Going vegan for the animals

Going vegan is one of the best things you can do to help end animal cruelty. By refusing to pay for animal products, you reduce demand for them, ensuring fewer animals are bred to suffer and die on farms and in slaughterhouses.

We call ourselves a nation of animal lovers, yet every year in the UK alone, around 1,000 million animals are bred and killed for food. That’s around 2.7 million every single day. Most of them will have been reared in factory farms and slaughtered at just a few months or weeks old.

The conditions on factory farms are far removed from the happy farmyard scenes you see portrayed on egg boxes or in TV ads. Modern factory units exist to produce meat and dairy products as quickly and cheaply as possible, and the animals are given the bare minimum needed to survive. Crammed into stinking sheds, most will never roam freely, nor will they ever breathe fresh air or see natural daylight. Many will die before they even leave the farm, victims of the terrible conditions in which they live; and for the rest, a terrifying and bloody slaughterhouse death awaits.

But animal suffering is not limited to factory farming; animals in so-called ‘higher welfare’ farms suffer, too. The male chicks of egg-laying hens, for example, are killed at just a day old simply because they will never lay an egg and won’t gain weight fast enough for meat production. This happens regardless of whether a farm is intensive, free-range or organic. On dairy farms, calves are separated from their mothers shortly after birth so that milk meant for them can be bottled for human consumption. Again, this happens on all farms, regardless of the level of welfare.

Fish are dragged out of the water in huge nets the size of football pitches. Non-target animals including dolphins, whales and turtles are often caught up and die, too. Other fish, such as tuna, are speared on hooks on the end of long lines, and slowly dragged to their death. Some sea birds are in increasing danger of starvation as their food source – fish – dwindles. And the lives of farmed fish are just as dreadful; thousands of fish are forced to reside in factory-farm conditions, where disease and cruelty is rife.

Animals are treated by the farming and fishing industries as if they are unfeeling machines, alive only to generate maximum profit. But each fish, chicken, lamb, cow or pig is a sentient being capable of experiencing pain, fear, discomfort and distress.

Read more about the suffering of farmed animals