Animal farming impact and alternatives for a cruelty-free world

Industrialised animal agriculture is the second largest cause of environmental destruction. Animal farming destroys our forests, marine life, pollutes the waterways, and adds harmful greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. It contributes significantly to climate change.

It is also one of the cruellest industries decimating 6.4 billion land and sea animals every year for food in the UK alone.

According to scientists, animals are intelligent creatures; many researchers who study animal cognition agree that animals “think”. They perceive and react to their environment.

130 billion animals suffer every day on factory farms.
94% of all animals raised for food are on factory farms.

Animals can suffer as much as humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, affection and create family bonds.

They interact with one another and experience different emotions, like stress or fear. When under captivity in factory farms, animals are reduced to “livestock”. Farmers keep them or trade as a source of income.

Animals are confined in small cages and go through horrendous processes during their short lives. They get beaten, forcefully impregnated, separated from their offspring, their babies killed, their beaks trimmed (chickens) and slaughtered. These animals are given no proper nutrition, mental stimulation, exercise, or space to roar-free.

Moreover, industrialised fishing impacts marine life. Overfishing and bycatch (capturing unwanted sea life while fishing for a different species) is a pressing marine threat. It causes the needless loss of billions of fish and hundreds of thousands of sea mammals.


to experiment on, eat, wear, use for

entertainment or abuse in any other way.”

The industry’s dirty secrets

Most people agree that it is not okay how and on what scale animals are being treated in these industries. The animal farming industry makes considerable efforts to hide the reality from us.

We often do not know what precedes the products and the food we consume because it all takes place behind closed doors.

Marketing claims of “free-range,” “happy cow,” or “responsibly sourced,” and other welfare claims that manufacturers, local butchers, and supermarkets use to promote their products are the tools they use to deceive the consumers.

Studies have concluded that labelling factory-farmed chicken as “higher welfare” or attaching images suggesting that these birds roar outdoors is a way to play to our emotions and get us to purchase with a clear conscience.

Therefore, because of these marketing claims, we are less inclined to relate to the animals’ suffering.

We do not make the connection between the food on our plate or the milk in our coffee with the animal that provided it.

Animal farming – an example

Let’s take the dairy cows, for example. Dairy cows are the production machines and profit victims of dairy farms.
They live a miserable, painful life indoors for most of their lives.

Cows produce milk just like humans, for their babies only but the farmers take away their calves within hours of birth, to keep the milk for human consumption. The farmers keep the female calves for milking and either kill or sell the male calves to meat farms.

They also forcefully impregnate the dairy cows within three months after giving birth, to become pregnant again.

This cycle of cruelty lasts approximately three to five years, after which the cows can not produce enough milk and go to slaughter. Cows live for up to twenty years in nature but only around five in dairy farms.

“We are so shocked when we find out about the degree of deception from the animal industry that we resist the facts in order to prevent our world from collapsing.”

clare mann, vystopia “The anguish of being vegan in a non vegan world”

Diversification strategies for a pant-based farming

Most industries that exploit animals for food, entertainment, fashion, construction, and medicine, focus solely on profit, which comes at the expense of their rights and welfare.

United Nations mentions that industrialised meat production is the second largest cause of environmental problems. Thsi includes soil and waterways pollution, sea acidification, and biodiversity degradation.

The internet brought us the globalisation of information. Activists and educators have unlimited powers to spread awareness about animal rights.

To create a sustainable and cruelty-free future, the governments will eventually look to subsidise industries that use fewer natural resources, such as farming crops for human – not animal consumption.

They will want to ensure that vital crop resources are fed to people rather than livestock.

These changes, of course, come at a cost. Factories, farmers, and fisheries need the governments’ support to diversify into producing food and supplies that are not dependent on livestock.

Subsidies will help these industries to acquire new skills, technologies, machinery, and production know-how to adjust to a kinder and sustainable way of farming.

We use 56 million acres of land for animal agriculture while dedicating only 4 million acres of land to growing produce;

A staggering 70% of grain in the U.S. is fed to farmed animals rather than to people.

The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people — more than the entire human population on Earth.


Sources and further reading:

Top photo: EC

photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers

Don’t think there’s no animal cruelty happening in animal skin ‘producing’ industries. Not only does the animal obviously has to die to get its skin processed into leather: that skin is often industrially mass-processed by an industry that solely focuses on profit, resulting in a life not worth living for many of these animals that are being kept there.
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Elena Daniilidou

Elena is an ethical vegan and minimalist advocating for sustainable and slow living.

View all posts by Elena Daniilidou →
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