Imagine the most frigid winter day in January with the bitter, icy wind blowing against your face – it’s only natural to want to take shelter and keep warm, a simple need not afforded to all. Animals raised for food consumption are transported in all kinds of weather conditions, with little to no protection against the extreme cold or heat.
During transportation, animals can also be deprived of the basic necessities of life and kept on the trailer for days on end with no rest period. Canada alone has some of the worst transport regulations in the Western world, falling well below standard.
Whether they are pigs or cows, hens or goats, these sentient beings know nothing but complete misery from the day they are born to the day they are violently slaughtered. They are treated as mere commodities in a profit-driven industry, suffering in silence. There are the lucky few who have miraculously survived their journey to the slaughterhouse and found their way to sanctuary. For most, their short lives are filled with unspeakable cruelty and torment. It is time to change this.
Transportation of “Livestock”
Thousands of animals are transported in overcrowded trucks to slaughter plants on a daily basis. Their journeys can take them hundreds of miles across the country in all kinds of weather. Regulations governing the transportation of livestock vary greatly between countries. For instance, in Canada, the “Health of Animals Regulations” state that cattle may transported for up to 52 hours without being provided access to food, water, or given a rest period. Horses, chickens, and pigs can remain on the trailer up to 36 hours without food or water. This holds true during the hottest of summer days, when the inside of the trailer can reach extreme temperatures causing dehydration and even death. It is estimated that between two to three million animals will die every year during transport – that does not include the number of animals severely injured en route.
Another issue inherent in these so-called humane regulations is the allowance for the use of electric prods at the hands of untrained drivers. These devices are used as a means of forcing animals on and off the trucks. In addition, there is no clause preventing the transport of ill, injured or pregnant animals. They may be transported as long as the trip does not cause “undue suffering.” It is not uncommon to find a downed animal lying on the feces-covered and urine-soaked trailer floor, unable to stand. Recently there have been a number of accidents involving transport trucks – the innocent victims dying without dignity or respect, discarded like trash. It is undeniable that every step of the way is filled with unnecessary suffering.
An Alternative Story
The majority of animals sent to slaughter are only months old – babies crammed in filthy, overcrowded trailers. There have been several instances of animals leaping or falling off of the trucks, such was the case with Cromwell the pig.
In 2014, a young pig fell out of a transport truck while traveling down a very busy highway in Southern Ontario, Canada. Thankfully, he was rescued by kind people and made his way to Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, a family-run sanctuary for animals rescued from abuse, neglect, and slaughter. Today, Cromwell knows nothing but love and understanding. His days on a pig farm are far behind him. He is now free to feel the sun on his back and the grass beneath him – life’s simple pleasures denied to so many gentle animals.
How You Can Help
Animals raised in factory farms suffer unimaginable cruelties their entire (short) lives. They are transported long distances without access to food or water, suffering in extreme cold and heat. Outrage would ensue if companion animals were treated in this manner and yet it is acceptable when they are farm animals.
You can make a difference. Educate yourself and others about what life is like for millions of animals that are killed for consumption. If you’re a Canadian resident, contact your local Member of Parliament and tell them the transportation regulations are failing the animals. You can also make a huge difference by supporting your local farm sanctuaries who are working hard to make the world a better place for the animals!
Lead image source: Hunter Gunn/Shutterstock