Cruelty in the Pet and Animal Industry
Ghandi once said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Others have been quoted as saying something very similar.
When you look around you will see some people who are compassionate to their pets, but are oblivious to the cruelty that happens everyday to livestock animals, the animals used for human entertainment purposes, and even those used to breed more pets.
How can a person condemn their neighbor for keeping a dog on a chain all day long and at the same time contribute to even worse cruelty by buying a puppy from a pet store? Perhaps people just are not aware of animal cruelty and how their actions support it.
Cruelty in the Pet Industry
If you buy a puppy (or any animal) from a pet store, you contribute to cruel warehouse like breeding practices, known as mills. Stores deny buying from cruel breeders, but a good breeder would never sell to a pet store, nor would they need to. The only people who sell to pet stores are those people who breed cheap enough that the pet store can buy (often pet stores use pet brokers who buy pets for them) and then mark up the price enough to make a healthy profit, knowing they have to feed the pups for a while before they sell.
Puppy mills, and other pet breeding mills, are often horrid places, where the pets are caged and not socialized. The parent animals suffer until they can no longer breed, at which time they are often killed by snapping their necks ( the mill breeder is usually unwilling to pay a veterinarian to euthanize an animal – as they wish to spare all expenses).
The demand by people for very young pets means many young animals are taken from their mothers too young. This is particularly true of monkeys, often taken from their mothers at only a few days of age so their human “parent” can raise them from infancy, and so the mother can be quickly rebred.
When people buy pets (or supplies) from pet stores they contribute to cruel mass breeding operations.
The pet industry does not stop there - some people have found that if they stunt their pets (through poor feeding and poor genetics), and sell them as "teacup" animals at inflated prices. Of course these stunted animals often have more health concerns, including heart and liver problems.
See Also - The Most Cruel Things Done to Pets
Cruelty in the Entertainment Industry
Animals who are used in circuses, and even on stage as in Las Vegas type shows, often have dull lives when not in the view of the public. While their needs for food, shelter, and water, are met, their needs for natural mental stimulation are often pathetic. Worse is that some of these animals are bred very poorly, intentionally inbred to create more exotic looking animals. This is something that is particularly common with white tigers – many having shorter lifespans due to problems that arise from being inbred.
While some zoos are doing terrific jobs at caring for their animals, many private zoos are known for housing animals poorly, over-breeding, and under-feeding. Some zoos are known for taking baby animals from their mothers and placing them with a female of another species simply for human entertainment.
Rodeos are cruel no matter what people will say. Every year a number of animals die in the rodeo industry, either in front of the crowds, during practice, or after as the result of stress. Even without deaths, there is certainly a huge amount of stress that rodeo animals suffer.
People who attend events and shows where animals are the main source of entertainment, are supporting cruelty.
Let us not forget people who encourage their children to squish bugs or shoot birds for entertainment. How can this be morally sound?
Cruelty in the Food and Drug Industry
It is bad enough that we kill animals to eat them but the way these animals are treated prior to their death is often hideous. Most people are oblivious, often through their own denial, of the cruelty that occurs in the food industry.
Imagine a conveyor belt of day old chicks, they have just been sexed. These are the male chicks, the females packed into boxes that will be shipped to growers, the males headed into a meat grinder. For every chicken you eat, one was ground up at age day one (males do not grow as well and have a different taste). Every time you eat eggs (since roosters are not needed to make eggs), you need to be aware that you for every hen, one male chick was killed at age day one.
Not only that, but the laying hens live in spaces that are smaller than a crate that a cat owner would use to take their cat to the veterinarian in, and the hen lives in that space with 2-3 other birds, for her entire life- which is about 1/10 her normal lifespan as these birds are killed young, when laying declines so they can moult.
You think dairy is cruelty free? Calves are by-products of the dairy industry – taken away and stuffed into small shelters that prevent very much movement, killed young, to be veal, or for their stomach acids to be made into rennet which is used in cheese. Some dairy cattle are not allowed outside for months while producing milk.
Is wool cruelty free? Not if you have ever seen the barbaric act of mulesing – cutting off a live lambs rump without any pain killers. Or if you have ever seen a Karakul ewe kicked so she aborts her lamb so the lamb can be slaughtered (the aborted lamb used for its hide)?
When you buy beef did it come from pasture raised cattle, or feedlot cattle – those forced to stand for weeks in their own feces, with nothing to do, fed growth hormones, and crammed into trucks when it is time to head for slaughter. Factory farming has resulted in fewer animals producing more food - yet these animals suffer more cruelty being pushed to produce faster than ever before.
What of horses being used to make Premarin, and other drugs? Pregnant mares are stabled for 23 hours a day, with bags to collect urine. Their foals are typically slaughtered as “by-products”. Yet woman buy drugs that support this cruelty all the time.
Of course we all know about the cruel testing of human products on animals - such as toothpaste being put in the eyes of rabbits, and so forth...
Before we judge our neighbor by how they treat their dog, we need to look at our own actions and determine if we are making the world a more cruel place.