OF LAYING HENS
CRATING OF PREGNANT SOWS
The practice of withholding food
and water (the former for up to two weeks) is a common
U.S. practice used to shock laying hens into a new egg-laying
cycle. Without even considering the inherent cruelty
of housing seven or more fully grown hens in an 18 by
20 inch cage-also outlawed in Europe- USDA research
shows that starvation undermines the hens’ immune
systems leading to rampant level of Salmonella and E.
Coli-posing a grave threat to the egg-consuming public.
Sow stalls (also called gestation
crates) are metal cages barely larger than the female
pig herself that immobilize her for virtually her entire
life. The perpetually pregnant sows are unable to turn
or even lie down comfortably. They suffer painful crippling
of the legs and feet from standing on bare concrete
floors without any opportunity to move or exercise.
Recognizing the enormous suffering caused by sow stalls-as
opposed to traditional group housing where pigs are
free to move and socialize-the European Union has outlawed
their use and is currently phasing them out. Sow stalls
recently banned by a voter initiative in Florida-putting public
ethical standards and compassion far ahead of U.S.A.
Culinary Program Teaches Cruelty
at Sur La Table in Los Angeles
crate is a wooden box so narrow that, from the age of
about two weeks, the calves cannot even turn round.
Indeed, as they get older, they cannot even stand up
or lie down without difficulty. The crating of veal
calves is also outlawed and being phased out in the
European Union. By definition, pale veal is produced
using an iron-deficient diet which causes anemia and
physical weakness-completely at odds with ethical veterinary
Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese
three times a day by jamming open their bill, shoving
a long, inflexible pipe down their throats, and driving
several pounds of feed into each bird’s stomach.
Some experience ripped-open necks and ruptured internal
organs because of the intense pressure. Workers are
often given monetary rewards for not “bursting”
birds. The stress and pain frequently result in the
birds’ being unable to walk and reduced to propelling
themselves by pushing with their wings. The process
their livers to
become diseased and swollen up to 10 times larger than their
normal size, and the organs are then eaten as a “delicacy.”
Foie gras production is so cruel that it is illegal in many
countries, including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg,
Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the Czech
Republic. In the U.S., many restaurants and institutions have
already removed this atrocity from their menus and programs
after learning about the intense cruelty involved in its production.
Some recent examples include the following: Williams-Sonoma
removed the item from its catalog; the Smithsonian Associates
canceled a panel discussion on foie gras; the D.C. Dining
Society banned any promotion of foie gras during a banquet
held last December; Sur La Table restaurant in New York canceled
a foie gras seminar last February, and A Dinner of Hope charity
removed the item from its fundraiser in September.