Most people only associate with pigs as farm animals that are dirty and messy undomesticated creatures but this could not be further from the truth. They are highly loving, gentle and intelligent souls that are equally as sociable as dogs. They develop strong bonds when raised by people and those who keep them as pets have noted them as being naturally very clean, smart, loyal, loving and social beings. Many may be surprised to know that pigs, just like dogs, recognise their names, and respond to humans much in the same way that domesticated animals do. Many animal sanctuaries that have taken pigs and piglets under their wing to rescue them from the fait of being slaughtered for meat, observe that pigs have many of the same playful characteristics to the pets we often keep, yet they are never given the chance to demonstrate their natural instincts as the adorable and heartwarming beings that they are as they are forced to live a life in a confined, cramped, dirty and terrifying environment on factory farms while being raised for meat. A specialist in animal health, behaviour and welfare epidemiology Dr Collins noted that the domestic pig is a highly sociable being that enjoys maintaing contact with other group members. They express themselves through grunts and squeals however squeals are produced when pigs feel fear hence why many of the heartbreaking undercover videos of what happens to them in factory farms shows many of these innocent beings feel despair and dread of what is to come. Grunts are expressed however when they are foraging to let other members of their group know where they are. Newborn piglets learn to run to their mother’s voices while mother pigs sing to their young during nursing. Pigs have been known to also save their human companions when in dire situations. Many of the pigs that are given homes in sanctuaries managed to escape by jumping off of slaughterhouse-bound trucks. We can help put an end to the cruelty pigs and their piglets endure by no longer consuming bacon and therefore refusing to help fund the continuation of pigs being raised for meat.
Little do we know, but Cows harbour complex thoughts and display a multitude of emotions. Just like domesticated animals, they share similar traits such as being curious, mischievous, loving, friendly and adventurous. We rarely consider that the animals we steal milk from and consume the meat of could be made up of an array of complex emotions and be deep, incredibly feeling beings. As with pigs, sanctuaries and humans that have worked with cows experience how truly loving and peaceful they are, capable of bonding deeply with humans just like dogs. Cows interact in socially complex ways and develop friendships with both humans and other cows over time. We often underestimate cows intelligence because those of us who have come up close to them often associate with their calm and peaceful character as a being that lacks awareness or the ability to think or feel, but the reality is quite the opposite. Cows use their body posture and communicate with their voices to express an array of emotions such as curiosity, happiness, anger and distress. Cows are highly misunderstood and underestimated for the gentle, strong and beautiful beings that they are. It is my hope that more of us recognise that raising cows in unnatural conditions and separating them from their babies or parents for slaughter or milk production is unacceptable, for they, just like us, deserve to live a peaceful and wonderful life surrounded by their loved ones. They can not only figure out problems but also enjoy intellectual challenge. Unfortunately, as with pigs and other farm animals, due to the environment they are reared in, most people never have the opportunity to witness their deeply loving and intelligent capabilities. Just like humans and all animals, they do not want to be separated from their families and they certainly don’t want to die. Many cows have been known to leap over fences to escape from slaughterhouses or walk miles on end in order to be reunited with their calfs who are swiftly taken away from them as soon as they are born. Incredible stories that were reported include a pregnant cow called Susie who after being loaded onto a freighter, ran back down from the gangplank, leapt into the river and swam away to escape. And another cow called Molly tried to escape by crossing the Missouri River before being caught but thankfully they were all sent to sanctuaries. If only more of these cow’s stories would have such a happy ending oppose to the reality of millions being killed each year by the meat industry. We as consumers however can help change that by choosing vegetarian or vegan meat alternatives instead.
Sheep, just like cows, are gentle, sensitive and highly misunderstood animals with an array of emotions. Sheep become easily anxious when they experience isolation and show signs of depression similarly to humans. When separated from their social groups or approached by strangers they can become fearful and very disturbed just like people. Sheep have been depicted often as not having individual personalities and the term ‘don’t be a sheep’ has certainly reinforced that belief. However, sheep do indeed have individual personalities and are highly affectionate beings that love company.Female sheep are very caring mothers and have deep bonds with their lambs just as humans do with their children. Each mother can recognise her baby by the sound of their bleat. In spite of being intelligent, social and emotional beings, the wool and meat industry continues to subject them to appalling abuse. Often their wool is taken in a cruel fashion, by having their skin and flesh carved from their backsides without being given painkillers before hand. The fleece of a sheep provide them with effective insulation against both cold and hot weather. But in the wool industry, there is no regard for these sensitive animals and they are subjected to the utmost cruelty by having their wool sheared off which more often than no leads to frequent injuries such as their skin getting cut, and their tails and ears often cut during the shearing process. Peta investigations have uncovered appalling cruelty which shearers subject sheep to such as kicking them, stomping on them, hitting them with electric clippers and other horrific acts. Sheep are constantly sent on cramped ships in appalling conditions to countries where animal welfare is non existent, such as the Middle East. When they arrived in these countries often practically starving, exhausted and terrified, they are dragged by their ears and legs to slaughterhouses where their throats are slit while they are still conscious. Consumers can do their part by refusing to buy any clothing that consists of wool and refusing to consume the flesh of these loving and intelligent beings.
