“When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Each one values his or her life and fights the knife.” –PETA.
Isn’t it a bit ironic that we despise people who eat dogs, but we don’t see a problem with eating a pig? In fact most of us love bacon and wouldn’t dream of giving it up. Millions of innocent animals are abused and killed every day. I don’t even think most people realize how many of their everyday activities affects animals. PETA which stands for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, is the largest animal rights program in the world. This program helps to stop animal cruelty, focusing its treatment mostly on four areas. It focuses on the food industry, clothing trade, in laboratories, and the entertainment industry.
Almost everybody grows up eating meat, wearing leather, and wearing makeup, but most don’t realize the impact it is having on animals. Most of the makeup you are wearing is tested on animals like rabbits, rats, dogs, and cats, killing hundreds a day. These tests are unnecessary and if anything should be tested on humans considering they are the ones who will be wearing it. The way a product reacts on a rabbit may not be the same as the way it reacts on a human, so the tests won’t always be accurate.
In factories today, thousands of animals are crammed together with hardly enough room to breathe. These animals never get to do the things that are natural or important to them, like building their own homes. They never get to feel the sun in their eyes, or the grass under their feet. These factories want to make as much money as they can, so they shove all the animals together in as tight of a space as they can. Most of the animals die of diseases or infections before they even make it to the slaughterhouse. Do you really want to be eating animals that are crammed in with other diseased ones and possibly even have a disease? Antibiotics are used on the animals to make them grown faster, and just to keep them alive. Research shows that factory farms use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can threaten human health. Factory farmed animals are genetically manipulated to grow larger. Some chickens grow so large they can’t support their own legs. They die of dehydration or starvation because they can’t walk to get their food. After they can no longer produce, or they have grown big enough, they are forced into a small truck where they are brought to a slaughterhouse. On the drive they aren’t given food or water, and hardly have enough space to breath. If the animal survives the drive, it will then have its throat slit and is hacked apart, while they are left conscious and die a slow painful death.
Animals on fur farms are trapped in tiny wire cages their whole life. The farmers use the cheapest killing methods in order to maximize profit. Some of these are electrocution, suffocation, poison, and gas. In China, millions of cats and dogs are hanged to death and sometimes skinned alive. When people hear this they are outraged, but are fine with wearing fur coats make from foxes. The United States and Canada get most of their fur from China, and it is sometimes deliberately mislabeled meaning we never know what animal our clothing is really made from. Some of the animals used for fur are beavers, dogs, cats, foxes, minks, and rabbits. We also make our leathers from animals like cows, pigs, goats, and sheep. Most of our leather comes from countries like India and China. Buying leather will directly contribute to slaughterhouses and factory farms.
In the entertainment industry, animals are forced to perform confusing tricks, and are physically punished when they do not perform right. These animals are driven to the point where they go insane, and become very dangerous to the public. Some animals will attack their trainers and can escape causing harm to many people. These animals don’t perform to please the audience, but because they are taught to be terrified of what will happen if they don’t. In circuses the trainers use whips, tight collars, and electric prods. Circuses travel year round, locking the animals in small trailers in all weather conditions. They eat, drink, and defecate in these confinements not able to get fresh air.
We think we are superior to animals, but they contribute to society in just as many ways as we do. They are living and loving creatures just like us. Just like humans, all animals feel emotions such as pain, pleasure, loneliness, and motherly love. Our contribution to the world should be to maintain the balance of life by treating all living things with respect, but we don’t seem to be following through on that. By respecting animal rights and having consideration for animal welfare we also support ecological balance. Animals have an important spot in this world and without them the world will fall apart. So maybe we should start thinking twice before killing off all of our animals and treating them like they are nothing.