I have been interested in animal rights for probably more than 15 years now. I always felt strongly about the cause, even as a child and a teenager, because I always felt a connection to animals, just like many people do.
But like many people, I didn’t become a vegetarian, and later vegan until I was in my 20s. When I was younger, I bought all the lies the meat, dairy and egg industries feed us: you need to eat meat to be healthy, you need animal protein to live, our animals are raised and treated humanely because we care about them as if they were family… you get the gist.
Recently, In Italy, where I’m from, one of the biggest animal rights organizations, Essere Animali, has released footage about a supposedly organic farm where chickens were kept in awful condition. They had no room to move or spread their wings, workers were hurting and killing them, and leaving them suffering when sick.
People were outraged, because they believed the organic label meant these animals were treated decently. Major news channels showed the videos, causing quite a
commotion and lots of comments online.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened on animal farms that claim to be organic and to care about the animals they’re raising. There have been so many
documented cases that we now know that organic livestock production is not necessarily more humane than ‘regular farms’.
Abuse at organic farms
Another recent instance was the one JB USA, meat supplier of chains like Costco, where piglets were thrown around and kept in unsanitary conditions.
Animal Recovery Mission, an American animal rights group, released an investigation this year about the organic dairy farm Natural Prairie Dairy. It’s the largest organic dairy farm in the US, and despite its name cows were not treated in a natural way. They were hurt, stabbed, kicked, calves were taken away moments after being born while their mothers cried and tried to get close to them but couldn’t move.
All this despite Natural Prairie Dairy’s claims that they are a ‘sustainable farm ecosystem’. What are they talking about, when the barns weren’t even clean and their animals were continuously abused?
There are just so many examples of animal abuse that I could go on for pages listing them all. I could even point out that organic doesn’t necessarily imply healthy since in many cases the meat, dairy and eggs you buy are not better than mass-produced products. But this is not the point, because most people can google those things themselves.
Killing an animal that wants to live
What I think is the core of the matter is that there is simply no humane way to kill animals that want to live. Even if you treat them humanely (what does that even mean?) during their lives, the matter of fact is that you would always end up killing them way before their life span is over.
If you ask people ‘How do you humanely kill an animal?’ they’ll come up with all sorts of answers. A shot to the head. A painless injection. But think again. What if you were in their place, and that was happening to you? Would you still refer to it as humane?
Besides, there’s just no way that most corporations and farms would kill their animals that way. It’s not profitable.
Organic, free-range are myths. Why do these farms and companies try to avoid information getting out? Why is it that they’re transparent in words, but not in video? Why don’t they allow visits to their locations?
If you buy and eat organic meat, dairy and eggs, that doesn’t mean that you’re sparing animal suffering. The only way you can really do that is by changing your
diet altogether and going vegan.