For hundreds of thousands of years, animals have lived next to humans. And just like people, they have their rights. But in this jigsaw puzzle human dominates at all times. And it has always been like this. The man became the master of life and death. He objects the animals according to his needs. And as time has passed by they became creatures, who are living to satisfy our needs. That’s why the relationship between humans and animals has become a big dispute topic for many years. One claims that is just the way the world is, others, on the other hand, are defending animals, fighting for their right. But it is indisputable, that since as long as we can remember, animals are being bred to be used as human food. They are treated as a business, profit, and source of income. Many people don’t see anything weird or wrong about it. They will probably answer us that these are the laws of nature, that this is their destiny. Because nobody will admit that an animal bred for human food also once had a soul, with its own needs and desires. Nobody cares how these animals feel and no one wonders if this is necessary. For what? For them, it is better to accept life as it is.
Farm animals are animals that when kept under appropriate conditions, are mainly treated as a source of food. These are primarily pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and rabbits, as well as poultry, which include: chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. The man mastered the art of breeding, and as a consequence, a new life form was created- farm animals or livestock. Industrial farming has its origins in the nineteenth century. The discovery of antibacterial agents, vaccines, hormones, and supplements allowed us to keep a large number of animals in one place. As a result, it is constantly getting more and more crowded. The main products that come from these farms are meat, milk, and eggs, which are intended for human consumption. In that way, animals became a product, which can be purchased in a store among many others.
Animals, which are part of mass breeding have been through hell and back. It’s not an exaggerated statement at all. They are neglected and sick, undergoing supplementation so that they could “go to the slaughterhouse” faster. Animals are treated with cruelty, lack of compassion and soullessness, they experience a lot of suffering and pain in there. Beaten, humiliated, intended to be sent to a slaughterhouse and then killed. Animal wellbeing does not matter here, because the most important is that their meat will end up on a human’s plate. Industrial farming is based on a large number of animals locked in a small space. The discomfort and conditions they are kept in, often lead to many injuries. Animals can’t follow their instincts, because there is simply no room for that. They live in the capture, in crowded space, lacking sunlight and fresh air, which is very stressful for them. As a result infections and diseases are spreading faster as well. To survive in such inhumane conditions, the animals have to fight for food, a piece of space and shelter. To prevent losses, beaks and claws are cut off, and the cubs are immediately separated from their mothers. In farms like this, animal rights are forgotten. Meat selling is the only goal. The sad part is that a human allows it.
Polish people are aware of the problems associated with industrial animal breeding, but they are not aware of how huge the scale of this dilemma is. Every year an unimaginable number of farm animals is being killed in the world, estimated at over 70 billion. The vast majority of it is intended for meat and skin. On the other hand, animal organizations estimate that only in Poland about 860 million animals are killed for consumption every year. In today’s world, no one can fight alone against this huge scale of mass production farms. But with combined forces, we can achieve a lot and bring animals a little bit of relief. According to a study by The Humane Society of the United States, an American organization fighting for animal rights, every year, five hundred million fewer animals have been killed each year since 2007, just because people started eating less meat and because of increase of awareness about consumption of animal products.
Industrial farms cause animals, which are living creatures lots of suffering unimaginable pain. Sentenced to death, they give their lives to end up as merchandise on the stores’ shelves and then plates. Usually, the truth about the situation of animals in such farms is hidden from the world. The conditions in which they are living affect their health as well.
Currently, around 1 billion pigs live in farms all around the world. They are fed until they reach slaughter weight, usually, that process lasts up to 6 months. They are treated as an object, from the moment they were born, through a short life until their death in tortures. Their living conditions have a huge impact on ontheir health. They are exposed to abrasions, limb damage, and pain. They suffer from pneumonia, they are forced to stand in their feces. Piglets are hurt, castrated, shortened tail and sawn teeth. Finally, pigs sentenced to slaughter are electrocuted or slaughtered.
Cows that are staying in mass production farms are locked up all their lives. To create milk, they are subjected to artificial insemination. Calves are taken from cow mothers as soon as they are born. Heifers go to further breeding, and young bulls are bred for meat.
Currently, up to 20,000 farms in Poland are specializing in the breeding of horses for slaughter. Because those animals that are no longer able to perform sports activities are sold there. And profits are easy to calculate. Horse meat is way more expensive than pork, and importers are happy to buy it. Horses are transported in terrifying conditions and sent abroad. Breeders have no remorse. Horses will go through a lot of suffering and pain before they end up as a dish on the plates of southern Europeans.
Chickens used in mass farm production live in suffering just to maximize profits. And Poland is one of the leading producers of poultry meat and eggs in the European Union. According to the Central Statistical Office of Poland, over 1 billion 165 million chickens were killed in Poland in 2018. Unfortunately, there is huge suffering hidden behind this flourishing ‘business’. As Barbara Pałoń, an activist of Open Cages, said: “This is one of the most unethical branches of the meat industry today. Chicken life lasts only 6 weeks, while in natural conditions they could live to 6-8 years. As a result of many years of selection, modern-day broilers reach a mass almost 42 times higher than 50 years ago. Because of their growth rate, they suffer from numerous diseases, have heart problems, and are often unable to stand on their feet because of too fast weight gain. “
Mass animal breeding for food is followed by many consequences. Along with the suffering of the animals, the environment also suffers. Because such breeding badly affects the natural ecosystem. Forests are cut down and tons of water are wasted. The excrement produced by animals contains greenhouse gas, which is harmful to the environment. It ends up in rivers and, as a consequence, also enter groundwater. And this, as a consequence, affects climate change.
Man is the reason behind it and only the man can change it. As Olga Tokarczuk wrote: “Man has great responsibilities towards animals- help them live their lives, and those who are tamed- to give them back their love and tenderness because they give us more than they receive from us. And they must live their lives with dignity. When they are being killed, and they die in Fear and Terror, that way they are sentenced to hell and the whole world turns into hell. Don’t people see it? Is their mind able to go beyond small, selfish pleasures? “