As children, one of the first things we learn is to recognize the friendly barnyard animals. We easily can spot the furry cow with the gentle eyes, the feathery chickens that run wildly about, and the pink pigs that roll in the mud. We may also sing about that nice farmer, Old McDonald, and all of his nice animals. The truth is that Old McDonald with a straw hat has been replaced by a business man in the hard hat. Ninety-five percent of the meat we eat does not come from Old McDonald's farm. Hens, chickens, turkeys, and over half of beef cattle, dairy cows, and pigs come from an “animal factory" which is a mechanized environment. This new farming method finds blue skies, tall silos, and grassy hillsides good for calendars but, bad for business. Those pictures are not cost effective. Animals are not treated with the loving care of a farmer but, are treated like inmates on death row. Poultry, pigs, and calves are forced to live in total confinement never to see the light of day until they head to the slaughter house. Hens are frequently crowded into small cages which they may not leave for a year or two. Pregnant sows are often put installs that are their homes for three months at a time. After having her piglets, a sow maybe pinned to the floor for four to seven weeks in order to keep the sow from rolling overrun her babies. Cows may be fed steady diet of molasses laced saw dust, shredded newspaper, plastic pellets, poultry manure, and processed slaughter house wastes in order to gain weight faster. Confinement is so complete that the animals do not have room to move. Not only are the animals forced to live in this unnatural environment, they are also pumped full off antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and are dipped in pesticides. Over half the cattle and nearly all pigs, calves, and poultry are fed a steady diet of antibiotics.
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