The Human Cost of Killing Animals
Driven by profit, factory farming is an inherently hazardous industry that exploits both workers and the animals. While the animals pay the ultimate price with their lives, farm workers are oppressed by the same system that puts profit above anything else.
As consumers, the number one thing that we can do for those who are trapped (both human and animal) in our food production system is to eliminate animal products from our diets. Choosing a vegan lifestyle is an effective way to avoid contributing to the suffering endured by both the workers and the animals.
A large percentage of factory farm workers are people of color, with an unknown percentage of workers being undocumented. The industry depends on these undocumented individuals because they are less likely to complain about the low wages, dangerous working conditions, and treatment of the animals.
“These employees are hired to kill animals, such as pigs and cows that are naturally gentle creatures. Carrying out this action requires workers to disconnect from what they are doing and from the living being standing before them. This emotional dissonance can lead to consequences such as domestic violence, social withdrawal, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and PTSD.”
Production and Profit
Most facilities operate nearly 24 hours a day 7 days a week – killing and processing hundreds or thousands of animals each hour. Because company profits are based on extreme speed and efficiency, workers are expected to perform at a rate that often compromises their safety and causes great suffering for the animals.
Quality of Life
Even after the work day is over, many workers live with chronic physical and mental health conditions. Motivated by the need to support their families, most workers are forced to continue working in these conditions.