4. Brave New Animals
While cloning was once the next big thing, it has lost its luster because of a problem called “epigenetic dysregulation” which causes up to 90 percent of cloned offspring to die. In fact, so many animals die to make one surviving clone that the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies said “the current level of suffering and health problems of surrogate dams and animal clones” renders it not “ethically justified.” Cloned offspring “tend to be large for their breeds, and often have abnormal or poorly developed lungs, hearts, or other affected internal organs (liver and kidney), which makes it difficult for them to breathe or maintain normal circulation and metabolism,” says an FDA report. The problems are so common in cloned cattle and sheep, they are called Large Offspring Syndrome.
Still, scientists at the University of Missouri, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Harvard Medical School have a clone product they are pretty proud of. They have developed “White piglets with muscle tissue larded with omega-3 fatty acids,” that can lead to “healthy pork,” reports the New York Times, because such fatty acids are linked to a lowered incidence of heart disease.
“People can continue to eat their junk food,” rhapsodized Harvard’s Alexander Leaf. “You won’t have to change your diet, but you will be getting what you need.” Aren’t animals great?
5. Veal and Bob Veal Calves
Male calves are an unwanted byproduct of the dairy industry to keep cows pregnant and yielding milk. Calves to be sold for “bob veal” arrive at slaughterhouses weak and injured testified a federal meat inspector to Congress. After their truck journey, they are forced to endure “yet another 12-18 hours without food, when already they had been deprived of sustenance for perhaps days, since they were usually removed from their mothers immediately after birth,” said veterinarian Dean Wyatt. “It always broke my heart that employees would carry the bodies of these dead baby calves out of the pen because they died of dehydration and starvation.” Male calves not sent to slaughter at birth are grown for marketed veal products in crates in which they can’t turn around or in outdoor sheds.
Such treatment is tolerated because the allegedly dumb animals don’t know what’s happening to them or suffer psychologically. But undercover videos clearly show mother cows rushing after their babies as they are taken away for veal. And the haunting bellows of mother cows deprived of their young are so loud, they regularly inspire people living near the farms to call the police. The newborn calves also know their loss. Calves being sold at Cambridge Valley Livestock Market for $40 a head, some with their umbilical cords still attached, swarmed a Rolling Stone reporter who entered their pen. “Since being ripped from their mothers, they’ve barely been fed and will nurse anything resembling a teat,” he wrote. “They find one, of sorts, in my leather jacket. Its worn-in hide must taste like love.”
6. Newborn Chicks
Like male calves in the dairy industry, male chicks are unwanted byproducts of the egg industry because they won’t turn into laying hens. While the egg industry regularly disputes the mistreatment of grown laying hens documented on many videos—sick, infected, featherless hens sometimes standing on dead cage-mates—they do not dispute the fate of newborn male chicks: they are ground up alive in a process called maceration.
“There is, unfortunately, no way to breed eggs that only produce female hens,” said spokesman United Egg Producers Mitch Head to the Associated Press after release of video showing the newborns being fed into the blades. (WARNING: VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED) ”If someone has a need for 200 million male chicks, we’re happy to provide them to anyone who wants them. But we can find no market, no need.”
Other egg-related industry tactics, while not as cruel, are just as shocking. In 2008, USDA caught Tyson injecting antibiotics directly into the eggs of future laying hens, despite its “no antibiotics” advertising claim. Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said the vaccinations with the human antibiotic gentamicin are “standard practice,” though the drug is far from harmless and comes with a rare blackbox FDA warning for renal, auditory and vestibular toxicity. Eggs with embryos are also sprayed with ammonia, phenolics and peroxides.
You can protest against these horrific practices and protect farm animals by supporting the work of the Humane Society of the United States.
Source | AlterNet