Why can't we stop eating BABIES?!
Some people avoid dining upon veal or lamb, explaining that eating a baby animal makes them uneasy. While this is a compassionate gesture, a lack of information about the realities of animal agriculture makes it somewhat futile unless the person decides to take their ethics a step further. After all, the vast majority of animals eaten by human beings are babies.
Just look at these facts:
Chickens, as usual, have it worst of all. Those raised for meat are killed at about six weeks old, much earlier than their approximately 10 year lifespan. When they go to slaughter, they are still peeping like chicks--and in fact, they are chicks, trapped in enormous bodies that have been intentionally manipulated and disabled by human beings so that they grow at an incredibly accelerated rate. (More about disability and animal liberation here!) In nature, they would still be with their mothers.
Pigs are sent to slaughter at about six months old, though they can live between 15 and 20 years. In the meat industry, they are separated from their mothers at about three weeks of age, though they would stay with her for three or four months in nature. Two weeks later, she is impregnated again via artificial insemination. After three years or so of this, she will be killed too.
Cows live a little longer. Those raised for meat are killed at about two years old in the UK--though some are pushing for just one year--but their lifespan is generally 18 to 22 years, with some living more than 25 years!
What about the dairy and egg industries? Well, the animals live slightly longer--about a year and a half for chickens and four or five years for the cows--but they suffer longer too, and generally, far more. Read our post Are Eggs and Dairy More Cruel Than Meat? to learn why.
Benson, Richard, Put out to grass: when animals are allowed to grow old, The Guardian, 10 February 2019