One of the biggest debates in the food industry is around the cruelty to livestock. Vegans, vegetarians, and animal rights activists, often condemn the livestock industry as being cruel. Livestock keepers, and those involved with livestock, often deny any cruelty. In a case of one extreme to the other with neither one willing to bend it is hard to see sense of it all.
I feel it would be better if the livestock industry were honest that some cruelty does exist and that there may be room for improvement. It should also be noted that a lot of the cruelty is related to keeping costs low and this is in fact being pushed by the consumer.
It should also be noted that most of the incidences of cruelty are not simply the result of a farmer wanting to cause pain and suffering simply for the sake of causing pain and suffering to the animal. While this sort of thing does occur on occasion it is rarely by the farmer, or owner, of the livestock, and is more often done by employees.
Since I keep sheep I have taken a part of an article on cruelty to livestock and reposted it here with a link to the whole article below.
"Sheep are one of the few livestock animals not commonly kept in a factory type setting, they usually are kept on pasture had have a fairly ideal life, although often cut short for lambs headed to slaughter.
Their lives are not without some cruelty, the worst of which is mulesing. Mulesing is common in Australia and done to Merino sheep. The lambs are hung upside down by their feet and a dinner sized chunk of their rump is cut off without painkillers or antiseptics.
Docking of a lamb's tail is not particularly cruel, in fact because of the social uses of a dog's tail, docking a dog's tail can be considered more cruel than dockinga lamb's tail with the note that docking lamb's tails is done to keep flies away from the dirty tail. Flies can cause fly strike and can kill a lamb. Mulesing is done for the same reason but takes off the rump of the lamb.
Pregnant Karakul ewes are reported to be kicked to induce abortions or early labor. Others are slaughtered right before lambing so their fetal lamb can be harvested for its pelt."
For the record I am not a vegetarian and I am not against the meat industry as a whole, but I strongly dislike some of the “factory farm” methods of keeping other livestock, such as chickens, swine, and dairy cattle.
Cruelty can be reduced and one way of reducing it is to spread awareness to the consumer so they demand better treatment of farm animals and become more knowledgeable about where the meat they buy comes from.
Please use the comments area to share your opinions on cruelty in the livestock industry and how we can improve things.