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Animals used for food


Huge numbers of bees suffer in a variety of ways from their exploitation by humans to make honey1 and other products. Many people may think that bees don’t suffer. However, all the evidence available indicates that they, as many other invertebrates who have a centralized nervous systems, do have the capacity to feel suffering and pleasure.2 Despite this, as happens with other... Read more


The type of animal exploitation that directly harms the most animals is their use for food. Many people have never stopped to think about this and just take it for granted that using animals for food is fine, and that animals aren’t harmed much by it. The reality, though, is that animals are harmed very much not only by being deprived of their lives, but also by other harms... Read more


Although the use of animals for food products affects many different species including birds and other animals, the largest number of victims are aquatic animals. The total number of fishes and other aquatic animals caught every year is very difficult to calculate. Measurements are usually made in tons, which makes it impossible to determine the exact number of individual animals... Read more

Dozens of fishes held in a small pool on a fish farm

Fish farming is the practice of raising and killing fishes and other animals (such as crustacea and amphibians), mainly for food. Fish farming has been growing significantly for many decades. Between 1970 and 2006 the industry grew at a rate of 6.9% per annum,1 and in recent years close to half of the marine animal products eaten by humans has been farmed fish.2 These fishes are... Read more


About 50 billion chickens and hens are killed each year across the world. Their massive exploitation has resulted in their becoming the most numerous bird species in the world. If we only counted the farm animals raised on land, and not fishes and other aquatic animals raised on farms, chickens and hens would constitute the greatest number of animals killed for consumption. The... Read more


Today most pigs are raised in factory farms, which are sometimes called “hog lots”. In the USA and Europe this method of rearing pigs has prevailed for decades. But recently pig farming has also grown significantly in China, where it is estimated that approximately half of the pigs that are killed in the world are slaughtered.1 To produce the quantities of pig meat needed to... Read more


Cows and their sons, calves and steers, are exploited for several purposes. Cows are kept to produce milk, for which they are kept in a continuous reproductive cycle: they give birth to calves from which they are separated shortly after, and are then milked until they are again made pregnant. Calves are often killed when they are just babies to be eaten as tender meat, or raised... Read more


Sheeps and goats and their children, lambs and kids, are exploited for several different purposes. They are killed so they can be eaten (particularly lambs), kept for their wool and milk, and their skin is also used to produce leather. Because a profit can be made from selling them, the consumption of these products results in more and more sheeps and goats being bred, made to... Read more

Man leans over the backside of a calf with a branding tool, making a T shaped brand on the calf's back.

Since their domestication millennia ago, nonhuman animals have been considered property. As such, they are often identified using various methods, including branding, that indicates their belonging to a certain ranch. Branding is used as a property stamp identifying the stockbreeder as the owner of the animal. By branding the animals, ranch owners are expressing the animals’... Read more

Close-up of pig looking through window like opening of truck with mud or fecal matter on her snout and face.

An animal’s journey to the slaughterhouse is a very stressful process and can lead to her death during transit. While one could argue that death is inevitable because animals will die in the slaughterhouse anyway, the fact that they are so vulnerable to perishing en route gives us an idea of how terrible the conditions of the trip are and what they go through on the trip. Some... Read more


Making animal products means killing nonhuman animals. This is pretty obvious in the case of meat, leather, fur, and other products that are made from the flesh of animals. But animals are also killed when they are exploited for other purposes such as the production of dairy products and eggs. Younger cows and chickens produce more milk and eggs, and dairy cows and egg-laying hens... Read more


The situation of nonhuman animals living on land farms makes them very susceptible to a number of diseases. In addition, the crowded conditions facilitate the spread of these diseases to the point they can become massive epidemics. Furthermore, animals commonly suffer from a wide range of debilitating conditions, as the section on diseases in the wild explains. In the wild, this... Read more

Closeup of a small fish's head held between human fingers, showing a diseased mouth.

Even among those concerned with the defense of animals, it is not uncommon to be unaware of the plight of animals in fish farms, despite the significant harms animals may suffer in these places. A significant cause of the harms that can occur are the many diseases they can suffer, some of which are agonizing and lethal. Moreover, these diseases are often passed on to other animals... Read more

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