The great prophetic poet William Blake said, “The lamb misused breeds public strife and yet forgives the butcher’s knife.” Truly how could a voiceless creature dare to protest against a creature so grand in faculty? The bitter truth that lies under the profitable glee of various product manufacturing is that how brutally and apathetically millions of animals are harmed and afflicted with unimaginable pains. According to Farm Animal Rights Movement, 58 billion animals are killed world wide for food, 70 to 100 million for vivisection and 40 million animals for fur world wide. A statistic that is almost impossible to digest. But this is the harsh and callous reality that prevails today. Though hunting, poaching and inappropriate atmosphere for the animals on their farms have already contributed a lot to the killing of animals still those who managed to survive have been simply used to cater to the needs of society. Isn’t it a vicarious punishment on the part of animals?
Animals killed for food and vivisection( experimentation & testing)
Mostly the skin of the animals is the basic and most demanded thing that is produced in the market. Furs, wools, silk and leather are the evergreen products that are perennially manufactured imparting an eternal anguish to animals.
For fur production, it is embarrassing for us to know that the animals are kept in cramped & filthy wire cages. They are killed using the cheapest and cruelest methods such as suffocation, electrocution, gas and poison, almost a heinous act to think of. They are captured using steel jaw traps that cut the bones of their legs, conibear traps which crush their necks putting a pressure of 90 pounds per square inch. Due such barbaric treatment animals suffer from blood loss, shock, dehydration, frostbite, gangrene etc. Moreover once an animal has been slaughtered and skinned, his or her fur is treated with a soup of toxic chemicals to “convert the putrefactive raw skin into a durable material” Various salts—along with ammonia, formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, and other chromates and bleaching agents—are used to preserve and dye fur Much of the world’s fur is processed in China, where environmental regulations are often ignored. According to Professor Cheng Fengxia of Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, “Pollution caused by inappropriate processing, especially coloring the fur, has also become a headache. If statistics are to be believed, 85% of skins used in fur industry come from animals on fur factory farms which in turn has led to the chaos of environment degradation. Fur processing requires transporting feed to animals; removing animals’ waste; providing electricity for housing facilities, the slaughter process, and other operations; using pesticides, vaccines, and antibiotics; transporting carcasses; transporting pelts to auction; transporting pelts to a fur tannery, which involves sorting, soaking, fleshing, tanning, wringing, drying, cleaning, trimming, buffing, and finishing; and transporting tanned pelts to a garment maker, a wholesaler, and so on. When all these processes are taken into account, a fur garment takes 20 times more energy to produce than a faux-fur garment. In Denmark, where more than 14 million minks are killed for their fur which leads to the release of almost 8000 pounds of ammonia into the atmosphere annually. And the most disgusting thing above all is that there is no federal humane slaughter law that protects animals on fur factory farms, even when the killing methods are gruesome. Thus all we can say is Fur is only “natural” when it’s on the animal born with it.
Snakes used in leather industry to make luxury leather
Leather, the most important product made out of animal skin has caused the enormous loss of animals. Until the late 1800s, animal skin was air- or salt-dried and tanned with vegetable tannins or oil, but today animal skin is turned into finished leather with a variety of much more dangerous substances, including mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and finishes—some of them cyanide-based. Mostly animals such as cows, pigs, goats, sheep, alligators, ostriches, kangaroos etc. have become the victims of leather industry. Most of the leather is chrome tanned. More than 500 tanneries in India have led to the drought conditions over 15,000 hectares of land which has got relation with some monsoon failure or God’s will but the money making plans orchestrated by humans. Unaware of the fact that these tanneries are as much harmful to man himself as they are to animals he has been blinded in this race of grabbing more and more bucks. Arsenic, a common tannery chemical, has long been associated with lung cancer in workers who are exposed to it on a regular basis. Several studies have established links between sinus and lung cancers and the chromium used in tanning. Studies of leather-tannery workers in Sweden and Italy found cancer risks “between 20% and 50% above [those] expected.” The health of 3.5 million people in Ranipet, India, has been jeopardized by a factory that produces the salts used in nearby tanneries, according to a report issued by the Blacksmith Institute, a group that works with scholars, scientists, and nongovernmental organizations to reduce pollution in developing nations. Animals are suffering more in the developing countries like India or china due the absence of animal welfare laws. According to PETA investigations workers have literally resorted to many horrendous acts such as breaking off of the cow tails, and then rubbing peppers and tobacco in their eyes to force them to get up and walk even after they are exhausted. And we call ourselves humans!!! Such a shameful definition of humanity. The pain and number of such ‘sacrificial victims” is unfathomable. They are made to suffer all the horrors of factory farming—including extreme crowding and confinement, deprivation, and unanesthetized castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning. Alligators on an average can live up to 60 years but the farmed alligators are usually butchered before they are 2 as soon as they reach to length of 4-6 feet. Millions of kangaroos are slaughtered every year primarily because their skin is considered best for soccer shoes. Snakes and lizards may be skinned alive because of the belief that live flaying makes exotic leather more supple. Kid goats may be boiled alive to make gloves and the skins of unborn calves and lambs—some purposely aborted others from slaughtered pregnant cows and ewes—are considered especially “luxurious”.
