Animals Drowned and Crushed to Death in Italy Floods and Landslides

Posted by on May 26, 2023 | Permalink

Northern Italy’s devastating floods and landslides have now seen the human death toll rise to 15, while the numbers of animals who died will likely be hard to fathom. A local agricultural organisation reports that 5,000 farms have been “submerged” by floods. Factory farms that keep thousands of animals have been cut off by road closures, abandoned by evacuated workers, and are without electricity or food.

Two pigs stand nose to nose in flood waters while awaiting rescue at an Italian factory pig farm.Selene Magnolia | Essere Animali | We Animals Media

We Animals Media contributing photojournalist Selene Magnolia joined Essere Animali in visiting a flooded pig farm and an egg-laying hen farm that was destroyed by a landslide. She witnessed dead piglets, who were too young to keep their heads above the flood waters, and visited the site where more than 60,000 hens either drowned or were crushed to death in a landslide.

While humans affected by the extreme rains had weather warnings and help evacuating, animals trapped on farms were offered no such chance. Italy’s Emilia Romagna region is a centre of food production, known for its Parmigiano cheese and Parma ham, but animal agriculture has played a role in its devastation. Italian climate researchers note that rising temperatures have intensified drought episodes and changed the soil’s permeability. Severe drought in recent years had compacted the soil, reducing its ability to absorb rainfall.

Raising animals for food is one of the greatest contributors to the greenhouse gases that cause climate change and the natural disasters that are becoming more common. A study by the United Nations concluded that a global shift towards vegan eating is vital if we are to combat the worst effects of climate change.

Anyone disturbed by the devastating deaths of these animals who died in the flooding or were crushed by landslides – or of those who survived and will soon be violently killed anyway at slaughterhouses – can do their part to prevent future suffering by choosing vegan. Order a free vegan starter kit full of tips and advice for every part of your journey.