Why these products are cruel and unusual
•Eggs - Because male chickens are useless to the industry, hatcheries will collect the males shortly after birth and put them in either a meat grinder, tied up plastic bags, or a trash compactor while still alive. Studies done on the effectiveness of the meat grinder turned the machine on for 20 seconds and found chicks still alive, though egregiously wounded. [x] All methods are slow and inhumane. Because this practice is done at the hatchery, even “cruelty free”, free range, and organic eggs are responsible. [x] Additionally, the hens sold have been bred to produce eggs much larger, and more frequently occurring than in the wild. This means egg laying is quite a bit more painful than with wild birds who have smaller eggs, and depletes the chickens’ bodies of nutrition, leading to early death. 95% of all hens are kept in battery cages. [x]
•Dairy - Like with male chicks, male calfs are useless to the industry and are sent to auction within a few days of birth. Because they may not drink their mother’s milk, they are nutritionally starved with inferior supplements. When sold as veal they are kept alive for slightly longer, though tied to prevent movement and given a special diet that causes anemia to give the meat a white look. [x] The females will be forced to churn out babies annually in order to keep milk production up, until their bodies are spent and they are sent to slaughter. The average dairy cow lives only 4-6 years. This means that their is at least 1 dead animal and an average of 3 more of her dead sons. Cows grieve when their children are taken from them. [x]
• Wool - A forth of the world’s wool supply comes from Australia where there is a common practice called “mulesing”. It involves cutting the loose skin around the tail, anus, and vulva with shears, this is usually done without anesthesia and without pain killers during the healing process. This practice started because humans have bread sheep to have overly-dense, long wool that doesn’t shed (as it does on natural sheep) and wrinkly skin (more surface area, more wool). This is a problem in hot climates, where the vast majority of wool comes from, because it invites infection, flystrike, and maggot infestation. Humans created this problem and similarly created an inhumane method of “treatment” via mutilation.
•Pearls - A pearl is a defense mechanism created by clams and oysters. When something penetrates their hard shell and burrows into their flesh, the pearl is created around the foreign body, layer by layer, to prevent irritation (think of a callus forming around a splinter you couldn’t force out). Pearls that form in the wild are exceedingly rare, almost every pearl come from farms where the mollusk is deliberately pierced and afflicted with a microscopic irritant. Pain is thought to have evolved because animals are capable of moving to avoid it. Without locomotion, pain would be useless. Mollusks can move, though slowly, and a defense mechanism such as this raises an intriguing question on the pain sensitivity of mollusks.
•Silk - Silk is harvested from the cocoons of the mulberry silkworm larve. Silkworms do not live in the wild anymore, this means that 100% of silk is harvested and not scavenged after the moth has emerged. Harvesting is done by steaming the still cocooned caterpillars to death and then boiling the cocoon to unwind the thread.
•Honey - It takes 12 honey bees their entire life to make 1 teaspoon of honey. In order to keep a hive viable for profit, the queen is killed every other year to ensure a young, relatively powerless queen. Her wings are ripped off to prevent the hive from relocating. When the honey is collected, farmers give the bees an inferior substitute of either corn syrup or sugar water. Bees require the specific nutritional benefits of honey and are not capable of surviving long on either option. However corn syrup is thought to be partially responsible, in conjunction with pesticides, for the massive bee die offs the globe has been experiencing. [x] Many commercial farms do not find hives profitable in the winter and will kill off the entire hive at the end of each season.