These Five Instagram Videos Reveal the Cruelty Behind Food Pics
If meat-eaters knew about the cruelty behind their meals, would they still be so keen to show off #foodpics?
Paul McCartney famously said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian”. We used clips from PETA’s “Glass Walls” video, narrated by Paul, to open the eyes of Instagram users, as these five posts reveal the horrifying cruelty that lies behind each meaty dish.
Pigs are friendly, loyal and intelligent animals who often outperform dogs in learning tests. They are naturally very clean, live in small family groups and love playing, exploring their surroundings, foraging for food and building nests for their offspring. But pigs imprisoned on factory farms don’t have the chance to engage in these types of natural behaviour. Crammed into barren concrete pens, they may never see the sun or breathe fresh air. Boredom and the stress of extreme confinement can drive these animals to engage in aggressive behaviour such as tail-biting, so farmers routinely cut off their tails and grind down their sensitive teeth, usually without painkillers. Female pigs endure chronic pain after having rings forced through their noses, while male piglets may be castrated without anaesthetics – a barbaric procedure which is still legal in the EU.
Billions of fish and other sea life are killed every year for food. Despite the fact that these animals have nervous systems similar to our own and can feel pain, they are usually slaughtered without any regard for their welfare and denied even the basic rights of protection afforded to land animals who are raised for food. As a result, fish suffer horribly in nets, at the end of hooks and on the decks of fishing boats, suffocating slowly or being cut open while still conscious.
There are about 32 million hens in the UK producing 24 million eggs each day. More than half of them are kept in severely crowded battery-style cages and typically have little more usable space than the size of an A4 piece of paper. These birds’ existence is a living hell. The wire mesh of the cages rubs off their feathers, chafes their skin and cripples their feet. Farmers cut off part of their beaks with a burning-hot blade when they’re just a few days old to prevent them from pecking each other to death because of the stress of the severe crowding. The hens often suffer from broken bones and osteoporosis, and disease runs rampant in the filthy, cramped sheds. Many birds die, and the survivors are often forced to live with their dead cagemates as their bodies rot.
A video posted by PETA UK (@petauk) on
Cows used for beef can be kept on intensive factory farms and may spend their entire lives indoors, never grazing in the open air or having space to move around. They are “fattened up” on a highly unnatural cereal-based diet which causes them almost-constant digestive pain and can lead to metabolic diseases. Some hellish, artificially lit sheds have slatted floors, which are uncomfortable for cows to lie on. Even grass-fed cows usually spend some of their time inside, often in crowded, faeces-filled feedlots. And many animals develop respiratory problems because of the choking chemicals that fill the air caused by the piles of manure in the packed feedlots.
During the ride to the abattoir, cows frequently collapse from exhaustion. Once unloaded, the animals are shot in the head with an electric bolt gun in order to stun them. But inept, overworked employees often fail to do this properly, so many terrified cows go to their deaths kicking and screaming, still conscious as they’re skinned and dismembered.
Each year in the UK, 17.5 million turkeys are slaughtered. Turkeys raised on factory farms are hatched in large incubators and never see their mothers or feel the warmth of a nest. When they’re only a few weeks old, they are moved into filthy, windowless sheds with thousands of other turkeys, where they will spend the rest of their short lives.
Knowing all this, how could anyone sit down to a meal that causes such suffering?
The full “Glass Walls” video goes deeper into the meat and dairy industries than any other PETA video. It’s only a few minutes long, but most animals endure abuse like this for their entire lives.
“Glass Walls” is a must-see video for meat-eaters. Ask yourself, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, would I go vegan?” Watch the video and then order your free vegan starter kit.