2014 was a HUGE year for animals! Seven breaking investigations revealed the horrific suffering that animals used for food, fashion, and entertainment and as “pets” endure. A lot of people had NO idea that animals were being tortured for their meals, their coat, or their “fun” weekend—but after watching the shocking footage, many pledged NEVER to eat or wear animals or support industries that use animals again. Can YOU make it through all seven?
1. Investigation Reveals Drugged, Abused Horses in the Horse Racing Industry
In March, a PETA undercover investigation of a leading Thoroughbred trainer revealed that horses are DRUGGED in order to make them run faster and to hide their injuries. Many, if not all, of the horses in trainer Steve Asmussen’s New York stable were given thyroxine, a powerful drug that treats hypothyroidism. Even if horses didn’t need the drug, it may have been given to them solely to “juice them up,” which would allow the animals to push themselves beyond their natural capabilities. One Asmussen-trained horse, named Nehro, who came in second in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, was forced to run with chronically painful hooves that actually had holes in them, one of which was held together with superglue. Nehro was eventually killed after he became violently ill.
2. Investigation Shows That Pigs Suffer and Die at Breeder
On June 25, we went live with PETA’s breaking investigation of a worldwide leader in pig breeding. Many of the pigs at the company’s disgusting facility had huge bulges from their abdomens, which were caused by protruding intestines. These pigs were relegated to the “junk pen.” Later, they were loaded onto trucks and taken to slaughter. As is typical of most pig-breeding facilities, mother pigs at this farm were confined to crates so small that they couldn’t walk or even turn around. And constant pressure from the hard, slatted floor and the metal bars that rubbed against their bodies caused them to have gaping ulcers.
3. Investigations of the Wool Industry Reveals Cruelty to Sheep
In July, PETA released shocking eyewitness footage of sheep-shearing crews in both Australia and the U.S. Footage reveals that workers violently punched and stomped on these gentle animals and beat and jabbed them in the head with sharp metal clippers and a hammer. One shearer stuck his fingers into sheep’s eyes and even killed a sheep by twisting and breaking her neck. Injured and unprofitable sheep were shot in front of other sheep and then butchered. Every year, millions of sheep are sent to the slaughterhouse after the wool industry is done with them.
4. Investigation Reveals Cows Forced to Live and Eat Amid Their Own Feces
On August 14, PETA released its investigation of a North Carolina dairy farm. After receiving a disturbing tip, PETA visited the farm and found emaciated cows—who were also in pain and suffering from a myriad of ailments—trudging through deep manure. They were forced to eat and walk to and from the milking parlor in it, and it’s where they spent the night—with no grass or straw to lie down on to rest. They could never escape from the stench.
This investigation resulted in a HUGE victory: Just one day after PETA released the eyewitness video footage, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced that it had cited the farm for six violations of state law. The agency corroborated PETA’s findings, reporting that “animal waste was observed [up] to 3 feet deep” in areas where cows were made to stand, eat, and walk,. Thanks to our investigation, this North Carolina dairy farm was dropped by a grocery store chain’s subsidiary and eventually closed its doors!
5. Investigation Shows Heartbreaking Experiments on Baby Monkeys
This investigation revealed that 40 to 60 monkeys are born at a National Institutes of Health (NIH) laboratory each year—and many of them are intentionally bred to be genetically predisposed to mental illness for extremely cruel experiments. Half of these babies are stolen from their mothers just hours after being born—and they’ll never see them again. The point of these experiments is to inflict mental trauma on the motherless babies and cause them to experience intense fear, aggression, depression, and anxiety. Many of the tormented baby monkeys are so traumatized that they experience hair loss and diarrhea, and some even engage in self-mutilation.
6. Investigation Reveals Animals Bashed, Drowned, and Frozen ALIVE
On December 11, PETA released eyewitness footage and photos that exposed the extreme suffering of rats, mice, reptiles, hedgehogs, and other animals at a Colorado animal dealers’ warehouse and pet store. An estimated 10,000 rodents—crowded shoulder to shoulder in filthy tubs on “bedding” that was saturated with weeks’ worth of waste—were kept in bins and metal troughs inside the warehouse. The dealers didn’t employ a single full-time worker to care for those animals. Hundreds of rats were found dying or dead and decomposing. An owner and manager also admittedly killed reptiles and rodents by putting them in freezers.
7. Investigation Into the Dog-Leather Trade
In China, which produces most of the world’s leather, a PETA Asia undercover investigation revealed that dogs are bludgeoned and killed so that their skin can be turned into leather gloves, belts, jacket collar trim, cat toys, and other items. At the slaughterhouse, the investigator filmed workers as they grabbed one dog after another around the neck with metal pincers, bashed them over the head with a wooden pole, and then cut their throats. Some dogs fell unconscious, while others cried out and thrashed around in agony. Some still struggled to breathe after their throats were slit. Finally, their skin was ripped off their bodies.