Humane Treatment of Animals

Most of the 10 billion animals that are raised for food annually experience appallingly inhumane conditions. CAFOs – Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations ­– mercilessly treat living beings as if they were lifeless machines. Confined to spaces that cruelly restrict natural movements, these animals live in their own waste. Broiler chickens, for example are bred to grow fast, eat till they are morbidly obese and die young. John Webster, Professor Emeritus, University of Bristol, UK, says that commercially raised juvenile chickens are so overweight that their bones, joints and organs can’t support them. And that they, “are in chronic pain for the last 20 percent of their lives. They don’t move around much… because it hurts their joints so much.”

Innovative farmer Joel Salatin says that chickens have a right to express their “true chickeness.” As sentient beings, animals have rights. The right, for example, to live their lives in a healthy natural environment, even if they do ultimately end up at the abattoir. Regenerative Agriculture animal husbandry practices based on John Webster’s Five Freedoms require that livestock are well fed with their natural diet; do not live in stressful conditions; do not experience pain, hunger, injury or disease due to the system they are raised in; have the opportunity to express their normal species behavior, and are properly sheltered from environmental extremes.     

Explore more of the Regenerative Agriculture media series >>

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