As you’re reading this, countless animals are hurting in ways you might not know about. Animal suffering is hard to watch, but it’s important to learn about so that we can work together to stop the abuse. So we’ve broken it down for you using adorable, collectible stuffed animals from the 90’s.
Check out these industries, which are notorious for hurting animals:
A bullhook, which resembles a fireplace poker, has a sharp steel hook and a point at one end. Trainers use bullhooks to beat, hit, prod, and jab elephants to force them to submit. Animals in circuses don’t perform because they want to but because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.
Orcas, sometimes misleadingly known as “killer whales,” are the largest marine animals held in captivity, and at places like SeaWorld, these highly intelligent, social animals are forced to swim in endless circles in cramped, concrete tanks. Facilities that keep orcas captive deny them everything that is natural and important to them, and people who go to these parks are supporting the orcas’ misery.
More than 105,000 monkeys and other primates are imprisoned in U.S. laboratories. Experimenters use them in cruel and painful tests, even though research shows that animal experiments actually do little to help humans. Many baby primates in labs are torn away from their mothers and spend their days and nights in cramped, barren cages. Primates who aren’t born in labs are bred on filthy factory farms or stolen from their families in the wild.
To make angora products, workers often rip fur out of rabbits’ sensitive skin as they scream in pain or tie the terrified animals’ feet together and stretch out their bodies before aggressively shearing them. This process is typically repeated about every three months, and the rabbits are often kept in cramped, filthy cages.
Foie gras is made from the enlarged livers of ducks and geese who have been cruelly force-fed. When the birds are between 8 and 10 weeks old, workers shove tubes down the birds’ throats every day to force-feed them grain and fat. The birds’ livers become diseased and can grow to be more than 10 times their normal size. After 12 to 21 days of this torture, the birds are killed. Ducks naturally like to forage, swim, and raise their young, none of which can be done on foie gras farms.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of pythons are stolen from their jungle homes and slaughtered—just so that their skin can be made into shoes and handbags! Snakes often have their heads nailed to a tree and their skin slowly peeled off. Other snakes are bludgeoned and beaten. Because of their slow metabolism, snakes can remain conscious and able to feel pain and fear even after they have their heads cut off.
About 340 million hens are raised for eggs in the U.S., and most spend their lives in cramped cages, stacked in huge warehouses. Male chicks are worthless to the egg industry, so workers kill millions of male chicks every year, usually by grinding them up alive in a high-speed grinder called a “macerator.”
The reality of the wool industry is that sheep are often kicked, punched, and cut during shearing. PETA’s video exposé of sheep-shearing crews in the leading wool-producing regions of Australia, Argentina, and the U.S. exposed abuse at dozens of shearing sheds and sheep farms. Footage shows workers violently punching terrified sheep in the face, stomping and standing on the animals’ heads and necks, throwing them, cutting them with sharp metal clippers, and even beating them on the head with electric clippers and a hammer. Some sheep died from the abuse, including one whose neck was twisted until the animal died. It’s also standard practice in the wool industry for workers to cut off lambs’ tails and punch holes in their ears, all without pain relief!
Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do—to feed their young—but calves on dairy farms are taken away from their mothers so the mother’s milk can be sold to humans. Workers dehorn cows—usually without any pain relief—so they don’t injure each other or humans as a result of the emotional distress and unnatural conditions they’re forced to endure on factory farms—which include being packed into living areas with thousands of other animals, often forced to live amid their own waste, forcibly impregnated, and hauled off to slaughter once their milk production slows.
In the meat industry, mother pigs spend most of their miserable lives in gestation crates that are too small for them to turn around or lie down comfortably in. This would be like having to spend your ENTIRE life stuck in an airline seat! Farmers often chop off piglets’ tails and use pliers to break off the ends of their teeth—without giving them any painkillers. For identification purposes, farmers also cut out chunks of the young animals’ ears. In the U.S., male piglets are also castrated without pain relief.
What You Can Do
All animals can experience joy, sadness, pain, love, and fear, just like humans do! Animals exist for their own reasons. They weren’t put on Earth for us to experiment on or use for food, clothing, entertainment, or anything else.
Helping animals is easy! Never support the industries listed above or ANY industry that uses animals for profit.