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What the mainstream media won’t tell you!

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By Mitisha Panchal, Blogger, Where to Vegan

I have returned with another blog post and it is quite a hot topic at the moment in the press. Most people seem to know lots about this issue, but I find that mostly it is ignored and shoved ‘under the carpet’…

The topic I will be covering within this blog post is…

What Vegans know about the meat industry – and what the mainstream media won’t tell us.

There are lots of reasons to why individuals decide to transition their current diet to a plant-based diet. Here are some of the reasons to why people consider a vegan diet:

• Health reasons
• To protect the environment
• TO SAVE THE ANIMALS

It has been found that one of the most important key factors of individuals going vegan is to protect the lives and exploitation of innocent animals. Animals are exploited in different ways: for food, for clothing, for entertainment and for experiments. But it is about time that something changed right?

What do Vegans know about the meat industry?

I think the question should be: ‘What do Vegans NOT know about the meat industry?!’ The fundamental reason to why I personally decided to go vegan was to protect the animals and I did an immense amount of research to find out how animals are exploited in the meat and dairy industry. It was awful and heart breaking for me; but I felt that I needed to know the whole truth to what was actually happening in the world to make the transition. Once I did my research, I made the transition into veganism overnight.

The best way to discuss this is to talk about the main animals which are killed and eaten for their meat…

1. Chickens

In the UK, 982 million chickens are born, raised and slaughtered each year. They are known as ‘broiler chickens’ which is are young chickens bred especially for the production of meat. Chicks, which have just been hatched, are confined into windowless sheds with more than 30,000 other birds. Throughout their short life span, they are fed to have a humungous upper body, in turn making them unable to carry their own weight. They end up suffering from awful health problems, such as: developing arthritis in their legs because they struggle to carry the weight that they have gained. They also suffer from heart failure and catch infectious diseases from the obscene conditions they are left to ‘grow’ in. As with any living being, chickens need to spend time with their parents and families but unfortunately, the chickens are sent to be slaughtered before they have had the chance to do so.

What the mainstream media won’t tell us…

Chickens do not see daylight or have the opportunity to breathe in fresh air. On their way to slaughter, they are shoved into crates, tied up and hung upside down and plunged into electric water baths. These electric water baths are apparently meant to ‘stun’ them before they are killed, but most of the time, it does not work. This means that most of the chickens are conscious when they are slaughtered.

2. Cows

Cows are slaughtered for different reasons but one of the main reasons – BEEF. Most cows are bred and kept on factory farms where they spend most of their lives indoors. Whilst they are indoors, they do not have the space to freely move around and if you think about it, cows are pretty big animals. Imagine being confined to such a small space to where you can hardly breathe or move? Like chickens, they are fed and fed and fed until they have digestion problems and other illnesses. Veal (baby cows) are confined to such horrid conditions, are snatched away from their mothers at just days old. They are also put into dark crates, with barely any room to move. The baby cows are fed a diet which is purposely low in iron which makes them develop anaemia.

What the mainstream media won’t tell us…

I’ve read on the media that some cows are grass fed so that makes it okay. No! Even grass fed cows spend a lot of the lives inside! They develop breathing problems because of the amounts of chemicals in the air. The grounds of these factories are filled with faeces as well which cause a further number of chemicals in the air. You may have heard of an abattoir? I actually did not know what it was until I turned vegan – that was how blind I was to the meat and dairy industry. An abattoir is a slaughterhouse where animals are killed ESPECIALLY for the consumption of humans.
On the way to the abattoir, cows end up becoming so exhausted, some of them even collapse from the journey. Then, an electric bolt gun is used to shoot the cows in the head to ‘stun’ them. However, some of the employees who are exhausted and overworked themselves do not always do this properly, so like the chickens, some of the cows are still conscious when they are killed.

3. Pigs

Pigs are so lovely and I do not understand why some people think that pigs are not as important as other animals. They are so intelligent – they actually perform better that dogs in intelligence tests! Did you know that they are naturally clean animals? Normally pigs live with the families, enjoy playing, exploring, looking for food and building homes for their babies. However, so many people do not actually know this about pigs because they have been exploited for SO long, we rarely get to see them in their natural state. Like cows and chickens, they are confined to small spaces where they never get the opportunity to breathe in the fresh air. As they are so stressed in this environment, the pigs end up behaving erratically and aggressively. Some farmers have resulted in cutting off their tails and grinding down their teeth (without painkillers) because of how violent they become due to the extreme conditions they live in.

What the mainstream media won’t tell us…

Female and male pigs are both subject to torture. Female pigs are made to endure pain through having rings forced through their noses and male piglets are castrated without anaesthetics – this has been illegal in the UK since 1999 (but that does not mean it isn’t still happening illegally). Once the female pigs have given birth, their piglets are snatched from them and they are left in their crates, alone. They are forced to become pregnant over and over again, until they are then unable to do so, and are sent to the abattoir.

