How animals get to your plate

What happens to the animals you eat before they get to your plate?
Chickens and turkeys are arguably the most abused animals on the planet. Thousands are crammed into filthy, warehouse-like sheds that reek of ammonia and bred to grow so large that many develop painful heart and leg problems and sometimes collapse under their own weight. They have part of their beaks cut off with a hot blade, and turkeys also have parts of their toes cut off.

The Egg industry
In the egg industry, male chicks are often thrown into trash bags and left to suffocate or ground up alive.  Female chicks are forced to live in cages that give each bird less floor space than the size of an IPad. The terms “organic”, “cage-free,” and “humane” tell us very little about the treatment of the animals. Most animals raised under these very poorly regulated guidelines still end up terrified and struggling to escape on the same slaughterhouse floors as the animals from factory farms do, There are no “humane” slaughterhouses. Plain and simple, these are just marketing terms to make you think it’s OK to eat animal-derived products…it’s not. At the slaughterhouse, chickens and turkeys are hung upside down and have their throats slit, often while they’re still conscious. Those who escape the blade end up being scalded to death in tanks of hot water.

Cows killed for meat spend almost their entire lives in dirty feedlots being fattened up for slaughter. Female cows used for milk are forcibly impregnated over and over again on what the industry calls “rape racks” and have their babies traumatically torn away from them shortly after birth so that humans can drink the milk meant for their calves. Whether they’re used for meat or milk and dairy foods, these animals all meet the same end – on a killing floor, where they often have their throats slit while they’re still conscious and sometimes are hacked apart while still alive.

Pigs on factory farms spend their whole lives on concrete floors in extremely cramped pens. They have their teeth and tails cut, and males are often castrated without the use of painkillers. Female pigs have it even worse: Many of them are forced to live in metal crates so narrow that they can barely move. Although pigs are smarter than 3-year old kids, they’re still hung up by their hind legs and killed by having their throats slit, often while they’re still conscious. Some are even scalded to death.

Fish feel pain and suffer just like other animals, especially when they’re hooked through the mouth or dragged out of the ocean in nets to be suffocated, crushed, or gutted while still alive. Dolphin, sea turtles and birds are often caught and killed by “accident” in fishing nets.


So the biggest threat to the animals of this planet are the Corporations. They condition us to block our awareness and our empathy for animals. Their propaganda programs us to believe that eating animals is normal, natural and necessary so that eating animals appears to be a given rather than a choice.

When we are born into an institutionalized system, we internalize it. It teaches us to see farmed animals as objects, things, rather than beings. But Awareness is the greatest threat to these Corporations, because, with awareness, we can make choices that reflect what we authentically think and feel, rather than what we have been taught to think and feel. Without awareness, there is no free choice.