Unseen Images From Inside US Biggest Factory Farms

By Nick Hadji 8 months ago

Pressed against the bars

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
To kick off the list with all the horrendous photos you're about to see from some of the worst factory farms around the USA, here you can see chickens crushed up against the bars of a cage while being transported to KuKu farms. The chickens were only nineteen weeks old.Original content sourced from Femanin.com

Our little egg-bearers behind bars

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
Have you ever thought about where the eggs were actually coming from when you crack open an egg for your omelette? Well, take a look at these hens who were all crammed into battery cages at the Quality Egg of New Zealand institution. I feel so bad for them!

Turkeys don't seem so festive after all

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
Yes, as you can see, it gets even worse. In an undercover operation, this turkey was found covered in its own blood at the Butterball Factory Farm. Workers here were reported to kick, stomp and drag the turkeys, while also grinding up baby birds while still alive.

Crying out for help

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
What makes these photos even sadder is seeing that the animals are being put through such torture that they're literally crying out for help to anyone that will hear. Did you know that most US factory farms have an ag-gag in place, which prohibits unlawful videoing on factory farms.

No room for even her snout

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
This little piggy looks awfully sad while being stuck in a gestation crate. Clearly there's barely any room for the pig to move around and she has to stick her snout through the bars of the cage! The pig was secretly photographed at the Pipestone System.

Torturous environments

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
This duck was found at the Hudson Valley Foie Gras, where he was subject to some abhorrent treatment, all for some foie gras. If you didn't know, foie gras (translated to fat liver) is a food product that is specifically made from the liver of a duck or goose.

Birds in distress at Reichardt Duck Farm

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
The action group Ducks in Despair took to the Reichardt Duck Farm to uncover some harrowing footage of the treatment of the ducks. They uncovered that ducks were trapped under wire cage flooring and had their throats cut while conscious.

A manhandled turkey shouting for help

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
It's safe to say that turkeys have experienced their own fair share of mistreatment on this list. In another investigation, Turkey Torture managed to uncover the truth about Hybrid Turkeys. They discovered that staff were bashing their heads in and leaving them with festering infections.

Taking a good spray down

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
Andrus Dairy have some explaining to do after this harrowing footage was released of the treatment at cows at the dairy farm. Mercy for Animals uncovered the truth about the goings-on here, with cows being kicked and punched and dragging them up by a rope.

Piglet stripped from its mother

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
It's always a tough sight to see a baby stripped away from its mother, and even still with this one. You can clearly see how the workers have such disregard for the way these animals are being treated, and are acting inhumane. We should treat everyone and everything with respect and kindness.

Pregnant pig forced into a cage

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
Imagine spending your whole pregnancy cooped up in a crate this size? Well, that's exactly what pigs have to endure. This plump, pregnant pig was forced into a gestation crate during her pregnancy. This all took place at Iowa Select Farms. Think about that the next time you're drinking milk!

Calf left for dead at Willet Dairy

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
An investigation into Willet Dairy confirmed some gruesome details on the way that the animals were treated at the farm. The investigation uncovered that workers were electric-shocking the cows, and left them to starve and die when they were classified as "downed".

Nowhere to move

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
This photo was taken at the Buckeye Veal Farm in Ohio, where baby calves were chained inside wooden stalls. They couldn't turn around to walk, play, or even socialize with the other animals around them. This kind of treatment leads a calf to only live a 20-week life.

Screaming in labor

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
There's a gruesome and sad tale about this photo as it stands. This cow was actually in labor at the time of this photo and was having a stillborn ripped out of her when it was taken. Absolutely disgusting! This same institution was also rumored to kick and punch cows and stab them with screwdrivers.

A castrated piglet

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
There's no kind treatment to animals where Christensen Farms are concerned. This piglet was brutally castrated not long after it was born. It's horrifying how these animals can be treated in such institutions and there should be some new laws brought into play to protect the animals at all costs.

This is no Charlotte's Web

Image Source/ A Humane World
Factory farms have started to become the most inhumane places to work at. According to Soapboxie, the last ten years has skyrocketed the media coverage of abuse at these factory farms through the use of videos, documentaries, articles and undercover footage.

This calf doesn't seem to be going anywhere

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
It's not just the fully grown animals that are treated insensitively at these sorts of institutions. Look at this photo of a calf for example, which can barely stand up on its own while confined to such a small space. Apparently, factory farms get so bad that they even feed dead carcasses to the animals to cut costs.

Factory farms treat animals so bad that they become immobilized

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
The treatment of animals at factory farms might come as no surprise to some, but for many they will be harrowed by the images they'll be seeing on this list. For example, this dairy cow was put through so much pain and trauma that it physically couldn't stand.

With no tail to tell

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
According to One Green Planet, abusers at factory farms will go as far as chopping the tail of animals off in order to save room and reduce overcrowding in the pens. Often, this exercise is done at birth with no anesthesia or pain killers to ease the pain.

