On Friday, advocates at Seattle’s Westlake Park were asking people “why we call some animals pets and others dinner” as office workers headed out to lunch. Activist held signs to inform people of the horrors of factory farming and relayed the message: “Boycott animal abuse – choose vegetarian.”
The event was organized by Mercy For Animals (MFA), a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.
Organizers from MFA were accompanied by a 10-foot inflatable puppy dog in a hamburger bun to make the point that farmed animals are every bit as capable of feeling pain and suffering as dogs and cats, yet not a single federal law provides protection to them from abuse on factory farms.
“If you wouldn’t eat your dog, why eat other animals? Cows, pigs, and chickens are just as intelligent, sensitive, and worthy of our respect as the animals we consider companions,” says MFA’s National Campaign Coordinator Jeni Hanes.
“If meat producers subjected dogs and cats to the array of standard abuses they inflict on farmed animals, they could be jailed on grounds of animal cruelty. The most powerful action we can take to prevent egregious animal abuse is to adopt a compassionate vegetarian diet.”
“The demonstration was viewed by hundreds, if not thousands of people, since it took place in such a high traffic intersection,” says Hanes.
Far from receiving the kindness and respect afforded most dogs and cats, the billions of cows, pigs, and chickens raised and killed for meat in America lead lives filled with misery. On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy sheds and cages where many are unable to even fully extend their limbs, walk, turn around, or engage in other natural behaviors.
Animals killed for food are routinely burned, castrated, dehorned, tail docked and debeaked without any painkillers. Before slaughter, frightened animals are often electrically prodded onto crowded transport trucks and hauled through all weather extremes to the slaughterhouse, where many will have their throats slit while still alive and conscious.
Undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals at factory farms, hatcheries, and slaughterhouses nationwide have exposed workers beating animals with metal pipes, stabbing them with pitchforks, and bashing in their skulls with pickaxes. MFA’s hidden-camera investigations have also exposed farmed animals suffering from untreated infections and wounds, live chicks being thrown into grinding machines, and dead hens left to rot in cages with birds still laying eggs for human consumption.
For more information, see www.MercyForAnimals.org.