By LUCY ORMONDE
Under Australian law, if a person was to cut the tail off a puppy and ground down its teeth, they’d be charged with aggravated animal cruelty. If a person was to castrate a puppy without pain relief and appropriate veterinary care, they’d also be charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
But if someone did that same thing to a pig in a production farm, they’d be well within the rights of the law.
If a regular Australian held a pregnant cat in a cage so small the cat couldn’t turn around for its entire gestation, they’d also be charged with breaking laws too.
But if that same person placed a pregnant pig in a similar confine – one so small that she couldn’t even turn around and was constantly standing or laying in her own waste – for the purposes of ‘food production’ that would be OK by the law.
Welcome to the world of factory farming, where the life of an animal raised for food is not as valuable as the life of a family pet. Where production animals are afforded no quality of life. Where they’re given no room to move or exercise their natural behaviours. No time to bond with their young. Just whatever is necessary to keep them alive from the time they are born to the time they are sent to slaughter.
Factory farming is one of the biggest contributors to pollution and climate change. It also causes the most suffering to the largest number of Australia. Nine out of 10 pigs in this country, as well as 450 million chickens and 13 million layer hens are kept in factory farms.
The female pigs in those farms spend years being impregnated and separated from their babies until their bodies can no longer cope. They’re forced to live in their own waste and can often suffer from depression and psychological disorders.