Saturday, April 1

In the controversies about animal exploitation farms, the great forgotten are the animals themselves

Recently, animal farms have become the subject of various debates. The reason for this is because farms pollute and use enormous amounts of resources, as well as cause serious disruption to those who live near them. This is particularly the case with mega-farms, so called because thousands of animals are confined there.

In contrast, those who receive the least attention in this discussion are the fundamental victims of animal exploitation farms: the animals exploited in them.

The overwhelming majority of the animals raised on farms today is found in industrial buildings and other similar facilities. In them they spend their entire lives confined to tiny, dark spaces, hardly being able to move, without seeing the sun or the countryside, surrounded by their own excrement. This causes them terrible suffering and frustration. This recently published video summarizes the reality of farms in a very short and simple way:

Some of these farms are macro farms. But on other smaller farms the animals suffer in the same way. The same industrial farming methods are applied to them. In this way, the living conditions in smaller farms are identical to those of macro-farms, as is the high density of animals in very small spaces. When it comes to the lives of animals, the difference between smaller farms and mega-farms is not qualitative, but quantitative: it lies only in the number of animals that live on them.

Many people may think that this is not always the case, assuming that on smaller farms the animals live freely in the countryside. But, as we have pointed out, animals in such a situation constitute a very small minority (this is so if we only consider vertebrate animals, and even more so if we think of invertebrate farms, the number of which is unfortunately increasing). Otherwise, the current demand for animal products could not be met.

Along with this, it is essential to bear in mind that all animals, regardless of how they have been raised, end up in the slaughterhouse. There they take away his life, which is the only one they have, in the midst of terrible pain and fear. For this reason, animal exploitation free of suffering does not exist: this is caused to all animals.

And none of this is necessary. Animal exploitation occurs because we choose to harm them for our benefit, even though we could do without it. It is one of the implications of what is known as speciesism, the discrimination of those who do not belong to a certain species. Speciesism is explained in a simple way in this video:

For this reason, more and more people join the defense of animals and reject their exploitation. However, the majority political parties continue to be largely blind to it as well. They do not perceive the growing social support for the defense of animals. This is particularly problematic because, in contrast, they are very sensitive to pressure from sectors that support animal exploitation. In this key it is necessary to understand that in the field of discussion and political propaganda denial statements of animal abuse are made. Or that in such an area they want to present as representative of livestock farming as a whole the rearing of animals in an extensive regime, in open fields, in no way representative of the reality of animals. Or that, if any objection to animal exploitation is accepted, it is raised to certain ways in which it takes place, not to exploitation as a whole, and has to do with its impact on what matters to us human beings , and not in what matters to animals.

In contrast, those of us who defend animals work to put the focus of animal exploitation on the animals themselves. And we reject the denialist positions, showing the evidence of the terrible damage caused to exploited animals. It is not just that the mistreatment of animals is very real and carried out on a daily basis. It is that, in reality, the word “abuse” falls short to describe what animals suffer. It leads us to think of isolated cases of cruelty that harm some victims in particular. That is, in specific events.

However, the reality is very different. What happens is not that the animals are generally well, except in some exceptional cases of particularly cruel aggression. This is a completely unreal idea. What happens is that every day all animals suffer from massive, continuous and generalized exploitation and suffering. What happens is that in today’s farms, animals suffer on a daily basis. Suffering is what prevails in their lives. Therefore, speaking of abuse can lead to confusion: exploitation as a whole, all exploitation, is abuse.

None of this can change if we do nothing to change it. Therefore, whenever there is a public debate about livestock, we should make our voices count for the animals. Such discussions must not take place without making the case for a way of life free from animal exploitation. The interests of animals must be heard. Only by speaking in favor of all sentient beings can we achieve a present and, above all, a future different for animals.