Overcrowding is one of the biggest issues for factory farms

Image Source/ Liverpool Echo
It's important to ask ourselves the question of whether as consumers we are enablers of this kind of inhumane torture against animals. Looking at all these hens, they are packed away in this space with nowhere to move. Realistically, this is just a snapshot, and there's probably many more where that came from.

Piles and piles and piles of pigs

Image Source/ Matt Johnson
It's been reported that animals can be pumped full of drugs to make them grow faster, obviously leading to there being a shortage of space in factory farms. Some animals grow so big that they struggle with broken legs and painful joints - no way for an animal to live.

There's no modesty for animals whatsoever

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
These dairy cows were put between these barriers without even the space to turn around. In order to identify many of the animals that live on factory farms, they might sometimes brand them with hot irons while still awake and without anesthetic, obviously causing severe pain.

Just a tray full of chicks

Image Source/ OneGreenPlanet
Imagine happening upon this sight when you open your office drawer at work! These chicks are forced to endure such terrible conditions, where they can't even roam free. It makes it even worse that these chicks are sometimes fed through a grinder while still alive.

Featherless and hopeless

Image Source/ OneGreenPlanet
It might come as no surprise that considering the environments these animals are living in, they start to become stressed and lose their feathers and fur due to the conditions they're forced to live in. Animals can go days and weeks without sunlight, according to One Green Planet, and some will never see it.

Crammed into the tightest spaces

Image Source/ People's World
Egg farms can be some of the worst places for treatment of their animals. Looking at this farm, you can see that this chicken has become stuck between the bars and there's no one to help the poor thing. It's somewhat surprising, considering hens need certain conditions to lay eggs.

Pigs impossible to count

Image Source/ SoapBoxies
There's that many pigs in this one picture that it's probably impossible to try and count them. It's supposedly standard practice in these sort of places to snatch babies away from their mothers straight after birth, depriving them of their mother's milk and causing emotional distress.

Some animals are looking filthy

Image Source/ PETA
Despite the photograph being taken ten years ago, the conditions in which animals have to endure haven't gotten much better, and there needs to be tighter laws on how animals can be treated at these places. Looking at this cow, it looks as though it has taken a slip in some muck (or much worse).

Countless dead animals

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
You'd think that animals farms would want to keep their animals alive as long as possible, but it's not always the case. Looking at this photo, you can see a worker nonchalantly walk through the mounds and mounds of dead carcasses, without a care in the world.

The animals bear sad eyes

Image Source/ MercyForAnimals
The stress that these conditions cause on animals can only have a negative impact. Here you can see the sad, solemn eyes of some cows as they stand, legs spread, in their tight pens with nowhere to move. This is so that workers can get easy access to the udders.

Simply a pile of bodies

Image Source/ Quora
As you can see, these cows have been left without any regard to their life. They are piled on top of each other as though they weren't once animals that actually lived. Apparently, some animals have their teeth ripped out to prevent harming each other in confined spaces.

Facts about dairy farms they don't want you to know: around 21 million calves are killed a year

image source: freefromharm.org
You might not have known how much the beef industry is related to the dairy industry in terms of cows or calves that are killed. We know that cows are taken to slaughterhouses to become beef, but a huge amount of calves from dairy farms are killed to turn into veal or cheap beef because the dairy farms have no use for them (such as male calves that can't produce milk).

The cows have to give birth to make milk

image source: abundantpermaculture.com
This may sound like an obvious one, but dairy cows can only produce the milk the farms need if they're pregnant, which means every adult cow on a dairy farm is expected to have at least one baby which will then be separated from it and potentially go on to get slaughtered if the calf is unneeded (it's the milk from the pregnancy and not the calf needed, at the end of the day).

Cows now naturally produce more milk than they need, because of farming

image source: freefromharm.org
As a result of dairy farms and all this biological manipulation to produce as much milk as possible, cows have now evolved, in a way, to actually give more milk than they would naturally produce to nourish their young. Cows can actually end up producing a whopping 12 times more milk than needed to feed their calf - and they then have to carry that weight around!

Nearly all calves are taken from their mothers within hours of birth

image source: reddit.com
As we mentioned, calves are separated from their mothers on dairy farms - but this might happen more quickly than you expected. In order to use all the milk for the dairy farm rather than for feeding the calf, the young cow is usually separated from its mother within hours of being born. Around 97% of newborn calves are taken within the first day of being born.

Some cows can be artificially impregnated to keep milk production going

image source: freefromharm.org
Because milk is only produced when a cow gives birth, it's also become the norm for dairy farms to maximize product and profit by artificially impregnating an adult female cow. To artificially inseminate a cow, it needs a very invasive procedure that of course the cow can't consent to. This doesn't just happen once per cow, either - it happens repeatedly every year.

Female calves are isolated and feed off milk replacement

image source: freefromharm.org
Because calves are separated from their mothers instantly so that they can't feed on the milk needed for dairy farms, they are instead taken to where they will be fed on a milk replacement instead of their mother's natural milk. Not only that, but these female calves are likely isolated for this, where they spend a few months confined in hutches before they themselves become female cows reared for producing milk.

