Embracing a vegan lifestyle is one of the primary ways in which we can reduce demand for products that create cruelty for animals. This not only includes meat and animal-derived food products, but also industries that raise and kill animals for other products such as clothing and accessories.

Large numbers of animals reared for food are kept in cramped or uncomfortable enclosures, given only the bare minimum they require to survive with no consideration for their well-being. Some never see daylight or breathe fresh air, and many are snatched from their mothers at a young age to be reared for food.

Michael Kern, teacher of osteopathy and Craniosacral Therapy, has been a vegetarian for almost half a century and is a strong advocate of animal welfare and animal rights.

Factory Farming

In factory farming animals are ‘processed’ by humans for meat and other products usually with little to no concern for their welfare and with profitability as a priority. Animals in factory farms are kept in the smallest possible spaces in conditions that are not only hotbeds of disease, but also create enormous distress and anguish. Many of the animals are beaten, shocked or otherwise harmed for any attempt to step out of line, with their ultimate slaughter the only thing to look forward to.

Free Range Farming

Free range and high welfare farms do not mean the animals enjoy a good life, despite marketing to the contrary. For example, on dairy farms, cows are forcibly impregnated as soon as they’re old enough, and calves are separated from their mothers almost immediately, so that humans can drink the milk meant to feed them. Egg farmers kill male chicks at just one day old. Chickens and cows that have passed their egg-laying or milk-producing days are usually slaughtered, even on high-welfare farms.

Wild Animals

Farming also affects the habitats of many wild animals, causing millions more deaths each year. Farmers intentionally kill many ‘nuisance’ species, and the sad fact is that the more farming is free-range, the more farmers have reason to shoot foxes and other ‘pests’ to prevent them from eating animals reared to provide food for humans.

The best way to help prevent animals from suffering is to refuse to be part of a chain that normalises eating them. The more people who refuse to buy meat, the lower the supplies will become, meaning less animals being bred and killed for meat and other products.