Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), an animal rights organization that has visited many “humane” animal farms to investigate their claims, invited TheirTurn to document one of their many nocturnal visits to JS West, an egg farm certified by the American Humane Association. Our visit, which was intended to be an investigation, morphed into a rescue mission.
After spending less than a minute inside of a warehouse with 150,000 egg-laying hens, my worst fears were confirmed. The “humane” label is nothing more than a marketing fraud designed by the animal agriculture industry and retailers to make consumers feel good about purchasing their products.
A hen with a growth on her on her face that is larger than her head is rescued
Please visit Direct Action Everywhere to learn more about how the animal agriculture industry preys on well-intended consumers by fraudulently marketing their products with language that states or suggests that their animals are treated humanely.
A 2016 survey conducted with 1,000 Americans who purchase or consume meat, eggs or dairy products revealed that misleading advertising by the animal agriculture industry and grocery stores has succeeded in fooling consumers. The survey showed that:
65% of consumers believe that the label “free-range” means that animals spend most of their time on a pasture. In reality, a legal definition of “free range” does not exist for most farm animals. In fact, farmers do not need to prove that animals have access to the outdoors.
63% believe that “cage free” means the animals have access to the outdoors when it simply means that they are not raised in cages. Advocates point out that, in “cage-free” facilities, cages of steel have been replaced with cages of flesh, as the animals are stuffed so tightly into warehouses that they have little, if any, space to move.
Labels such “organic,” “humane,” and “cage free” are used to deceive customers.
60% believe that “humane” means animals have a better than average quality of life. In fact, the “humane” label is meaningless, as a legal definition does not exist.
46% believe that “USDA organic” means that animals spend most of their time outdoors. However, regulations do not specify the length of time that farmers are required to give animals access to the outdoors, and they do not specify the size or quality of the outdoor space.
46% believe that “natural” means animals have a better than average quality of life. However, “natural” only refers to how meat is processed and is unrelated to the treatment of the animals.
It’s not only the companies that supply the animal products that mislead the public. Grocery stores also perpetuate the “humane myth.”
In recent years, companies perpetuating the “humane myth” in order to make consumers feel good about buying their products have been exposed by animal rights groups that have conducted investigations at their facilities.
In 2016, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) and PETA exposed corporations that supply eggs, turkeys and pork to Whole Foods, a company that notoriously promotes the animal products on their shelves as humanely raised and slaughtered. These investigations revealed animals living in filthy, overcrowded warehouses, suffering from lack of veterinary care and being physically abused.
Turkeys and egg-laying hens at Whole Foods suppliers
In addition to conducting investigations, DxE has staged hundreds of protests in Chipotle restaurants and Whole Foods markets in order to educate the public about the animal welfare lies being aggressively marketed by those companies.
The results of the survey, which was conducted by Lake Research Partners and sponsored by the ASPCA, are available online.
According to Animal Equality, over 56 billion land animals are slaughtered each year by the animal agriculture industry. All of these animals – even those raised in the least objectionable of conditions – are treated as money-making commodities, not as individuals with a desire to live freely and in peace. If the animal agriculture industry and the retail stores who sell their products truly cared about the humane treatment of animals, then they wouldn’t sell them. After all, isn’t killing someone who wants to live inherently inhumane?
With hundreds of cruelty-free, plant-based alternatives to meat, fish, dairy and egg products, making the switch to an animal-free diet has never been easier. Please take the first step using this Vegetarian Starter Kit .
On November 13th, several hundred people traveled to Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, New York for the annual ThanksLiving celebration during which guests have the privilege of feeding rescued turkeys before feasting on a four course vegan meal.
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, a shelter for rescued cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, goats, and rabbits, gives visitors the chance to come “face-to-face with the animals they may only know as dinner and learn about the devastating effects of modern-day agribusiness on the animals, the environment and human health.”
Feeding the turkeys at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary is an annual ThanksLiving ritual
Terri, a popular vegan restaurant with three locations in NYC, catered the 2016 ThanksLiving celebration and donated the food.
Main course: Butter roasted Blackbird seitan, Grandma Terri’s classic stuffing, rosemary garlic whipped potatoes, Port shiitake mushroom gravy, lemon-sauteed green beans with almond slivers, citrus cranberry sauce
Following numerous undercover investigations revealing shocking cruelty in slaughterhouses, U.S. meat and egg companies are slowly shifting towards a method of killing regarded by many as being less inhumane: gas chambers.
Euphemistically referred to as Controlled Atmosphere Killing (CAK), gas chambers are widely used in Australia and some European Union countries to slaughter pigs, chickens and other animals.
In several countries, pigs and chickens are commonly killed using gas chambers.
In order to gas pigs, slaughterhouse workers use electric prods to force them into small steel cages which are lowered into carbon dioxide filled chambers. Undercover footage shows pigs screaming, thrashing and gasping for air in their final moments. An Australian activist conducting an undercover investigation described what he saw: “In their last minutes, these pigs are burning from the inside out.”
Pigs being suffocated in gas chambers.
The travelling crates that contain chickens are typically unloaded from a truck onto a conveyor belt which carries them into a gas chamber. According to an eyewitness from Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals, “Aversive behavior in the form of gasping, shaking of heads and stretching of necks to breathe could be seen beginning in window two [of the gas chamber] and, by window three, all were exhibiting strong convulsions. The birds’ movements eventually became still and by the time they emerged from the CO2 chambers they were completely lifeless…”
Gas chambers are used to render broiler chickens unconscious before they are bled to death.
Workers aggressively grab spent layer hens birds out of their cages and toss them into mobile metal gas chambers. On some factory farms, the hens are simply stuffed into trash cans where they are gassed. According to a former worker at a supplier to Eggland’s Best: “It’s absolutely chilling to hear these birds scrambling and fighting for air in these gas chambers.”
At worst spent hens are killed by being thrown into trash cans which are than filled with gas.
Several animal advocacy groups are pressuring companies to transition to using CAK as their primary method of slaughter because it has been shown to be, in many ways, less painful and stressful than conventional methods.
While eating in a restaurant in Brooklyn, Jenny Amlen saw skinned lambs being unloaded from a nearby truck. At that moment, she made the connection between the burger on her plate and the animal who was killed for it.
“I saw almost 100 slaughtered lambs being thrown into a shopping cart in broad daylight. I saw their eyes, and it was devastating, shocking and heartbreaking. I thought then that they were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers just like us,” said Jenny Amlen. “Honestly, it reminded me of the Holocaust. It was just lambs instead of humans.”
Jenny sent the video footage to TheirTurn and said that the incident prompted her to go vegan.
Jenny Amlen saw skinned lambs being unloaded from a truck and decided to go vegan.
To order a free vegan starter kit please visit PETA