Get The Facts:
- More than 47 billion animals are killed in food production each year around the world — 10 billion of those animals are slaughtered in the United States alone. These figures do not include the countless fish who are killed for human consumption.
- In the U.S., more than 9½ billion chickens, turkeys, and ducks; 120 million pigs, 40 million cattle, 3 million sheep, and 600,000 goats were killed for human consumption in 2004.
- Approximately 400 million hens and 10 million cows are kept in confinement in appalling conditions for use in the egg and dairy industries. These animals will are slaughtered when they are considered insufficiently productive. Male chicks — byproducts of laying hen production — are killed, often by being thrown into plastic bags to slowly suffocate or being ground into animal feed while still alive. Male calves — the byproducts of the dairy industry — are usually sold to the veal or beef industries.
- Like all animals, farmed animals have the ability to experience pleasure and pain. Unfortunately, farm animals endure tremendous amount of pain and suffering for unnecessary human use and consumption.
- The vast majority of animals raised for human consumption live on factory farms, where they live in appalling, overcrowded conditions and are subjected to painful mutilations such as debeaking, toe removal, dehorning, and castration, without benefit of pain relief.
- Farmed animals frequently die during transport in overcrowded trucks. Once arriving at the slaughterhouse, they may have their throats cut or be boiled alive while still conscious.
- The federal Animal Welfare Act does not apply to animals used in agriculture and 30 states have enacted laws that specifically exempt farmed animals from portions of state anti-cruelty statues.
- The Humane Slaughter Act, which requires that all animals slaughtered in federally inspected meat processing plants be rendered unconscious to the process of slaughter, does not apply to does not cover chickens and turkeys nor does it cover kosher, ritual, or home slaughter.
- The federal law regulating the transport of farmed animals is rarely enforced — and even if it were, it provides less protection than similar initiatives elsewhere in the world. On the way to the slaughterhouse, animals may travel for hours in sweltering temperatures with no access to water.
- A plant-based diet has profound benefits for animals, for the planet, and for human health. Learn how easy it is to eat compassionately in API’s Going Veggie guide.
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