• from hunger, thirst and malnutrition
• from pain, injury and disease
• from discomfort
• from fear and distress
• to express natural behaviour
“In over 95% of cases animals are killed prematurely:
• Cows, for example, could live to well over 20 years of age, while on ‘dairy’ farms they are usually shot between 3-4 years of age when milk production is no longer considered ‘profitable’. Cows bred for ‘beef’ meat are killed sooner.
• Broiler chicks are just 6 weeks old and grown too rapidly to sustain their own weight and heart when they are killed. Chickens could live to 10 years old.
• Pigs are slaughtered when they have reached a certain weight, which will be later in organic systems than in intensive farms, but they are typically killed between 4-6 months of age, while they could reach 15 years.
• Sheep can also live to 15 years but depending on whether they are slaughtered as lambs or later, they are shot and bled between 3-10 months of age.
• Every week in the UK 3,000 male calves are killed shortly after birth, usually within days, and over 40 million day-old chicks are killed each year, including those from organic farms. Males do not secrete bodily fluids destined for offspring (cow’s milk), or lay eggs like hens do. Calves are either shot or exported alive to mainland European countries where they are kept in small pens to produce veal flesh – deprived of their mothers and their natural food (milk).”
On Netflix you can find the 2014 documentary Live and let Live, or you may stream it here. It is about six individuals who decided to stop consuming animal products for different reasons. It shows the impact the decision has had on their lives.
The documentary Earthlings from 2005, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, details the human use of animals in five specific areas: for food, clothing, entertainment, science, and as pets. There are some grotesque imagery which detail how human dependency on animals can lead to abusive practices.