Approximately 2 trillion fish, 68 billion chickens, 1.48 billion pigs, 656 million turkeys, 573 million sheep, 479 million goats, and 302 million cows are killed each year for food. With more than 65.000 lives taken per second, there are 2.071.490.000.000 reasons to be vegan on #NationalAnimalRightsDay.
But these numbers only include those that end up being slaughtered. Many billions of farm animals die prematurely (starvation, infections, diseases, exposure to freezing temperatures, …) or are killed because they are considered unprofitable.
As an example: many calves are born as a result of the dairy industry. In order to keep milk flowing, dairy cows need to give birth every year. When calves are born as a girl, they often follow in their mother’s footsteps by becoming dairy cows. But the boys can’t produce milk. Boys either end up in the cruel veal industry, killed a few months later, or are killed onsite. Many baby boys are killed a couple of hours or days later because raising and slaughtering them is considered to be too costly – early disposal (how horrible that may sound) is the cheapest solution. Boy kids (goats) and lambs (sheep) share a similar fate as bull calves but are often slaughtered even younger if raised for meat. People like to believe that we eat “old” animals, but in reality, we eat babies – most farm animals are slaughtered between 2% to 5% of their natural lifespan.
Have you ever stopped to think about what happens to all the male chicks in the egg industry? They have no economic value since they cannot lay eggs, nor do they grow big enough for the poultry industry. Organic, free-range, or battery cage, there is no use for male chicks in the egg industry. Annually, 7 billion male chicks are disposed of shortly after they hatch. Workers throw them directly into a shredder (without anaesthetics) or in a gas chamber – this process is called chick culling. Even if they could destroy “male-eggs” before they hatch, there are still billions of hens exploited every year to lay all these eggs.
Both the dairy and egg industry are not without suffering or death. Don’t let someone tell you otherwise. Want to learn more about this subject? Consider reading: “Systemic abuse of farm animals within the modern animal agriculture industry“!