World Animal Day
As we celebrate World Animal Day today, it is important for us to be aware of the torture inflicted on farmed animals for meat and dairy products. But before that, we need to understand that farmed animals are conscious, sentient beings that are capable of expressing and feeling deep emotions. These animals can feel a range of emotions and form lasting bonds with one another.
We often think of them as products without realizing the suffering inflicted on them at farms and slaughterhouses. As humans, we must value not just our kind but all sentient beings on our planet, which includes farmed animals.
Examples of sentience in farmed animals
Animals can process emotions and experience feelings of joy and sorrow like us. They also feel hurt and suffer like us. Many of them are social and look out for each other. They also form deep bonds with their families and are capable of making friends. farmed animals like pigs, cows, sheep, and chickens express themselves in the following ways:
Cows can be deeply social animals. They live in small herds with a social hierarchy and often form close friendships. They have problem-solving abilities. They also get excited when they learn to overcome obstacles like opening a gate to reach their food, which is their reward. Cows and their calves share a special bond. Cows have strong maternal feelings for their calf after birth. On farms, when the calves are taken away from the cows, they tend to get stressed and sad.
Chickens have complex social behavior and pecking orders or hierarchies. They also have calls to communicate, express their feelings, or alert each other about food or predators. Hens chirp to their babies in the eggs and the chicks chirp back at their mothers. Mother hens also teach their chicks to tell good food from bad. Chickens also have great memories. They learn from past experiences. They remember what foods taste good and any previous threats they have faced. Chickens also recognize other chickens and human faces. They also empathize with other chickens and understand and share feelings of happiness, grief, or stress.
Pigs greet each other by touching noses and grunting. They form close bonds and groom each other. Pigs feel pain and fear and also feel stress, especially if they are kept in isolation. Pigs also learn from each other and show empathy for fellow pigs. They know how to use mirrors to locate food. They even enjoy puzzles and problem-solving. They experience grief, pain, joy, and other feelings like we do. When piglets are separated from the mother pigs, they cry to call the mother back.
Sheep are capable of showing compassion and forming bonds with other sheep. They can easily recognize each other as human beings. Research shows that sheep can recognize up to fifty faces even from the side profile for up to 2 years. This indicates that sheep have good memory and intelligence. Evidence also shows that sheep can form mental images of other sheep if they are absent. They have a sense of self and individuality. But they work together in groups. They can sometimes be crafty and feel complex emotions such as love, loss, and even jealousy.
Without understanding the emotions and pain of farmed animals, we support the industries that take the lives of these helpless and voiceless animals. Awareness regarding animal sentience can help us see how farmed animals deserve to live happy, healthy lives instead of being treated brutally on farms. By protecting the rights and lives of farmed animals, we can give them the life they truly deserve and prevent animal cruelty, save our environment, and lead an eco-friendly and compassionate lifestyle.
How we can celebrate World Animal Day
There are different ways we can celebrate this day and change their lives. We can take one step at a time to build awareness and change our ways. We can volunteer with or donate to animal protection or animal rights NGOs to show our support for farmed animals to end animal cruelty.
We can also prevent the abuse of farmed animals by signing petitions and spreading awareness about animal farming. And we can simply stop consuming animal products and choose a healthy, plant-based diet. Together, we can put an end to animal torture, factory farming, and animal slaughter.