Cows used by the dairy industry are impregnated every year to ensure a regular supply of milk. In order to be able to carton this milk up for human consumption, cows used by the industry have their babies ripped from them within a day or two of birth. Female calves are often slaughtered immediately or raised to one day have their babies taken away as well. Male calves are sold to the veal industry where they often spend their only 16 weeks of life in crates so small they are unable to turn around, causing their muscles to atrophy as well as develop anemia from malnutrition.
The high demand for milk requires that cows be pushed far beyond their natural limits, genetically manipulated, and fed massive quantities of hormones in order to produce large quantities of milk for our current marketplace, forcing even the most well-meaning farmers to kill babies and send their mothers to an early death when her milk production wanes. (Hear it from the farmers.)
Worldwide more than 50 billion chickens are killed each year, with another 5.6 billion living in cages owned by the egg-laying industry.
According to United Poultry Concerns, the modern hen used for egg production is far removed from the active Southeast Asian jungle fowl from whom she’s derived and from the active farmyard birds of the more recent past. She is a painfully debeaked, tortured bird who is jammed in a wire cage for a year or two, squeezed together with 8 or 9 other tormented hens in sheds holding 50,000 to 125,000 terrified, bewildered birds.
A small bird, forced to churn out huge numbers of large eggs, this hen is prone to a cruel condition known as uterine prolapse. When a small chicken pushes and strains day after day to expel large eggs, her uterus pushes out through the vent area leading to painful infection and a slow, agonizing death. The egg industry deprives hens of all food or severely restricts their rations from one to three weeks straight to manipulate egg laying and market prices, and to “save feed costs.” This practice is called forced molting.
Cooped for life without exercise while constantly drained of calcium to produce egg shells, laying hens develop osteoporosis, a mineral depletion and breaking of the bones from which many hens die miserably in their cages, often with their heads trapped between the bars. This disease of imprisonment is called caged layer fatigue.
Male chicks, deemed useless by the egg industry, are ground up alive, electrocuted, or simply suffocated in trashcans peeping to death while a human foot stomps them down to make more room for more chicks. Because the male chicken of the egg industry cannot lay eggs, and has not been genetically manipulated for profitable meat production, he is of no use to the egg industry. Destruction of unwanted male chicks is a worldwide practice, accounting for 250 million deaths annually in the United States alone.