International Center, New York
The information in this article will
help you minimize the daily suffering and exploitation of living
creatures. Most people increase their intake of eggs and milk when they
start a vegetarian diet. Many vegetarians do not realize the gross
exploitation involved in supporting the dairy industry, as well as the
wool, leather goods and fur industries. Here are some of the facts and
alternatives for you to consider. This information is compiled by Jain
Meditation Center, New York.
Ethics of Ahimsa (Non-Violence):
Factory Farming is the method of
intensive breeding used today which employs assembly line technology and
reduces mammals and birds to production units confined under the most
inhumane conditions. Stress, disease, pain and suffering for the animals
are the inevitable results.
The cow, a naturally docile animal,
has been turned into a flesh and milk machine, drugged and injected with
hormones and antibiotics. She ultimately suffers the horrors of the
slaughterhouse when she is no longer profitable as a producer of milk and
Cows are artificially forced into a
continuous state of pregnancy and made to produce 400 times their normal
amount of milk. This results in widespread infectious diseases unknown to
them under natural conditions and necessitates the use of various
Newborn calves are taken from their
mothers so that we can drink the milk intended for them. They are placed
in dark wooden crates, fed an anemia inducing liquid diet, all to produce
Rennet, used to curdle most cheeses,
is obtained from the stomach of a freshly killed very young calf.
Factory farm bred layer hens are
confined 4 to 5 per 1 to 2 square feet wire mesh cages arranged in tiers.
Over 90% of all eggs produced come from factory farms.
A broiler chicken's life is around 8
to10 weeks. The average space allotted them is about 1/2 square foot per
This overcrowding produces such
stress and neurotic behavior in the birds that they resort to feather
-pecking, scratching and cannibalism. The solution to this is to clip half
of the upper and lower beaks of all the birds by putting them through a
hot knife machine, to clip their toes, to keep them in constant dim
lighting and feeding them anti-stress chemicals added to their water and
"Free-range" hens are ultimately
slaughtered when their productivity drops off.
Sheep by nature, do not have "too
much" wool. Scientific breeding, under factory farm conditions, creates an
excessive amount of wool.
Sheep are shorn continuously in all
seasons. Every year, hundreds of thousands of sheep die from exposure to
cold. A closely shorn sheep is more sensitive to cold than a naked human.
Sheep are not shorn by "experts" as
we see in educational films. The truth is that sheep are pinned down
violently and shorn quickly while blood-stauncher stand by to cover the
cuts with tar.
Old sheep are ultimately shipped to
the slaughterhouse in abominable conditions and without food or water.
If people were to stop eating lamb
and mutton, sheep would still be raised for their wool alone. Buying
woolen products supports this cruelty.
Bees are bred commercially. Their
honey and combs are taken from them, and given a cheap sugar substitute on
which they cannot survive. Thousands upon thousands bees die. Honey also
contains toxins, which the bees produce as a preservative that are harmful
Most often, the trapping of
fur-bearing animals does not result in a quick death. The most commonly
used traps are of steel leghold. The trapped animals often are caught for
days until the traps are checked. Many chew their limbs-off to escape.
Trapping results not only in painful
anguish for the trapped animal, but also starvation for its young.
Commercially bred fur-bearing animals
(such as mink) are raised in cramped anxiety provoking pens and do not
live to reach one year. The methods of killing them are painful, in order
to avoid scarring the valuable coats.