The Phenomenon of Animal Cruelty

By Mia Sarzynska

From the beginning of humankind, animals have been used to benefit us. Humans have inflicted heinous acts such as unimaginable cruelty on helpless animals. From product testing to animal agriculture in the United States, the reality is devastating. Saving money is the first priority of large companies that are in the animal industry;  however, this has guaranteed the suffering of animals because they are treated like machines.

The main culprit of this cruelty is the meat industry. The economic success of this industry is neverending, with the production of over 44 billion pounds of chicken and 27 billion pounds of beef each year. Indoors, animals are confined to spaces barely bigger than their bodies, forcing them to remain constantly upright. Birds are debeaked while cows and pigs lose their tails, causing nearly lifelong chronic pain. Genetic manipulation is also used to force these animals to increase milk production and meat quality for consumers. 

On a day-to-day basis, the substances that we intake are full of dairy; things like butter and cheese are pervasive ingredients in foodstuffs. But behind the scenes lies abuse, suffering, and death. Calves are taken from their mothers shortly after being born, and the milk meant to support the calf is taken and sold to consumers. Like in the meat industry, cows spend the rest of their life in confinement, with 90% of these facilities being indoor. After a short and painful life that is averaged between 2.5 to 4 years, they are killed, sometimes being conscious while dying.

In the United States, laboratories are filled with over 110 million animals per year. Mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds, are isolated and forced to inhale toxic fumes, be restrained, have their skin burned off, and more in the name of product testing, lab experiments, etc.

Americans divided over use of animals in scientific research | Pew Research  Center

This testing is not only revolved around products such as makeup and skincare, but used to test vaccines and treatments which concludes to an insignificant outcome. The rate of success for these cruel experiments is less than 5% and costs millions of dollars. 

Today, there are many organizations fighting to pass laws against animal cruelty in all forms. Nevertheless, individuals should be taking matters into their own hands. Cutting out dairy and meat, and only shopping from brands that state they do not use animal testing are two ways you can stop supporting such cruel industries. Alternatively, reaching out to local humane societies or law enforcement by sending emails or giving phone calls is an active way to fight for change. The most important way; however, is to spread awareness and educate others on this topic as well.