Highway Of Pain For Farm Animals – Part 2

Continued from Highway Of Pain For Farm Animals – Part 1

Canadian Law regarding the transportation of animals has not changed for decades.

Legislation that closed small community abattoirs and made the longer trips necessary should have included stringent regulations for transportation, but didn’t.

There are 650 million animals transported for slaughter yearly in Canada. As many as 3 million arrive dead at the slaughter house. It may seem anti-climactic after life on a factory farm, but these animals are transported in appallingly crowded conditions (space equals dollars) and can spend up to 60 hours without food or water. They die of over heating and lack of ventilation and water, or they are trampled because there is no room to lay down.

European law requires a stop every eight hours for animals in transport, and limits the number of animals allowed within the space. These laws, moreover, are strictly regulated and enforced.

We have to do better.

The Western Disconnect

We in the western hemisphere spend endless amounts of money on doggy and kitty treats, toys, costumes, and grooming. We have doggy bake shops and pet relaxation spas. We publicly deplore the use of dogs and cats for meat in other cultures.

But we sit happily at table, knife and fork in hand, to steak, bacon, chops, roast chicken, turkey and ham on a daily basis. We don’t check the provenance of the meat we purchase, we don’t ask ‘was it humanely raised and transported?’ We only check that the price is right. We subsidize animal abuse.

Factory Farms And Pain

Inhumane is still the operative word when it comes to the raising, transportation, and slaughter of animals in the factory farm industry. Meeting consumer demand more cheaply is still paramount, and causes unmitigated suffering. The weak regulations that do exist in this cruel business are as often as not ignored because there are simply not enough inspectors to go around.

Animals are still raised in the tiniest spaces possible; still spend their short lives standing in their own feces, still develop joint pains from enforced confinement and disease from overcrowding, still suffer through repeated administrations of anti-biotics to combat illness, and still go mad from the misery of it.

Big Value From Small Farms

One of the most positive outcomes to emerge from the 2004 beef debacle is the growing public awareness of animal farming practices in this country. People who do not want to ingest incidental medications such as anti-biotics or growth hormones, or risk Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (the human variant of mad cow) are realizing that animal welfare is inextricably tied to human health.

Artisan farms are starting up all over the country in response to consumer demand. These are usually small local operations where the animals are raised in humane conditions, drug free and free to roam and socialize.

Though there is still the question of transportation to deal with since the government de-regulation of small abattoirs, small farms that promise a healthy product are at least an attempt to short circuit the cycle of cruelty that large industrial farming represents in our society.


Part 3 of our series suggests ‘What you can do’ and provides interesting links to further reading.

Oasis Animal Rescue and Education Center

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