Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 | 2 a.m.
We are a nation of special observances. There is even a World Day for Farm Animals, which was observed on Oct. 2 (Gandhi’s birthday). Apparently it’s intended to memorialize the tens of billions of animals abused and killed for food.
Like most others, I always thought of farm animals as “food on the hoof.” But when a friend sent me an amazing, endearing Facebook video (www.facebook.com/LeoJuniorBulldogFrench/videos/1198548160234565/), it dawned on me that farm animals are much like our family dog, fully deserving of our compassion and respect.
My internet search showed that they get neither. Male baby chicks are “culled” — meaning killed — by the millions through such methods as throwing them in high-speed grinders. Laying hens are crowded into small wire cages that tear out their feathers. (Editor’s note: U.S. egg producers say they plan to end culling of male chicks by 2020.)
Breeding sows are kept pregnant in tiny metal crates. Dairy cows have their babies snatched away immediately upon birth, so we can drink their milk.
It was enough to drive someone to drink. Instead, it drove me to replace the animal products in my diet with a rich variety of plant-based meat and dairy substitutes offered by my grocery store. I have since learned that a cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.