, thinking beings.

'Livability'

Livability (noun): The likelihood that a chicken who is bred for meat will survive long enough to be sent to slaughter.

For the chicken meat industry, the bottom line is how much meat they can produce. So chickens have been bred to grow as fast as possible. As a result of this unnatural growth, many birds do not even survive the 35 days or so before they are sent to slaughter.

These baby birds --who still chirp and have soft feathers -- often become crippled by the weight of their overgrown bodies. Some starve when they can no longer stand up to reach food or water. For others, their organs shut down, unable to cope with their body's rapid growth.

But for the industry the math is simple -- if the extra weight on birds who make it to slaughter brings in more profit than what they lose in dead birds then it's good for business.

'Chopper cow'

Chopper cow (noun): A dairy cow whose body can no longer produce the high volumes of milk needed for her to be profitable, and so she is sent to slaughter – usually to be turned into ground beef.

Like humans, to produce milk cows need to have a baby. So cows who fail to get pregnant or who don't produce enough milk don't have value to the dairy industry and are trucked to slaughter.

But it's not only older animals who face this fate. The moment calves are born they have often served their purpose -- to make their mothers produce milk. So every year an estimated 1 million calves are separated from their mothers and killed in their first week of life as waste products of the Australian dairy industry.

'Service date'

Service date (noun): The date on which a mother pig is impregnated — either by mating or artificial insemination.

Pigs are clever animals who will often seek out company and affection. Yet factory farms talk about them like they were machinery or 'units' on a production line. When a pig fails to get pregnant she will 'return to service' to be 're-served'.

Sometimes farmers will think a pig is pregnant but after a full term she won't produce piglets. If this happens, she is labeled a "NIP" (not in pig). And, like faulty machinery, if she keeps failing to get pregnant she will be 'destroyed' and sold as low-grade pork.

'Spent'

Spent (adjective): Used to describe an animal who can no longer produce enough milk, eggs or babies to be profitable, and so is sent to slaughter.

Like dairy cows and mother pigs, there is no retirement plan for egg-laying hens. For all of these animals, when they don't produce enough to make a profit, they are disposed of like garbage.

Most dairy cows are considered 'spent' by roughly 6-7 years of age and mother pigs at just 2-3 years of age. Egg-laying hens in Australia are sent to slaughter from as young as 18 months of age.

4-words-piglet.jpg

In the language we use -- and in the eyes of the law -- farmed animals are so often treated differently to the animals we share our homes with. But in their capacity to feel pain, and in their desire to be treated with kindness, they are the same.

If you agree that all animals deserve kindness, the power is in your hands. By making simple, kind choices, you can help protect animals, save lives and inspire others to do the same. Take the first step here.

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Comments
Sarahhgreen_ Sarahhgreen_ 30 July 2015
1
Ah this disgusts me. This is so distressing...
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