What is the Humane Society of the United States doing to help farm animals?
Because animals raised for meat, eggs and milk represent more than 95 percent of the animals killed by humans in the United States, farm animal welfare is a major priority of the HSUS. Whether it be waging campaigns to persuade corporations to do better when it comes to farm animal welfare standards, acting as a scientific resource on farm animal welfare issues, working to pass farm animal protection legislation or pursuing litigation to improve the lives of farm animals, the HSUS is a movement leader when it comes to farm animal advocacy.
What are some of the biggest problems farm animals face?
The vast majority of the 10 billion land animals raised for human consumption in the United States are subjected to a number of abuses—many of which would be illegal if forced on dogs or cats. Many farm animals are intensively confined in crates, cages or pens so small they can barely move, while others are overcrowded in filthy, barren sheds. Painful physical mutilations are commonly inflicted on farm animals without any anesthesia and most farm animals are selectively bred for unnaturally high rates of production which dramatically decreases their well-being.
Aren't there laws that protect farm animals from abuse?
From life on a factory farm to death at a slaughter plant, animals raised for meat, eggs and milk suffer immensely. And, as shocking as it may be, much of the abuse these animals endure is completely legal. There are no federal animal welfare laws regulating the treatment of the billions of "food animals" while they're on the farm. Further, while all 50 states have cruelty statutes, most explicitly exempt common farming practices, no matter how abusive.
Don't animals have to be treated well to be productive?
Animal agribusiness representatives often claim that it's in their own interest to treat animals well and a common defense of factory farming is that "only happy animals produce." While there are some instances where improving animal welfare would also improve the bottom line, unfortunately, this is not always the case.
What can I do to help farm animals?
Each one of us has the ability to help farm animals every time we sit down to eat. Whether it be avoiding the most abusive animal products, such as eggs from caged birds, reducing the amount of animal products we eat or replacing our animal consumption with vegetarian foods, we each can use our consumer dollars to improve farm animals' lives.