Current demand for meat and dairy in Australia can only be met by factory farming. But would you demand it if you knew what was involved in getting the products onto your plate?
In order for dairy cows to produce milk they need to be kept almost continually pregnant. However their newborn calves, also known as bobby calves are not required for the dairy industry. Bobby calves are therefore taken from their mothers on the first day of their life and either sent to slaughter, raised for veal or if they are female they get to suffer the same fate as their mothers.
Each year, around 700,000 bobby calves are destined for slaughter in Australia all in the name of keeping up with our demand for milk.
To keep up with our demand for all things pork a lot of pigs need to be produced and reared quickly and efficiently. This happens by keeping sows confined for the duration of their pregnancy (approximately 16 weeks) to a sow stall which is effectively a crate so small it is impossible for a sow to turn around in. Just before giving birth they are then moved to a farrowing crate which is an even smaller crate designed for the newborn piglets to suckle without the sow having any interaction with them. At the end of all of this the mother is impregnated again until her body can no longer cope and she is slaughtered.
Over 5 million pigs are slaughtered in Australia for human consumption each year.
At six weeks of age chickens are transported to the slaughterhouse to be electrically stunned, have their throat slit by a motorised blade and then passed through a chamber full of jets of boiling water to remove their feathers. Some unlucky birds may not get properly stunned and on occasions may face the motorised blade and even the scolding chamber fully conscious.
Over 450 million chickens are raised and slaughtered for meat every year in Australia.
What Should I Do?
I’m not saying we all have to become vegans and dramatically change our diet, although good on you if you want to, I am saying that we can all easily reduce our consumption of animal products and put an end to factory farming.
What do you think? Is factory farming a concern for you?