World Farm Animals Day: Horrors of Meat, Egg, Dairy, and Fishing Industries

Posted by on October 2, 2020 | Permalink

Chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, fish, and other animals on farms have feelings, thoughts, and personalities. Yet the meat, egg, dairy, and fishing industries subject them to miserable conditions, immense suffering, and violent slaughter.

These animals never get to raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that is natural and important to them. Most won’t even breathe fresh air until the day they’re loaded onto lorries headed to the abattoir. Here’s what they go through before ending up on the dinner table:



Chickens in a factory farm © Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality

Chickens raised for their flesh are farmed more intensively than any other animal. Workers send each newly hatched chick into a huge, dusty, windowless shed with 30,000 or more other birds, and many chickens are slaughtered at just 41 days old.

© Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality

In the egg industry, millions of hens spend their entire lives inside cramped cages, never able to stretch out a single wing or breathe fresh air. They’re bred to lay an egg every day until, exhausted, they’re sent to their death.


Cows bred for their flesh are often kept on intensive factory farms and may spend their entire lives in hellish sheds. Abattoir workers often fail to stun them properly, so many terrified animals are killed while kicking and screaming and able to experience every agonising second of it.

calf removed from mother© Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality

Cows raised to produce milk may spend their entire lives standing on concrete floors, which can make them lame, and they commonly suffer from painful udder inflammation and other health conditions. Workers take their calves away within a couple of days of birth, causing grief and anguish to both mother and baby.


The stress of imprisonment on factory farms often drives pigs to engage in aggressive behaviour such as tail-biting, so farmers routinely cut their tails off and grind down their teeth, usually without painkillers. Mother pigs are forced to become pregnant over and over again, and their babies are torn away from them after just a few weeks, condemned to fattening pens before being sent to the abattoir.


© Patty Mark /

Each year, millions of lambs bred for meat die from exposure, malnutrition, or disease within days of birth, and survivors are typically slaughtered when they’re only 10 weeks old. During their short lives, they undergo painful mutilations, such as tail-docking and castration, without painkillers.


Farmed fish endure intense confinement, filthy conditions, neglect, and high levels of disease and parasites such as sea lice. Kept in underwater cages, they never have the chance to swim free or exercise their natural instincts. Workers often violently bludgeon them to death or leave them to suffocate.

What You Can Do

The industries are a nightmare for animals, who are treated like a collection of body parts rather than sentient individuals. Their misery will continue – unless we take action.

If you want to follow a more compassionate lifestyle, why not go vegan for Lent? With tons of vegan options out there, it’s easy-peasy:

If you’d like more information about making the switch to vegan eating, order our free vegan starter kit: