As soon as a profit margin is associated with an animal’s life then inevitably the welfare of the animal becomes secondary. A lot of the language used around animal farming and the meat industry hides a lot of the suffering that animals experience. Here are a few of those catchphrases:
Put down: The animal wasn’t put down, it was murdered for the sake of cost and / or convenience. Whether it’s a horse with a broken ankle that can do no longer race, a cow that keeps getting sick, or a weak sheep. It could also be a cherished cat or dog with cancer, it will inevitably be put down. However, a loved family member or cherished friend would not forced to be put down. Nobody would say “I’m just going to have Dad put down”. There might be an option to have assisted death in some countries such as Switzerland, but that is a different choice altogether.
Cage-free, free range: The words carry very little meaning in terms of the actual quality of life of the animals. For example, “cage-free” suggests living in an open field with abundant space. Unfortunately the reality is much closer to 5,000 chickens jammed into a barn where the weak are stepped over or pecked at. We don’t see much correlation between these words and a reduction in suffering.
Animal husbandry: In the case of cows, this involves impregnating the female cows by force, separating the mother from it’s offspring, immediately killing the male calves, bringing the female calves into the same life as the mother, and steeling the milk meant for the offspring and giving it to humans. One of the most haunting sounds that we have ever heard was the call of the mother for it’s offspring, the mother wanted to be near her children and care for them, but couldn’t.
Veal: Typically male cows are kept for some weeks in small stalls. The’bobby’ calves are kept in small stalls or housings to keep the meat tender.
Foie gras: The liver of a duck or goose fattened by force-feeding corn with a feeding tube.
Pig farrowing crates: The small crates where an adult female pig is housed in a small metal cage with no space to walk or even turn around. These crates are currently in use in New Zealand right now.