Ranipet (near Chennai) in India voted as the 9th most polluted city in world
Another industry that has caused havoc in the lives of animals especially sheeps is the wool industry. Sheeps are not seen as some life form but wool producing machines. In Australia, where more than 50 percent of the world’s merino wool—which is used in products ranging from clothing to carpets—originates, lambs are forced to endure a gruesome procedure called “mulesing,” in which huge chunks of skin and flesh are cut from the animals’ backsides, often without any painkillers. In mulesing, workers carve huge strips of skin and flesh off the backs of lambs’ legs and the areas around their tails. This is done to produce smooth, scarred skin that won’t harbor fly eggs, yet the bloody wounds often get fly strike before they heal. Within weeks of birth, lambs’ ears are hole-punched, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated without anesthetics. Male lambs are castrated when they are between 2 and 8 weeks old, either by making an incision and cutting their testicles out or with a rubber ring used to cut off blood supply—one of the most painful methods of castration possible. One should shudder reading this. How our comforts have inflicted pain on animals. Millions of these sheep who survive on the farms are then shipped to the Middle East on crowded multilevel ships. These live exports, which can last for weeks, go to countries where animal welfare standards are non-existent. The suffering sheep are dragged off the ships, loaded onto trucks, and dragged by their ears and legs to often unregulated slaughterhouses, where their throats are slit while they are still conscious. Another process “shearling” which is often mistaken as sheared wool is actually a yearling sheep that has been shorn once. A shearling garment is made from the skin and coat of a sheep or a lamb that was shorn shortly before slaughter; the skin is tanned with the wool still on it.
Chirus killed to make shahtoosh
Apart form the sheep lots have animals have to undergo such killings in order to meet the needs of manufacturers. Cashmere which is made from the coats of cashmere goats, are kept by the millions in China and Mongolia, which dominate the market for this “luxury” material. Angora rabbits may be strapped to a board for shearing and kick powerfully in protest as clippers or scissors inevitably bite into their flesh. Angora rabbits have very delicate foot pads, so they often develop excruciatingly painful foot ulcers when they are forced to spend their lives standing on the floors of wire cages. Female rabbits produce more wool than do males, so on larger farms, male rabbits that are not destined to be breeders are killed at birth. Shahtoosh is made from the coat of the endangered chiru, or Tibetan antelope. Because chirus cannot be domesticated, they must be killed before their wool can be obtained. Although it has been illegal to sell or possess shahtoosh products since 1976, thousands of chirus are killed every year for shawls that are sold on the black market.
These are the major products that have led to almost unfathomable destruction to animal kingdom. No matter whatsoever laws are enforced or how high the fines may go they can never…. NEVER restore what it had been nor can fulfill the loss. Apart from these, there are several more products which have also adversely affected the lives of animals.
We now have encountered some of the most unpleasant and severe truths of today. We can not think of putting it to a complete halt. This system is a vast spread empire that would need hundreds of decision and policies to come up with something acceptable. Thus, today we can only reiterate the words of Milan Kundera- “Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.”
http://folksmarket.blogspot.in, bestontop10.blogspot.com, http://www.occupyforanimals.org/, james-mcwilliams.com, http://www.peta.org, www.carpetencyclopedia.com, http://aibob.blogspot.in, http://www.animal-protection.net/, www.wikipedia.org/, www.free.org.il