Today’s news brought another sad investigation into the plight of beagles raised in dog factory farms.
Factory farms, otherwise known as Centralized Feeding Operations (CAFOs), are no place for animals.
Their operators pack dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, chickens, or ducks into windowless sheds to eke out a tortured existence to satisfy every human whim.
However, I didn’t always think that way. Until I began writing my plantbased.com blog, I avoided watching videos or reading any news related to factory farms.
I knew the images and scenes of animal abuse would repel me and had no desire to confront the horrific reality.
Unfortunately, one consequence of avoiding such footage was my continued ignorance of the cruelty inherent in the modern agricultural and pharmaceutical industries.
Simply put, they victimize animals to provide food and clothing or to test medication for human use.
Why do I no longer avoid the issue?
Dog Factory Farms: Just One Madness among Many
In January 2019, I committed to understanding everything about the plant-based/vegan lifestyle and philosophy.
Since then, I’ve diligently consumed hundreds of plant-based videos and books and shared what they’ve taught me in this blog.
Jonathan Foer’s book Eating Animals introduced me to the world of factory farming. I filled in the details with more books and documentaries.
Vegans aren’t alone in their concern about animal welfare in factory farms. Earlier this year, judges on the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard an appeal requiring that they sit through explicit accounts of pig farms.
Conservative, Reagan-appointed Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson didn’t mince words concerning the “outrageous conditions” in which the animals lived. In his final comments on the case, he said:
“What was missing from… Murphy-Brown [the factory-farm owners] – was the recognition that treating animals better will benefit humans… animal welfare and human welfare… are actually integrally connected. The… concentrated animal feeding operations… lay bare this connection, and the consequences of its breach, with startling clarity.”
He described the “suffocating closeness” the pigs’ experience in their tiny, prisonlike enclosures and reiterated how inhumane conditions have a ripple effect on society.
“The dangers endemic to such appalling conditions always manifested first in animal suffering – however, the ripples… would reach farmworkers and, at last, … the surrounding community.”
Dog Factory Farms: Man’s Best Friends’ Worst Enemies
The madness of dog factory farms is no better. Today’s news out of the UK claims they’re needed to provide animals for government-required medical testing.
According to today’s Daily Mirror article, UK laws demand that drug companies first test every medication intended for human use on at least one rodent and one non-rodent animal.
Because of their gentle dispositions and eagerness to please, being the non-rodent test animals falls on beagles 96 percent of the time.
Unfortunately, the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions in which they exist frequently rival those of CAFO-raised pigs. And many of the treatments they undergo, such as toxicity experiments force-feeding them potentially toxic chemicals for up to 90 days, are abusive.
The idea of supporting dog factory farms (or any other CAFO) in any way, shape, or form disgusts me. That’s why I choose to avoid all animal-based products, including those which require animal-based research.
Every week, I read dozens of articles while researching the health benefits of plant-based ingredients. However, I refuse to report on research directly involving animal trials.
If a literature review or meta-analysis included animal research, I skip over the sections discussing it. Perhaps any knowledge that we might gain by abusing animals is not worth knowing!
In our technologically advanced age, it’s time we updated our drug-testing methods and did away with barbaric dog factory farms.
No animal should ever come from a factory, let alone suffer from scientific experimentation!