Did you know the majority of farmed animals slaughtered are only babies?
Chickens raised for their flesh are only 6-weeks-old when killed. They are not old enough to lay eggs or mate. If they had mothers, they would still be following her around learning what to eat, who to avoid, and how to perch and fly. Although they look large at 6-weeks, these 9,000,000,000 (billion) baby birds peep and scream like chicks when they are shackled and killed.
Male dairy calves raised for veal are only 4-6 months old, 1-3 WEEKS old if raised for “bob” veal. Under natural conditions, they would still be nursing from their mothers (no dairy calf nurses from his or her mom, they are removed within 48-hours of birth). He cannot thrive on his own and would have a difficult time surviving without the nourishment and protection his mother provides. When he calls, he sounds like a calf.
The nearly 110 million piglets raised for slaughter are only 6-mos-old. They may weigh 200-250 pounds, but they will need another 3-5 years to reach their full size. They squeak like piglets, react to adult pigs like piglets, engage in playful piglet behavior, and have yet to develop physically and emotionally.
The 270 million turkeys killed for their flesh are only 4-mos-old. The males are only starting to learn how to display and show off their tail feathers to the females. They chirrup like young and sometimes can be heard calling for their moms (whom they’ve never known). They are not physically mature and have not reached their full size yet.
Lambs are only 6-mos-old when slaughtered and bovines are 2-yrs-old. Cows take five years to reach full size. A 2-yr-old cow is still physically immature (although on dairy farms, these young, immature animals are artificially inseminated as young as 15-mos-old). She is still learning the ins and outs of the herd and her emotional and physical needs are growing with her.
Humans have shaped and molded animals to grow and look like adults but still have the brain and behavior of babies.
And do not think that so-called “humane” (mainly less cruel, sometimes) farms aren’t killing babies. So-called “heritage” breeds of animals, especially birds, are still incredibly young when slaughtered - chickens at 8-weeks-old, turkeys are 6-8 months-old, and pigs at 8-mos-old.
All for body parts we do not need to consume (certainly not at the rate we do) in order to survive.
You have the power to change this. Reduce your reliance on animal products. Eliminate them entirely from your diet, when ready. Think of these beautiful, baby animals who want to live as much as you do - do it for them, do it for yourself. Being kind is so easy.
-Marji Beach, Animal Place Education Manager