Scrolling Headlines:

UMass football readies for season-opener against Hawaii -

August 22, 2017

UMass women’s soccer falls to Central Connecticut 3-0 in home opener -

August 19, 2017

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

Factory farming and ethics

When asked why they eat meat, most people would probably say it’s delicious or simply habitual. So many of us fail to think twice about where food comes from, but the time to start is now. The truth is that behind every piece of meat there was a sentient animal, raised and killed for a cheap meal.

In the US alone, millions of cows, calves, pigs, lambs, turkeys and chickens are slaughtered each year for food. Today, upward of 99 percent of chickens and 78 percent of cattle are raised in factory farms which are industrial organizations that prioritize profit over compassion. They aim to maximize output by constantly breeding and confining their animals.

Undercover investigations of factory farms have found repeated and horrifying abuses toward animals. In 2009, the Humane Society went undercover at a company that slaughtered the rejects of the dairy industry: male calves. They accumulated footage of workers kicking, slapping, electrically prodding and even hacking up these young calves while alive.

Sadly, animal abuse is normal and common in factory farms. Most standard practices are so cruel and gruesome that many people can’t even watch a short video of them. These methods include cutting piglets’ tails off, confining pigs to crates where they cannot even move and chopping beaks of hens, all without anesthesia.

Animals in these facilities suffer profoundly. Pigs are some of the smartest and most social animals in the world but these amazing creatures are denied a humane lifestyle. Female pigs are confined to crates so small that they cannot even turn around. Their boredom and stress are so great that they gnaw on their cage continuously. Factory farms utilize animals like machines rather than respecting them as living creatures.

While we care so deeply for our dogs and cats, millions of animals with similar personalities and intelligences are being tortured and slaughtered for food. Our love and our brutality both go to animals, depending on which species. If the anti­cruelty laws that apply to our pets also applied to our farmed animals, most factory farms would be shut down. Every farmed animal has a unique personality just like any pet and they deserve the same respect. The most effective way to help would be to eat less meat.

Start connecting food to the origins, watch informative videos, educate friends and save animals from these cruel practices. There are many alternatives to any animal product. Most grocery stores stock items such as faux meats, vegan cheeses and plant-based ice creams. You don’t have to donate any money or volunteer hours, just switch out some meal items. The best part is that you have the choice to make small changes throughout a day, it’s that simple.

Julia Klein is a Collegian contributor and can be reached at juliaklein@umass.edu.

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