Many people picture cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens as friendly creatures who live happily within the confines of a peaceful family farm, arriving as food for humans only at the end of their sun-drenched lives. That’s what Gene Baur had been told — but when he first visited a stockyard he realized that this rosy depiction couldn’t be more inaccurate.

Amid the stench, noise, and filth, his attention was drawn in particular to one sheep who had been cast aside for dead. But as Baur walked by, the sheep raised her head and looked right at him. She was still alive, and the one thing Baur knew for sure that day was that he had to get her to safety. Hilda, as she was later named, was nursed back to health and soon became the first resident of Farm Sanctuary — an organization dedicated to the rescue, care, and protection of farm animals. Read the rest of this entry »

According to a US judge, chickens are not “livestock” and are therefore not subject to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

A lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) against the Agriculture Department has argued that the USDA had misinterpreted the 50-year-old Act, reports Cattle Network.

“The court finds the legislative history strongly demonstrates unambiguous congressional intent that livestock, as used in the HMSA, does not include poultry,” US District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel reportedly wrote in her opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

With a growing number of consumers switching from red meat to poultry, the chicken and turkey industries are booming. In addition to the expanding U.S market, poultry companies are also benefiting from expanding markets around the world.

Record numbers of chickens and turkeys are being raised and killed for meat in the U.S. every year. Nearly ten billion chickens and half a billion turkeys are hatched in the U.S. annually.

These birds are typically crowded by the thousands into huge, factory-like warehouses where they can barely move. Each chicken is given less than half a square foot of space, while turkeys are each given less than three square feet. Shortly after hatching, both chickens and turkeys have the ends of their beaks cut off, and turkeys also have the ends of their toes clipped off. These mutilations are performed without anesthesia, ostensibly to reduce injuries that result when stressed birds are driven to fighting. Read the rest of this entry »

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated… I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.” –Mahatma Gandhi

An investigation by the Humane Society at a cattle slaughterhouse has documented (watch video “No Mercy” here) that animals too sick or injured to stand or walk—called “downers” by industry—have been kicked, beaten, dragged with chains, shocked with electric prods, sprayed in the face with hoses and pushed by forklifts in efforts to get them to their feet to pass USDA inspection. Read the rest of this entry »