To most people's surprise, animals raised for food in the U.S. are denied adequate legal protection, resulting in horrific--yet standard--cruelties that would lead to criminal prosecution if the same abuses were inflicted upon the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes.
Behind the vast majority of every "incredible edible" egg produced today in the U.S. is a hen so intensively confined inside a wire battery cage, she can barely even move. With just 67 square inches of floor space on which to live, she can't even flap her wings, nest, perch, dust bathe, or perform many other natural behaviors including walking. This is the miserable day-to-day reality forced upon more than 250 million hens crammed inside cages on today's egg factories--and it's the norm on egg factory farms, including those participating in the United Egg Producers Certified Program.
What is United Egg Producers Certified? The United Egg Producers (UEP) is a discredited trade organization with a sordid history of animal abuse and consumer fraud. The "UEP Certified" program permits participating producers to cram hens inside barren wire cages, as shown above. In fact, all three images above--of hens overcrowded in a cage, suffering from untreated illnesses, and dying in cages--were taken by Compassion Over Killing investigators while inside United Egg Producers Certified farms. In 2003, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ruled that the UEP's voluntary program, then called "Animal Care Certified," was misleading consumers about animal welfare. In 2004, the BBB upheld this ruling upon appeal, and in 2005, after the UEP failed to abide by the BBB's recommendations, the case was referred to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In 2006, in accordance with an agreement it signed with the FTC, the UEP finally ended its use of the deceptive "Animal Care Certified" claim. Later that year, the UEP paid $100,000 settle the claims of 16 state attorneys general offices and the District of Columbia attorney general that it engaged in false advertising. The UEP is currently the defendant in a consolidated class action lawsuit (originally comprised of 20 separate class action lawsuits) for illegal price fixing.
Learn more at EggIndustry.com
As with all mammals, cows produce milk for their babies. In order to maximize the amount of milk each produces on today's factory farms, however, cows are artificially inseminated every year and their bodies are loaded with antibiotics and hormones. This constant birthing cycle coupled with a mechanized milking process takes a toll on dairy cows. Their exhausted bodies are often "spent" after just five years. (The natural life of a cow is about 25 years.)
To make matters worse, male calves born in the dairy industry are unfortunate byproducts who are forced to live their short lives inside crates so small, they can't even turn around. After four months of constant confinement and a nutritionally deficient diet, these baby cows are killed, and their sickly, pale flesh is marketed as veal.
Learn more at TryVeg.com.