To commemorate World Farm Animal Day, Oct. 3, I brought a couple of my chickens to town to meet and greet and discuss factory farming in Canada.
Our sentimental image of pigs, chickens, and cows being raised on an idyllic family farm is seriously outdated. Over 95 per cent of the staggering 650 million animals raised and slaughtered for food in Canada today are mass-produced on factory farms.
Here they live their short lives indoors in intensive confinement systems, deprived of everything that is natural to them including sunlight, family, and even the ability to turn around. The horrific conditions that exist on Canadian modern farms are shameful and includes animals being crammed by the thousands into filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, and other cruel confinement systems.
These animals suffer staggering neglect, mutilation, genetic manipulation and drug regimens that cause acute and chronic pain and debilitation. During transport thousands die from overcrowding and extreme temperatures. Their tortured lives end in terror with violent and gruesome deaths in slaughterhouses across the country. Factory farming is built on an attitude that regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit. In animal agriculture, this attitude has led to institutionalized animal cruelty, massive environmental destruction and resource depletion, and animal and human health risks.
Don’t be sorry. Do something. Vote with your dollar. Vote with your fork.
Dr. Brenda Bernhardt,
Cowichan Veterinary Services, Lake Cowichan