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CVA Blog
Monday, November 6, 2006

Industrial farming and Animal Suffering

Welcome to the weekly CVA blog! In it you will find famous quotes, news and commentaries.

1. Debeaking poultry – The two sides of the story

2. Famous quote – Rev. Professor Andrew Linzey, PhD, DD, author of Christianity and the
Rights of Animals, Animal Theology, and Animal Gospel.

3. Horror of intensive chicken farming – the reality behind industrial poultry farms

4. Bible verse – Psalms 40:8

5. 28-hour law – long overdue law on transport of farmed animals now in effect

6. The fate of UK race horses – a business of horror and suffering

1. Debeaking poultry: There are to sides of the story regarding the debeaking of poultry as standard practice. Industrial egg producers believe, or want consumers to believe, that hens are cannibalistic by nature; and therefore, they would quickly peck each other to death unless beaks were “trimmed” after hatching.

On the contrary, ethologists and animal welfare advocates, among many others, are trying to inform consumers about the real reasons behind debeaking, which not only causes pain to the animal but often leads to other health problems including inability to eat and depression.

This procedure has allowed industrial poultry farms to house hundreds of thousands of birds under extreme stressful and confined conditions. According to United Poultry Concerns, “Beak amputation of chickens and turkeys is an inhumane substitute for the proper management of these species of birds. Debeaking is not like trimming one's fingernails. It is a serious welfare insult to birds that should be prohibited by law.”

To read the full article please visit 

The intentional causing of pain and suffering to any of God’s creature is an offense to God. Greed and profit have driven humanity to treat God’s animals as commodities with no regard to their suffering; and their exploitation for human benefit has serious ethical complications. God’s animals are sentient beings whose God-given rights must be respected.

2. Famous Quote:  “Animals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight. ...Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God's absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering.”
- Rev. Professor Andrew Linzey, PhD, DD, author of Christianity and the Rights of Animals, Animal Theology, and Animal Gospel.

3. Horror of intensive chicken farming: Once again, the horrors of intensive chicken farming are exposed. This time, the RSPCA in the UK has found massive cruelty in these kinds of farms. According to their research, tens of millions of birds die painfully from the inability to cope with their living conditions and food regimen.

Chickens raised under the current standards amount to 90 per cent of the 860 million chickens reared every year, who are allocated less space than a sheet of A4 paper per chicken in a shed. The birds are kept in near constant dim light, which promotes eating more and discourages activity to maximize their growth. This rapid growth causes them to suffer from lameness and heart failure among other health issues. On the other hand, the RSPCA says that birds raised under their standards suffer a significantly lower incidence of some serious health problems compared to standard chickens."

To read the full article please visit 

4. (RSV) Psalms 40:8 : “I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart."

As Christians we are called to be obedient to God and to delight in our Creator’s will. We are made in God’s image of love and are called to love our neighbor. A plant-based diet is a reflection of our love and compassion to God’s animals and helps bring restoration to the environment and healing to our health.

5. 28-hour law: A 19th century law requiring that rail cars stop every 28 hours to provide food water and rest to transported livestock, it just now applies to trucks according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. Of course, the livestock industry has raised concerns about the rule. They are more interested in transporting their animals as fast as possible to their destination.

For example, according to Leon Yantis, president of the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, trucks carrying calves avoid stopping so the animals don't lie down, because calves travel better standing. Surprisingly, the USDA had notified its staff in 2003 that the law applied to trucks, but the decision did not become public until the department responded to a petition filed by the Humane Society of the United States.

Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the HSUS said that the "USDA's decision could substantially reduce suffering for the millions of farm animals trucked long distances each year in the United States." Unfortunately, this law doesn’t apply to chickens and turkeys since they have always been exempted.

To read the full article please visit 

The cruelty involved in animal transport is inexcusable, as well as the exemption of poultry in animal protection laws. As stewards of God’s creation we are failing miserably and the compassion shown to non-human creatures is minimal. Maybe our hearts and minds could be opened to the reality of animal exploitation if we decided to see life from the victims’ perspective.

6. The fate of UK race horses: Thousands of race horses in the UK that are either too old or too injured to continue racing have the same fate: slaughtered for human consumption. In France horse meat is considered gourmet food and animal welfare organizations are informing the public of the brutal practice of slaughtering horses and demanding race horses to be sent to sanctuaries.

Sadly, these horses could live an average of 30 years, but according to statistics, they are killed before they turn five. While this practice is not illegal, it is kept as secret as possible: rarely seen and rarely talked about. An undercover investigation by The Observer, found that the number of race horses sent to slaughter every year without any consideration to their needs and suffering is appallingly high. The article exposes in great detail the insensitivity of breeders and owners, the profit made of their meat, the treatment of horses as simple commodities and the ignorance of the public on this matter.

To read the full article please visit 

The exploitation of horses for human entertainment and pleasure has been exposed, not only in the UK but all over the world. Horses are magnificent animals that have been companions and helpers for humans throughout history. God calls us to treat all creatures with compassion and respect in obedience to our Creator. The media has exposed the horse meat industry and the public cannot claim ignorance anymore. Violence, cruelty and greed should be opposed.

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