Male calves are sold for meat

image source: veganfoodandliving.com
It's not just male calves that can be sold for the veal industry, either - sometimes, if they have more female calves than they need, these can be sold on for meat, too. This highlights the fact that the veal meat industry depends heavily on the dairy industry, in order to get those regular supplies of meat from the calves that aren't needed on dairy farms.

Over 90% of cows are kept primarily indoors

image source: bloomberg.com
When you think of cows, you want to at least think of them grazing in fields, even in dairy farms before they're taken for their milk. But most of the time, cows on dairy farms are kept completely indoors - in fact, over 90% of cows are kept indoors instead of allowed to roam outside. These dairy cows can also often be kept very tightly packed together whilst inside.

Over half of them can be tied up by the neck

image source: freefromharm.org
It's also possible that a lot of cows kept indoors for all this time might actually be restrained by the neck for all that time, too. Rather than being kept indoors but allowed to roam in large pens, around 60% of dairy cows can be tied up by the neck in their small stalls while they're processed for their milk production. This can make quality of life very difficult, as you can imagine.

It all takes a toll on their bodies

image source: plantbasednews.org
It goes without saying that even just being kept inside in cramped spaces for an animal can seriously reduce its ability to stay healthy. But add that to the repeated cycle of being forcibly impregnated and then required to fulfil so much milk production, time after time, and you end up with cows with seriously overworked bodies - and as soon as they're overworked and producing less, they're likely killed.

Around 3 million cows in the US are killed at a young age

image source: scientificamerican.com
In the USA alone, there are on average 9 million dairy cows a year on these farms - and around 3 million of them are killed every year, at a very young age. They're slaughtered at a very small fraction of what their full lifespan would be, and this is all down to how overworked their bodies are and the decision that's made when they aren't fulfilling their purpose on the farms anymore.

And here are some shocking facts about factory farms: some birds are painfully 'debeaked'

image source: reddit.com
Hens which lay eggs - even the ones on 'free-range' farms rather than factory farms - might go through a very painful process called 'debeaking'. This is exactly what it sounds like, in that the bird has its beak removed. To do this, its beak is actually seared off using a very hot blade, all done while the bird is fully conscious and aware of the agony without any pain relief.

Around 250 million male chicks are killed every year

image source: reddit.com
As we know, male chicks are the ones which are sent to be killed after hatching compared to the female chicks, but the sad fact is that this can still happen even if you're deciding to keep chickens yourself to give them a better life. If you're getting your female hens from factories in order to keep them in your own coop, the factories supplying them are still the ones who kill around 250 million male chicks every year.

Most animals used for meat are babies

image source: reddit.com
We know there are specific names for 'baby' meat - such as veal - but most of the time, it's likely that a person eating meat is eating the meat of a very young animal rather than a fully grown adult. Broiler chickens are often killed around 6 weeks old, while cattle killed for meat can be 2 years old at most, sometimes even just over a year old. Lambs, as we know, are babies, and can be killed around 3 months to 6 months old.

Broiler chickens suffer from a number of health issues due to farms

image source: reddit.com
Broiler chickens have increased in size enormously over the years, and that's down to factory farming. This is because the selective breeding process has caused them to increase in size in order to supply the meat. This has then resulted in a number of health issues due to their growing weight, including muscle damage and broken bones, and even lesions on their feet.

98% of pigs in the US are raised on factory farms

image source: reddit.com
Most would agree baby pigs are among the most adorable animals - but because around 98% of pigs in the US alone are raised in factory farms, baby pigs face a lot of pain and difficult living conditions as they grow. We mentioned earlier about having their tails cut off, and piglets may also have their teeth ripped out (without pain killers) like other animals, to control their behavior in contained spaces.

How foie gras is really made

image source: reddit.com
We spoke about the torturous environments that factory farm geese live in when producing foie gras, but in case you didn't know about the disturbing process to have this particular food made... Foie gras is the fatty liver that comes from a goose or a duck, but to create this food, the birds are force-fed food through a metal pipe pushed down their throats.

Male calves can spend weeks in tiny crates for veal

image source: reddit.com
When male calves are sent off from the dairy farms when they're not needed, they're also likely to be contained in one of these tiny pens. The reason for these pens, known as 'veal crates', is to stop them moving around so much, as too much exercise can result in a different texture and taste of the meat when they're killed. They might spend around 2 weeks in one of these pens before being killed.

"Humane death" is likely non-existent

image source: reddit.com
There have been serious efforts for alternatives to factory farms or dairy farms with cruel conditions, but that doesn't mean some farms are completely humane. Sometimes it can be a comfort to think 'humane' death exists for these animals if they're stunned before being killed so they don't feel pain, but for the most part, there's nothing really humane about what they go through.

No names: just brands or tags

image source: thedailybeast.com
Animals reared in factory farms aren't given names - why do they need them if they're only being raised for meat and profit? So all animals can be expected to either be tagged for identification, likely through the ear, or a lot of the time hot branding can still exist - and if cattle is branded with a hot iron, it's a very painful and stressful experience for them.