Animal exploitation: Introduction

Animal exploitation: Introduction

Billions of animals are killed every year by humans for the sake of our own benefit. In addition, they are also made to suffer in terrible ways. They are captured, or they are farmed in uncomfortable and stressful conditions, being forced to live lives of full of fear, pain, and boredom. They sometimes suffer from chronic diseases or injuries as well. The purposes for which this is done are varied. The raising and killing of animals for the production of certain types of foods is the most common one, though animals are also killed to produce clothing, for entertainment, or to be used as labor or tools, including their use as laboratory tools.

In the links below you can find more information about the different ways nonhuman animals are used in each different field, as well as about how these uses have been questioned.

Animals used for food

By far, the purpose for which the most animals are bred to be killed is the production of the animal products we eat. In most cases on farms, these animals suffer terribly and are eventually deprived of their lives, both land animals and aquatic animals.

Animals used for clothing

Millions of animals are killed for their leather, feathers, fur, wool, and other products. There are plenty of clothing options that don’t require using animals.

Animals used for entertainment

Another reason animals are harmed is entertainment. Many animals are hunted or fished for this reason. Also, animals are confined for entertainment in places such as circuses, or killed in shows such as bullfights. There are many other ways to have fun without harming other animals.

Animals kept as companions or for leisure

Many animals are bred and bought because people like to spend part of their free time with them. These are sold as “companion animals.” This is very different from adopting abandoned animals where the reason for the rescue is the well-being of the animals themselves.

Animals as workers or tools

Many nonhuman animals are used as workers all around the world. Their roles are like those of human slaves. In addition, they are often used as mere tools, as when they are used as weapons or for other military purposes.

Animal experimentation

Because nonhuman animals are not given the same kind of moral consideration as humans even when their interests are vital ones, they are used as laboratory tools for many purposes in ways in which most people would never think of using humans.


Millions of people all around the world have decided to live without exploiting animals. This position is called veganism, and it entails not using products coming from animal exploitation and not harming animals directly.