4. Ducks and Geese

Just like all the animals I have told you about, ducks and geese are confined to horrible conditions where they are cramped and can barely move or breathe. Most ducks and geese are slaughtered even before they have had the chance to become an adult. Did you know more than 31 million ducks are killed each year? From the obscene conditions that they are kept in, they begin to behave aggressively to themselves and to the animals around them by pulling out their feathers and pecking at one another. The workers have noticed the ducks and geese doing this, and in turn, they cut of the bird’s upper beaks (without anaesthetic).

What the mainstream media won’t tell us…

Some birds are forcefully fed to produce something called ‘foie grass’ which is illegal to produce in the UK but can still be bought. It is made from the livers of duck and geese is known as a ‘fatty liver pate’ – massive amounts of grains are forcefully pumped into their stomachs many times a day. It causes the liver to swell so much that it pushes again the other organs in the bird, making them unable to breathe or walk or do anything properly. They are then slaughtered and left to bleed. It is barbaric.

5. Sheep

Baby sheep are the cutest little animals. However, most of the little lambs we see die under a year of being born. They die from not being fed properly and catching diseases from when they are born. Some lambs are slaughtered at only 10 weeks old – like pigs, they go through castrations and they also have their tails cut off too. Did you know that naturally, sheep are only meant to have 1 to 2 lambs per year? Most of the time, sheep are artificially inseminated to become pregnant to produce more lambs.

What the mainstream media won’t tell us…

When sent to slaughter, these animals are forced to endure a traumatising journey to the abattoir where they have no water, food or breathing space. Some of these journeys last for days or weeks because sometimes they are transported abroad on ships too.

The Eggs and Dairy Industry

Now let’s talk about eggs and dairy. I recently had a conversation with an Uber driver about this when I told him I was a vegan. He asked me, ‘But why do you not have milk products or eat eggs? The animals aren’t killed to produce those.’

• EGGS

Eggs are produced by the hen naturally, right? So is it really bad to eat them?
Well, it doesn’t really matter how the eggs are produced, is it morally correct to accept those eggs as our own food? Let us discuss what ‘caged’ means…

When you are shopping for eggs, you will come across two types – free range and caged.
Caged means the hens, who have produced the eggs, have been confined in massive, windowless sheds where hundreds and thousands of hens are squashed into cages in rows and on top of each other. Some hens do not even have the space to lift one of their wings. Eggs can be produced in this way.

Okay, what about ‘free-range’, that must mean they are free right?

NO! Do not be deceived by the name. Free-range eggs definitely do not mean that the hens have been leisurely roaming about out in their freedom. They are still actually kept in cages with thousands of other hens. Free range just basically means…. They weren’t in a cage to produce the eggs. Hens are still subject to an immense amount of torture – free range or not.

Male chicks are subject to such an amount of torture; it is difficult to even comprehend. Factory farmers basically see male chicks as ‘pointless’ as they cannot be used for breeding for egg or meat production. In turn, they are slaughtered as soon as they have hatched from the egg. They are thrown into a grinder or some as even gassed to death.

• DAIRY

‘Oh I’ve milked a cow myself! They were fine afterwards, nothing happened to them!’ – said Mr Uber Driver, whilst I rolled my eyes at the back of the taxi.

Some people do not understand why vegans do not consume any dairy products, because they believe that the animal does not have to die for us to get the dairy from them.
NO! The animal, in fact, does have to die!
If you think about this scientifically, the reason to why cows produce milk is the same reason why humans produce milk – to feed their young. Cows must be pregnant to produce milk but within the dairy industry, this is not done humanely. Cows are artificially inseminated, where they are restrained and a metal instrument is inserted inside her to impregnate her. That is how she falls pregnant and produces milk. This is eventually done so many times, the cow is unable to get pregnant ever again. She is then sent to the abattoir to be slaughtered. That why the animal HAS to die for us to get the dairy from them.

This blog post absolutely broke my heart to write. But it reminded me of all the reasons to why I am vegan and why I decided to make the transition into veganism.

Although it is heart wrenching and difficult to read, I hope you managed to get to the end of my blog post. It isn’t easy hearing about the meat and dairy industry and what is happening to these poor, innocent animals every single day. But, by hearing about this, I hope it has made you aware of what is happening in the world and confirms the decision that you have made to go plant-based.

These animals deserve a chance to live. We cannot bring the animals back but we help those who are here now.

Please feel free to follow and message me via my Instagram www.instagram.com/uk_vegans and I will definitely be happy to help with any advice and queries related to this blog post or veganism in general.

Thank you for reading,

Mitisha x

*A special thank you to The Vegan Society and PETA.