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Whether raised on small, family farms or factory farms, domesticated animals are routinely mutilated without anesthetics. Turkeys and egg laying hens have their sensitive beaks amputated with a hot machine blade that cuts through bone, cartilage and soft tissue, causing acute pain and often death, and leaving the disfigured survivors with lifelong pain resembling human phantom limb pain. Turkeys also have their toes chopped off.

Cattle have their horns cut off and their testicles cut out of their scrotums, and many are branded with sizzling-hot irons, resulting in third-degree burns.

Pigs commonly have their teeth cut to the gum line, their tails chopped off, and their ears notched, and some have rings forced into their sensitive noses in order to permanently prevent them from rooting in the grass and dirt.


PHOTO CAPTIONS
• Day-old “layer” hens have their sensitive beaks seared off with a hot blade.

• Newly hatched turkeys have their beaks and toes amputated.

Calves are dehorned, many are branded with hot irons, and the males are castrated.

 

To the farmer, these mutilations are routine but, to the individuals who are forced to. endure them, these violent acts are not only physically crippling, they are emotionally traumatic because the individual is unable to escape what s/he experiences as a threat to his or her life. What the producer describes as a standard, generic practice (debeaking, detoeing, castration, branding, tooth scraping, etc) is an individual experience of shock and trauma to each of the helpless victims.

To the pig being castrated after hearing the agonizing cries of his siblings tortured before him, to the bird having her sensitive beak seared with a burning blade, to the calf being tied down, burned, castrated and dehorned, the pain, the suffering, the terror is not routine, it is not standard, and it is certainly not generic: its horror is as singular as the individual experiencing it. It is this pig’s pain, this bird’s suffering, this calf’s terror.


PHOTO CAPTIONS
Piglets have their teeth cut to the gum line, their ears notched, and their tails cut off. Males are castrated.
No anesthetics are used for any of these painful procedures.

 
     
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