These animals would never have a life if we didn’t eat them

For most animals crammed inside factory farm sheds, sitting in their own filth and watching their companions die around them, life is not worth living. For animals standing on feedlots all day, for cows bellowing in grief as their calves are taken away, for pigs locked inside crates so small they cannot turn around, or chickens standing on broken legs, life is nothing but pain and distress. It is not right that we create animals just to hurt them this way.

Besides, if we really believed that we should create lives just to give beings the blessed experience of life, we would all have as many children or breed as many dogs as we possibly could. But we don’t do this because we know they need individual care to ensure their lives are happy and worthwhile. Being alive is not enough.

Of course, farmed animals don’t get individual care and attention. Tens of thousands of chickens may be crammed inside a barn on a farm that holds millions of birds. The dead are picked out every day with no one caring how long they had suffered or whether they could have been treated. Their bodies are simply tossed in a dumpster.

And neither do farmed animals get to behave naturally. They cannot roam or choose a mate, nest or dig in the earth. Birds don’t fly. Fish have nowhere to go. Everything that would make their lives worth living is denied them. Even their young are taken away from them.

If we want to give animals a life worth living, we would not financially support intensive farming (which is how almost all farmed animals in the US are reared). We would choose vegan foods, and we might also volunteer at a sanctuary to help those lucky survivors of this ruthless industry really have a life worth living.

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