In the United States alone, approximately 10 billion land animals are killed every year in food production. Moreover, the average American consumes roughly: 25 ½ chickens, 1/8 of a cow, 3/8 of a pig and 43 fish a year.  Not only are we consuming animals at an extremely alarming and dangerous rate, we are also supporting an industry that is inherently cruel.
No land animal faces more suffering than chickens. Whether it’s an egg-laying hen or a broiler, the fate of the animal is guaranteed; they will face an unbelievable torture. Egg-laying hens are crammed into cages so small that they are unable to basic movements such as spreading their wings . As for broiler chickens, it’s common for them to perish from disease or stress due to overcrowding before they even reach slaughter .
Despite often being acknowledged for their superior intelligence , pigs are still the victims of unrelenting cruelty in the meat industry. A recent undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals shows sows with open and bleeding sores and workers forcing the animals to consume “diarrhea and dead piglets”. Unfortunately, not even piglets are safe from the torture. Undercover video showed piglets being slammed against the factory floors and castration without painkillers .
Abuse to cows in the beef industry can sometimes be so severe that it sparks a national recall. It’s typical for cows to be unable to stand (known in the industry as “downed”) because of the conditions they live in, yet the workers vainly try to make them move by using violent methods such as beating them electric prods and spraying water up their noses . Not only are dairy cows subjected to similar abuses, their calves also are forced to deal with inhumane treatment. Cows have motherly instincts just like humans and the bond with their offspring is strong , yet the moment a calf is born, the child is taken away from the mother. Once the calf is taken away, it’s destined to a life of immobility in the veal industry, where it will never be able to move out of its small crate until it's slaughtered .
We now are getting a glimpse of the true intelligence of fish. Leading scientists now confirm that fish are social creatures who display hints of being “cunning, manipulative and even culture” . Yet, fish are treated merely like objects in commercial fishing. Nets used to gather as many fish as possible are deployed into waters to violently capture them .
To learn more about the treatment of animals in our food system, watch our 4-minute documentary at 10BillionLives.com.