Chickens & Chicks
Chickens are highly intelligent beings with superb cognitive abilities that research has shown can be more advanced than that of cats , dogs and even other primates. Chickens love their families just like humans and they are always at their happiest when in a safe, quiet and spacious environment where they are free to roam with their family members at their side. Some chickens are naturally more sociable than others but you may be surprised to know that they all have their own individual endearing personality traits. Mother hens communicate with their baby chicks before they are born by clucking to them and often those chicks chirp back from within their shell. Chickens have been known to form strong bonds with human companions as they do with their young. Sadly, the majority of chickens do not get to have peaceful, fulfilling lives with their families. If they produce male chicks then those chicks are whisked away to be immediately ground up in a high-speed grinder since they are of no use to the egg industry. Overall more than 8 billion chickens are raised and killed for meat each year and around 340 million hens are raised for eggs, spending their lives in battery cages where there is no space to move, and the wire mesh that they stand on cuts their skin causing their feet to become crippled. Hens have an appalling life of cruelty that is spent suffering, traumatised and exhausted due to being used as an egg breading machine. And when they are too withered to produce anymore, they are slaughtered instead. Up to 100 million chickens that are no longer able to produce eggs and killed every year in slaughterhouses. We can help change this by no longer consuming chickens or their eggs and searching for vegan egg alternatives and meat replacements instead.
Ducks are sociable animals who are most at ease when in large groups with other ducks. They spend their days often looking for food or paddling in shallow water. They sleep together while paddling at night. They are clean animals that always keep their nests free from debris or dirt and they enjoy preening their feathers and flaunting their beauty for potential mates. Just as with Cows, Pigs, Chickens and Sheep, millions of Ducks and Geese are raised and killed in farms for “delicate-cants” for particular restaurants. According to Peta around 31 million ducks are killed each year for their flesh. These animals are crammed int dark sheds in appalling conditions and often diseases develop due to the filthy conditions they are kept in. Birds who are subjected to stressful conditions tend to pull out their feathers.Factory farm workers also cut off the birds sensitive upper beaks without numbing them before hand. Many of these geese and ducks die from malnourishment or infection due to the awful conditions they are kept in. Similarly to chickens, ducks and geese are bred to be so heavy that their legs become deformed and crippled. They are unable to live a life in which they can play, swim, mate naturally, build their nests and raise their children. Like all other farm animals, they are only raised for food and never seen the light of day or breathe fresh air and feel water on their wings. They are cramped into these horrific conditions and then sent to slaughterhouses. As with all other farm animals, ducks geese are packed into crates and transported via trucks on a long journey in extreme weather and hardly any space to breathe. Those that survive the journey are killed in the end anyway, often in horrific conditions in which their throats are slit while they’re still conscious. Avoid purchasing products made out of duck meat or eating it in restaurants. You can make a difference by refusing to partake in supporting this industry and going Vegan.
About the author
Jwaydan Moyine is a classically trained Film Composer, Pianist, Cellist, Singer/Songwriter, and a Writer and Entrepreneur. She founded Earth Children to bring awareness to matters regarding the Environment, Animal welfare, Sustainable & Conscious living, Wellness & Humanitarian issues. She is heavily involved with activism for animal welfare in the UK and Egypt and child welfare in Syria, Thailand and Romania. She resides in Berkshire Running an organic food farm, an organic skincare company, and an online platform called Vegans & Elephants, bringing awareness to matters regarding the Planet, Plant based nutrition, Cruelty free living & the necessity of adapting to Veganism for the sake of Sustainability, Animal welfare and our Health. She has several qualifications in nutritional therapy, culinary medicine & holistic healing. You can find out more on what she is doing over at the Earth Children Facebook Page!
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