Cruelty to animals occurs in almost every aspect of our daily lives, although it is the cases I have commented on in other articles that arouse the greatest outrage and encourage even the most moderate of people to demand change and fairer laws to protect animals. Absolutely no one condones the burning of a puppy, but then again, we live in a society where animals are tortured for fun and the government not only doesn’t prohibit it, but participates in its promotion. The Torment of a Bull.
Nonhuman animals, like humans, have the ability to experience emotions and suffer: joy, sadness, depression, the ability to play, etc. These are not abilities or qualities unique to the human species. And the more we know about nonhuman animals, the more doubts and insecurities accumulate as we reconsider our comfortable, simplified, and false worldview: What right do we humans have to dispose of the lives of other animals? Don’t they have the right to live for themselves, independent of the foolish determinism with which we judge and administer their lives?
We are entering swampland that will no doubt see major changes in the coming years as animal rights are seriously recognized and society and the judiciary act accordingly.
Until then, millions of animals will be dying or living poor lives every day because of humans, a frankly disturbing fact that makes us think: What can we do to help animals in our daily lives? From the shampoo we buy, to the eggs we eat, what we wear, to the animals we share our lives with… most of our daily actions can perpetuate the suffering of animals or, on the contrary, help reduce theirs to improve living conditions. . By making responsible choices, we can almost effortlessly contribute to a societal change where animals’ lives are treated with the respect they deserve.
Animals are needless victims of painful tests like Draize (where a substance is poured into their eyes over several days) or LD50 (a substance is administered by multiple routes until half the animals die) to determine the safety or toxicity of beauty products to prove.
It goes without saying that there are countless cosmetic laboratories that do not test on animals. Therefore, today it is possible to take care of yourself without contributing to the excruciating pain that animals endure in laboratories.
Animals raised for food are perhaps the most mistreated and their pain, from birth to death in appalling conditions, goes unnoticed. Chickens and hens survive in crowded battery cages where they cannot move. Due to overeating and lack of exercise, their small bodies deform and their leg bones break, making them unable to support their own weight.
Chickens are debeaked with a red-hot blade without anesthesia. Pain prevents them from eating and many starve to death. The concentration of ammonia that comes out of the feces is so high that it eventually blinds and causes skin lesions. Stressed animals peck at and possibly kill each other. The chickens fall prey to the pecks of other animals. The stress caused by the conditions of intensive farming operations triggers this behavior.
According to ethologists, hens and chickens are animals that, under natural conditions, have the ability to learn, play, form hierarchies among themselves and feel a strong bond with their young. All of these instincts and skills are destroyed in intensive operations.
If they survive the conditions on the farms, they are placed in a tank, where they are electrocuted incapacitated (although they often regain consciousness), and are hung upside down by some form of shackles to have their throats cut and shackled to bleed them dry.
Then they are thrown into vats of boiling water to be picked… and many live to this horrific end, still alive and conscious. The butcher hangs upside down and slits their throats… although he’s not always right due to the “chain system” that forces the workers to walk as fast as possible.
It doesn’t look any better for cows and pigs
The extreme lack of space creates stress in them, which manifests itself in neurotic behavior such as biting the bars of the cages, mutilating one another (the pigs bite their tails and ears), etc. The piglets are castrated without anesthesia and their teeth are cut very close to the gums to prevent biting. (Hence the British rule requiring farmers to provide pigs with chains, balls and plenty of straw.)
Transport is a torture for the animals, they have to travel for hours without water and food, they are so cramped in the truck that they often suffocate, cut their skin, break their legs and hips (all that we remember was the cold documentary by Manfred Karremann showing all kinds of harassment and abuse cows and bulls were subjected to during transport across Europe)… and the list goes on…
A town in the United States gazed merrily and lovingly at a couple of ducks who were inseparable. The male (Peter Duck) was particularly gentle and attentive to the female (Mary Duck), especially when he was eating. It was later revealed that Maria was blind and Peter was “taking care of her”.
After that anecdote about these animals… how can we allow ducks and geese to be tormented for what is considered a “delicacy”? The tube they are overfed with causes esophageal lesions, resulting in their death. There are companies that reward workers if they let half or less of their animals die.
To help farm animals, the quickest solution is to become vegetarian or vegan (people who don’t eat animal products), but not everyone is going to make that switch at least immediately and not waste time. Pragmatic point from the point of view: the laws need to be changed so that absolutely all farm animals are free-range, not transported, veterinary controls are strengthened, etc. For example, if you buy eggs from free-range chickens fed with grain and other products from the Extensive husbandry already means a change for the better in the lives of these animals.
One of our big problems as EU citizens is the horrible conditions of transporting live animals, which by no means should be severely penalized by law. To get an idea of the scale of the problem we are talking about, consider that every year millions of sheep, pigs and cattle are transported across Europe on arduous journeys.
A large proportion of the million sheep transported annually from Great Britain are sent to Belgium and the Netherlands. From there, after 24 hours of “rest”, they are exported again to Italy, Greece and Spain.
If we count travel times from the UK to southern Italy (Bari) it is estimated to be over 40 hours and to Greece over 70 hours. In Italy, sheep are often pulled from trucks by their hind legs. The animals have no water, no food and no fresh air. The animals that survived this hellish journey have not yet put an end to their suffering. In Greek slaughterhouses, animals are not usually stunned. They are simply dragged out of the truck and have their throats cut while fully conscious. Outside the EU, cattle are mainly exported to the Middle East and North Africa from Ireland, Germany and France.
Even cows and bulls that are exported to the Middle East are not stunned at the slaughterhouse. Although it is hard to believe, huge sums of money are being spent to encourage the export of animals outside the European Union.
Cruelty knows no cultures and seems to be an ingrained human trait. In countries like China, Korea and Taiwan, dogs and cats are cruelly tortured before being served in restaurants. They will be scalded and skinned alive…those who saw this torture in the first person perspective or in the videos have been tagged. How can we forget the image of a skinned cat still shaking in pain?
Circuses with animals
Many of us were surprised, and again with a sense of terrible sadness, at not being able to apologize to the animals when, to cite one of many examples, we learn of the very special relationship between elephants and their young. Females stay with their mothers their entire lives, males stay with their mothers for as long as 15 years… wonderful, isn’t it?
With that in mind, consider how circuses literally snatch their boys from their mothers at the age of two. Some female elephants go mad looking for their young and are killed. The pups can sustain serious injuries trying to escape the chains or ropes that bind them to return to their mothers. Circuses with animals…perhaps one of the most humiliating, degrading and shameful places humans have created.
We have dared to reduce the authentic nature and peculiarity of species such as bears, tigers, lions, panthers, horses, elephants… to simple, totally depersonalized puppets, forced to perform ridiculous tricks under threat of cruel beatings with hooks they suffered horrible skin wounds, were subjected to electric shocks, fasted and lived in conditions of real slavery, spending up to 50 weeks a year in small, unconditional cages.
Circuses claim to use positive reinforcement or rewards when training animals, but numerous graphic documents prove the opposite. Even the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has two open cases of animal abuse at the notorious Ringling Bros. Circus.
Tigers, which in natural conditions roam tens of square kilometers a day, are confined for life in these appallingly small cages. In the photo, Chuckie poses with the majesty that characterizes these beautiful animals. He now lives in the Shambhala Animal Recovery Sanctuary.
By GEVHA * Violence towards humans and animals study group
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