is an animal rescue organization operating out of New York and California that strives to protect factory farm animals from abusive treatment and exploitative husbandry.
In a perhaps more exaggerated sense, they seek to drive home the cause-effect relationship between the cruel reality of animal maltreatment and the succulent top sirloin that deliciously sizzles on our home grills. The notion that a sentient creature was conceived, raised and slaughtered is often lost in the face of the glaring “SPECIAL” sticker slapped on the styrofoam and plastic packaging of the numerous meat products at the supermarket. Farm Sanctuary works to bridge this disconnect and make known the deplorable practices of factory farming. Their ultimate vision is to see a society where the commodification of animals is non-existent. If you want to learn more about this organization (there is also a link to the their site at the very end), the documentary Peaceable Kingdom is a film that features Farm Sanctuary, telling stories about the awakening of farmers to the truth (rather, facing the truth) of factory farming.
Regardless of your stance on meat consumption, the fact of the matter is that there are some pretty despicable things done to animals in factory farms in the name of putting meat and milk on our tables. Here are some common factory farming practices and links to information about them:
- battery cages – hens are territorial and peck to mark their area, in tiny cages where multiple birds are confined, they viciously harm each other; sometimes the beaks are cut off the hens to prevent this from happening, many hens die from this procedure
- cow & veal calf stalls – cows or calves are chained to stalls until they are slaughtered, they cannot turn around, have difficulty walking once they are ushered to the slaughter houses because they have not walked their whole life
- over-milking leading to chronic mastitis in dairy cows – the inflammation of the udder because of overuse can be very severe; it doesn’t go away and can be extremely painful
- chick culling – male chicks do not lay eggs and are of dismissible value to factory farms so they are killed in the most economic means possible; dumpsters are a common depository for male chicks
- sow gestation crates – similar to the way cows are confined in stalls, sows are shut in small cages during their pregnancy
I am not trying to promote veganism, nor am I trying to take a jab at your morality, but the reality of farm animal cruelty is no hoax. There are many smaller farms that don’t function as factory farms do, so even just by giving a little thought to where your meat comes from is a step in the right direction. If you really feel the need to get in there and save those animals, you can consider adopting one from Farm Sanctuary!
For clarification purposes, a factory farm is an agricultural site where scale of production is incredibly high. Maximizing the output of individual animals using various chemical and confinement means is a key characteristic. Meat, milk and eggs are the typical products of factory farms.