Increasingly, people are concerned with unethical treatment of animals slaughtered for human consumption. Reports of inhumane treatment of animals during their lives and until their often brutal deaths have raised concerns about practices leading up to the packaging of animal products. Since the 1800’s and the creation of “the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere” during that time, the mission to prevent cruelty to animals has been meaningful to many people who believe in and have joined the cause (ASPCA, 2010). The undertaking of animal rights organizations to succeed in getting people to respond to preventing animal cruelty has been in progress for many years.
Unethical animal practices are still underway, and often, the culprit is factory farms. Factory farms employee workers who raise thousands of animals for food, inject the animals with antibiotics and hormones, and only allow animals to have painful, short lives (ASPCA, 2010). Even though animals are victims of unethical treatment, efforts are being taken daily in the crusade against animal cruelty. Resources are available for reporting animal cruelty. The ASPCA (2000) educates the public via their website about ways to help fight against animal cruelty. Sometimes the public is not aware of how much unethical treatment of animals actually takes place and to what extent abusers will go in harming animals before animals go to slaughter. Knowledge is power in the fight against animal cruelty since awareness aids in prevention, and continued organizational efforts concerning educating the public is a key factor in successfully ending animal cruelty.
Other changes taking place are efforts to pass laws prohibiting the moving, transport, receiving, purchasing, selling, delivering, or donating of horses for slaughter for human consumption (ASPCA, 2010).
Another law the ASPCA (2010) would like to aid in passing is The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act which would help to discontinue the practice of giving food animals that are not sick the antibiotics people need. The ASPCA (2010) also initiated a program called The Certified Humane Certificate Program which ensures that animals sold for consumption have been labeled so consumers know those animals have been treated ethically and humanely throughout production stages. Inspections are done to ensure the process is humane.
The changes regarding ethical treatment of animals raised for production are taking place, because people who consume animal products have found out from animal rights activist groups that animal suffering, at times because of extreme cruelty, was and is taking place and is not necessary. Most animal rights activists groups do not care if people eat meat; the concern is about how the animals raised for meat are being treated.
Animal Rights International (ARI) (2008), founded in 1974 by Henry Spira, has led many animal rights campaigns. Findings from ARI (2008) in the late eighties uncovered staggering statistics recording “95 percent of all animal suffering involves farm animals…” (para. 10). The statistics inspired ARI to focus more on the production process of farm animals.
Desired outcomes are taking place. Inside investigations of factory farmed animals are uncovering unethical treatment of animals. The investigations are often performed undercover by “…professional film production studios, animal advocacy organizations, and enterprising individuals” (Anonymous, 2006). The documentaries and exposes unveil strong evidence of animal abuse on factory farms. Undercover TV is a project in defense of animals and airs episodes of the eye-opening demonstration of some of the disgusting and cruel treatment of factory farm animals (Anonymous, 2006).
Due to vigilant animal rights organizations, great strides are being taken to improve the quality of the lives of animals, animals which include farm animals being raised for food production. Because of ARI’s efforts, hoisting and shackling of large animals during slaughter has nearly been phased out (ARI, 2008).
In the future, animal rights organizations want to reduce animal suffering, not only by changing unnecessarily harmful methods but by “reducing the consumption of animal products” (ARI, 2008, para. 12). The objective to reduce consumption also stems from overwhelming evidence that substantiates a link between disease and meat consumption (The Humane Farming Association, 2010). Animal rights organizations and a growing number of consumers care about unethical treatment of farm animals. Getting more people to care is an ongoing goal which will enhance efforts in preventing animal cruelty and prevents disease in human beings.
In the future, the situation would improve if federal laws were in place to protect animals from the brutal treatment they are victim to on factory farms. Farm animals raised for production which results in profit are not currently protected under the federal Animal Welfare Act (The Humane Farming Association, 2010).
My opinion about the issue of unethical treatment of animals raised for human consumption is that unethical and inhumane treatment of animals is unnecessary. I believe we are not the only living things on the planet who experience emotions and who have personalities. My own experience with animals would support this claim as does Julianna Kettlewell’s (2005) report called Farm animals need emotional TLC. In the report, Kettlewell (2005) highlights several studies which support the idea that animals have and express feelings.
Animal rights organizations have been vigilant over many years, since the 1800’s, in trying to get people to respond with empathy and understanding about animal abuse, especially on factory farms. I think many people prefer to think the package of hamburger they are buying at the grocery store was born that way and was actually never an animal. My opinion is that the issue is similar to any other issue in a global sense which is if people do not experience something or do not see the event happening, they can pretend the unethical behavior is not occurring. I am glad to find out organizations such as The Humane Farming Association, the ARI, and the ASPCA exist and that efforts are continuing in ending animal cruelty.
The unethical treatment of animals slaughtered for human consumption is unnecessary and extremely cruel. Even though progress has been made by animal rights organizations and organization supporters, society has a long way to go in achieving what is considered ethical in the treatment of factory farmed animals.
Anonymous. (2006). New episodes of Undercover TV expose animal abuse. Retrieved from
ARI. (2008). The farm animal campaigns. Retrieved from http://ari-online.org/
ASPCA. (2010). About us. Retrieved from http://www.aspca.org/about-us/
ASPCA. (2010). Factory farming. Retrieved from
ASPCA (2010). What is the certified humane certificate program. Retrieved from
Kettlewell, J. (2005). Farm animals ‘need emotional TLC’. Retrieved from
The Humane Farming Association. (2010). Factory farming. Retrieved from