The 39th annual World Day for Farmed Animals is just around the corner. Since 1983, October 2 has been a designated day of mourning for the countless animal lives lost to slaughter. WDFA is a day to remember and memorialize those senselessly slaughtered, innocent beings who end up on dinner plates. It is our opportunity to draw attention to the suffering and inhumane conditions these animals endure during their short lives.
GETTING INVOLVED IN WDFA EVENTS
Between 65-70 billion animals are killed for food each year on average. October 2 is an opportunity for animal lovers to come together and make a statement on the animals’ behalf. Something as simple as passing out leaflets or setting up a table at an event to disseminate information can create change for farm animals. Surveys indicate that 93% of consumers disapprove of the mistreatment of farm animals. Activists campaigning on behalf of farm animals can show the public the true extent of injustice these animals endure so that they can make more compassion-fueled decisions.
On World Day for Farmed Animals, activists hold educational events, demonstrations, and protests throughout the United States and other countries. This year, in-person events are happening in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, California, Oregon, Florida, Minnesota, and numerous virtual events.
FAST AGAINST SLAUGHTER
Perhaps the most accessible activity to participate in on World Day for Farmed Animals is taking the Fast Against Slaughter pledge. On October 2, we stand in solidarity with farm animals past, present, and future by refusing food ourselves. Participants can take the Fast Against Slaughter pledge on the World Day for Farmed Animals website. The website also shares tips for fasting safely. After taking the pledge online, participants can share their photos and stories on social media with the hashtag #FastAgainstSlaughter.
IOWA WDFA PROCLAMATION
Joining World Day for Farmed Animals for the first time this year is Iowa, the Hawkeye state. Governor Kim Reynolds signed the proclamation into effect on September 2, 2022. The Iowa World Day for Farmed Animals proclamation is especially significant as Iowa’s 5,400 hog farms supply approximately 1/3 of the nation’s hogs. Iowa is also the 12th largest dairy producer in the United States, with about 1,200 dairy farms.
“This year, proclamations requests have been sent to all U.S. Governors and I am particularly honored that Iowa has recognized World Day for Farmed Animals. My father was born in Rockwell City,” said Eric C Lindstrom, Executive Director of Farm Animal Rights Movement. “I am quite familiar with the economics of agriculture in Iowa and knowing Governor Reynolds supports WDFA is very encouraging to our mission.”
FARMED ANIMALS ARE STILL LEGALLY ABUSED
This year’s WDFA is particularly meaningful since, during the 39th anniversary year of WDFA, nearly all farmed animals are still raised in “factory farms,” where they are caged, crowded, mutilated, mishandled, drugged, and denied their natural needs. Despite these statistics, surveys indicate that 93% of consumers disapprove of the mistreatment of farmed animals.
- Most farmed animals never see their first birthday.
- Because male chicks do not lay eggs, they are ground alive or suffocated. Their sisters are crammed together in small wire cages. Many starve to death because they cannot get to the feed trough.
- Ducks are force-fed with tubes in order to give them fatty liver disease for foie gras.
- Young pigs spend their six-month lifespan in crowded pens after being torn from their mother at birth and mutilated with no anesthesia.
- Mother pigs spend their lives in metal gestational stalls giving birth to litter after litter of piglets, only to have them repeatedly stolen from her.
- Each year, dairy cows are artificially impregnated, so they will continue to produce milk. They never have the opportunity to nurse the calves they give birth to yearly. The dairy cows are milked daily by machines while they mourn the loss of their calves.
- Female calves are destined for a life identical to their mother’s, while males are often slaughtered for veal at a young age.
- Many farm animals spend their final days starving and thirsty on their journey to slaughter.
GOING VEGAN FOR HUMANITY, TOO
The animals are not the only creatures whose fate is at stake. Humans are also affected since meat consumption causes many health issues. Numerous studies have shown that consuming meat increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
In addition, animal agriculture poses many dangers to the environment. “Animal agriculture is a leading cause of global warming and is responsible for more water pollution, topsoil depletion, deforestation and wildlife destruction than all other human activities combined.”
Animal agriculture contributes directly to global warming by releasing greenhouse gases into the air. Forests are burned to create pasture for the animals, generating carbon dioxide. During transport to slaughter, the trucks and other carriers use fossil fuels. Methane and nitrous oxide comes from cattle’s digestive tracts and animal waste cesspools.
The farm animal industry furthers water pollution by dumping pollutants such as animal manure, fertilizers, soil particles, and pesticides. Dumping toxic waste promotes the growth of harmful algae, depletes oxygen, kills fish, and even smothers fish eggs.
Animal agriculture also plays a significant role in deforestation. Forests are clear-cut and burned. “This is a major loss because trees provide wildlife habitats, keep topsoil in place, replenish groundwater aquifers, absorb carbon dioxide, and stabilize climate.” When the land is no longer suitable as pasture, it becomes animal feed croplands. Rain or melting snow carries off topsoil. The land eventually becomes barren.
The oceans are also suffering from animal agriculture. Large scale fish breeding farms are popping up across the world and polluting our oceans. Fish are crammed together into small spaces which promotes disease and suffering. Industrial fishing boats are clearing the seas of fish while other ocean beings are killed by getting caught up in nets or discarded fishing gear.
World Day for Farmed Animals is a yearly opportunity to join forces and speak up for the animals who cannot speak for themselves. Visit www.dayforanimals.com to find ways to contribute, and remember to take your pledge to Fast Against Slaughter for October 2, 2022.