The vast majority of animals that exist on the planet today are farm animals. They do not live on idyllic farms
from our childhood fairytales - they exist within industrialized facilities called ‘factory farms’. Deliberately hidden from public view, billions of sentient beings, each with complex sensations and emotions, are bred and
tortured within these merciless operations and denied the basic freedom to exhibit their natural individual behaviors.
Get informed. Act. Join us in taking a stand against factory farming and choosing compassion over cruelty and
cultivating a better world for all.
On South Africa’s intensive pig ‘farms’, pigs today know only the feel of concrete and metal. The smallest scraps of human charity - a bit of maternal care, room to roam outdoors, fresh air and straw to lie on have long since been taken away. They exist as defeated beings, covered in their own waste; mentally and physically compromised from boredom. The piglets are taken from their mothers after a few weeks of birth. Their tails docked, teeth clipped, and the males castrated - all without anesthetic. The natural lifespan of a pig is between 12 and 15 years. Approximately 3 million pigs in South Africa are slaughtered each year at just 6 months of age.
Chickens are most mistreated and abused animals in the world today. One billion meat chickens ‘Broilers’ are slaughtered for their meat in South Africa every year. The majority of these birds are housed in large overcrowded facilities that often keep tens of thousands of birds in one shed. In order to maximize profits in the shortest amount of time, these chickens are selectively bred to grow abnormally fast – regularly causing disease, severe paralysis and heart failure in many birds.
The natural lifespan of a chicken is between 8-10 years. ‘Broiler’ chickens are slaughtered at 42 days young.
The vast majority of the 24 million egg-laying hens in South Africa are raised in battery cages – small wire cages that barely give a bird the space of an iPad in which to move for the duration of their lives. From hatchery to slaughter, these egg-laying hens are subjected to mutilation. Egg-laying hens have a portion of their beaks seared off with a hot blade (debeaking) without anesthetic.
Male chicks born in the hatcheries are considered to have no value and are ground up alive shortly after birth. Confined and deprived of the ability to live their lives as the active, social beings that they naturally are, egg-laying hens will never see the sun, scratch the soil or nest in a blade of grass.
Most milk drinkers are surprised to learn that, just like people, cows must give birth in order to produce milk. To maximize production, dairy cows spend their lives in a constant cycle of artificial impregnation to make milk that nature intended for her calf. Within hours of giving birth her calf is taken away from his mother, causing extreme stress to both mother and her young calf. If her calf is a boy (who will never produce milk), he is regarded as having 'no value'. He will lead a miserable existence of lonely deprivation until being slaughtered within a few months of being born - ending up as ‘veal’ on a restaurant menu. If there were no demand for milk, there would not be market for veal.
Sheep raised for their meat are typically slaughtered when they are very young (6-14 months) because consumers prefer lamb to mutton. Lambs are forced to endure intense pain and stress through tail ‘docking’ - a process that involves shortening the tail with a knife or fastening a tight rubber ring around it until it rots and falls off. Males are castrated with similar methods without anesthetic. Rearing sheep requires vast areas of land resources that encroach upon wildlife habitat. As a direct result a large numbers of leopard, caracals and jackals are killed every year.
Raising animals for food is the most destructive industry facing people and the planet today. Animal agriculture contributes more to climate change than all of the world's planes, trains and automobiles combined. 30% of the earths surface area is now used for livestock production – making it the leading cause of forest deforestation in the world and a major contributor to air habitat loss and species extinction. While one billion people go hungry every day, over 50% of the world’s grain – and 71% of the world’s fresh water – is fed to farm animals.
Meat is high in animal fat and cholesterol – the leading cause of heart disease and certain cancers. Meat also has no fibre and is often loaded with poisons and contaminants such as hormones and antibiotics. Plant based foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables are high in complex carbohydrates and fibre, supplying the body with disease-fighting, energizing fuel. On average, vegetarians also live 7 years longer than meat eaters – the similar gap between smokers and non smokers.
Nobody asks us in our formative years whether we want to eat animals, how we feel about eating animals or whether we believe in eating animals. Eating animals is just a given; it's just the way things are. This explains why otherwise caring 'animal lovers' continue to participate in the needless violence against animals for the sake of convenience and habit without considering the ethical implications or the profound impacts on oneself and the world in which we live. By widening our circle of compassion to embrace all beings, we align and connect our values with our actions and find harmony within ourselves and the world in which we live.
Many people 'love animals', yet the vast majority of animals on the planet today are not dogs or cats. They are farm animals – and they endure merciless conditions that all animal lovers would find unbearable. Consuming animals directly supports animal abuse and feeds the corporations that do not care about any animal’s welfare. If you honestly love animals, act consciously. When we chose to align our beliefs and actions, we not only find harmony within ourselves, but we begin to create the world in which we want to live.