Cheaper means crueler.
Think about that the next time you’re browsing the meat aisles at your local supermarket.
Animals Australia are running a new campaign that aims to educate Australians on the realities of animal cruelty in this country. They say most Australians don’t know that the majority of pork, chicken and egg products they eat are actually produced in factory farms – where animals are bred in small dark cages and are almost immobilized.
They want people to know that cheap meat comes at a cost to animal welfare. And it’s consumer choice that will drive change.
Vote with your wallets, people. And take a look at this video:
Mamamia’s former news editor Rick Morton put together this cheat sheet all about factory farming in Australia. If you want the details on where your produce is coming from and how it got there, this is your place. (More information on this issue, including responses from the Farmer’s Federation to each of these claims is available here.)
There’s a darker side to milk. Dairy cows are kept in a state of near-constant pregnancy, that they might produce the milk we’re used to having with our cereal. But the ‘poddy calves’ or ‘bobby calves’ are surplus to requirements and some 700,000 are destroyed each year and sold for meat. That would be the veal some of us love to order at restaurants.
The calves are taken from their mothers after a day and trucked away, sometimes going without food for a day at a time. Then they are slaughtered.
Cattle are generally raised free-to-roam on large slabs of land in Australia, but associated animal husbandry practices are not always humane. The RSPCA says fire branding (hot pokers that are pushed into the rump of the beast) is an ‘unacceptable’ form of branding but this does not mean it doesn’t happen.
Australia’s huge geography means that most welfare problems for beef cattle arise in their transport to abattoirs and conditions before and during slaughter. The animals are held in feedlots before slaughter which are far more confined and can stress cattle out if they are handled incorrectly, not fed properly or exposed to extreme heat and weather. Feedlots make up between 30 and 40% of the beef market.