Honoring Justice for All

 "I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now, let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
- Erienne de Grellet
Pigs               Turkeys               Cows               Chickens               Sheep/Goats
Take a moment to imagine cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys and goats/sheep as they were before being held captive thousands of years ago. Imagine their freedom as they roamed the forests and wooded clearings of various continents, built families, slept comfortably in forests, raised young, and searched for food. Imagine their lives before setting eyes on human beings.

Honoring justice for for other living beings through veganism is a daily act of non-violence.  Most people do not know much about the species they eat, how they live, and how they are killed. Most people don't question the ethics of artificially bringing other animals into the world, holding them captive, abusing them, and then brutally killing them.  Most species in this country enslaved for human consumption endure short lives of enormous suffering and deprivation; cruelty that is illegal if done to companion animals like cats and dogs. Cows, chickens, pigs, and other species also feel stress, loneliness, sadness, and joy, just as our companion animals do. The legal system unjustly relegates them to property status which allows them to be treated as commodities rather than living beings.  We encourage you to watch the short film, Meet Your Meat, to witness for yourself what other species are forced to endure.

Their stories will hopefully move people to advocate for them and call upon consumers to honestly question their food choices. Do we have a right to raise and kill other beings for food only for our appetite when we have an abundance of food before us free of such unecessary suffering? Their holocaust is our holocaust. Here are their lives; past and present.


Pigs in captivity are descendants of the wild boar. Most commonly found in Europe, the wild boar was at home in the forest but often ventured into fields and bogs. With a 21 year lifespan, their habitat size ranged anywhere between .2 – 8.2 miles and up to 12,800 feet high. Females lived in social groups numbering 6 – 20, which included the oldest, her daughters, and their offspring.

Days were spent sleeping, foraging for food, socializing, raising young, defending territory, and cooling down in mud pools. Possessing an acute sense of smell and hearing compensated for their poor vision. Using their snouts, they would dig food out of the ground. Their diet consisted of acorns, beechnuts, herbs, grasses, berries, roots, worms, lizards, and frogs. Their snouts also aided them in building regular sleeping nests covered with grass and branches where they would lie close together during rest periods.

In warm weather, boars bathed or “wallowed” in muddy waterholes, sand, and moist earth several times a day to keep cool. With such a short neck, grooming was difficult, so they rubbed against objects and dragged their bottoms along the ground to maintain good hygiene.

In preparation for the birth of their young, pregnant pigs constructed an elaborate nest of grass and branches which would protect the young from wind, moisture, and drafts.

Upon birth, the young became quickly attached to one nipple and returned to it exclusively. If a mother’s litter was too large and there weren’t enough nipples to go around, nursing females would help one another with feeding.

The pig is a highly intelligent, social, and curious being. Yet they are unjustly exploited and killed for food under the most abusive conditions. Treated like machines, there is virtually no consideration given to their needs, well-being, or health. Like many businesses, money, profit, and product is the bottom line.

In a factory like setting, most pigs today are confined their entire lives in large warehouses. In order to produce the flesh demanded by the market, pigs must be brought into the world. Annually, millions of female pigs are enslaved in the role of intensive breeders.

Once impregnated, this female, called a sow, is confined in a crate two feet wide which doesn’t even allow her to turn around. When ready to give birth, she is transferred to a farrowing stall, which is another metal crate so cramped that standing and lying down comfortably is very difficult.

In warehouses, these stalls are lined up one after the other as far as the eye can see. There is no soft bedding, only hard floors for her feet to rest upon. The bond between mother and child is denied and the piglets are taken away after two to three weeks.

She is then impregnated again. This repeated enforcement of pregnancy and birth continues for millions of females until they are killed for meat. Research indicates that many sows suffer from obesity, crippled legs, and severe psychological stress under these horrible conditions.

All pigs are forced to undergo surgeries without the assistance of anesthesia or pain relief. Infants have pieces of their ears removed for identification and their tails are cut off to reduce biting; an abnormal behavior expressed when their needs are severely neglected. After leaving their mother, they are placed in concrete floored pens to be fattened.

Due to the gases created by urine and feces in overcrowded warehouses, respiratory diseases like pneumonia are rampant. At six months, a pig weighs approximately 250 pounds and is sent to be killed. Many pigs actually die on the overcrowded trucks which take them to the slaughterhouse.

Despite industry knowledge of the high rate of deaths, it is still cheaper than making more trips under less crowded conditions, and money makes the rules in the business.

On the slaughterhouse floor, approximately, 1,000 pigs are killed an hour in an assembly line fashion. While the law requires that they be unconscious prior to killing, this is often not the case. After they are stunned unconscious, the workers hang them upside down by their hind legs on a moving conveyor belt and try to slit their necks.

Due to the high speed nature of the operation, pigs are often left still conscious at this point, kicking and screaming out. They are then placed in a tank of scalding water to loosen their tough skin and the pigs who remain conscious are boiled alive.

From birth to death, pigs endure the atrocities and horrors of the modern farm. Forests, grasses, soft earth, gentle breezes, sunlight, family bonds, generous habitats, and mud baths are nonexistent for pigs today. Their home is found in concrete, darkness, metal bars, intense confinement, fowl smells, isolation, and death.



Cows are descendents of the auroch species, a wild ox whose home ranged throughout Europe, North Africa, and Asia. Males were colored black with a light streak along their backs. The smaller females were smaller and reddish brown. Both males and females possessed horns that projected off to the side of their heads.

Their large habitat included separate spaces for grazing, drinking, wallowing and bathing, playing, and grooming. With a life span approximately 25 years, adults spent a good portion of the day feeding, ruminating, playing, and resting.

They lived in the forest and foraged in the open fields and woodland edges. Their diet consisted of grass, plants, bark, mosses, and various plant foods. A long rest would be taken in the evening.

Being very social animals, they would congregate in small and large herds that would change due to mating habits, seasons, and other forces. Groups tended to be all female or all male.

Males would often lead solitary lives for a period and then return to a group. Social hierarchies existed within herds that helped to establish leadership and relationships within the group.

The gestation period lasted between 270 –400 days. Mothers would bear their young separate from the group and return to them after 7 – 10 days with their offspring. Calves were able to follow their mother soon after birth. The milk that nourished them possessed properties that helped establish a strong immune system and ward off diseases.

The calves would nurse about six times a day for ten minutes each; suckling each of their mother’s four nipples in a rotating fashion. Mothers and calves communicated with one another with calls referred to as bleats and grunts.

Calves congregated together and were highly playful. For example, they pounced on mounds of earth or plants, dug in the ground with their horns, and chased one another. While adult cows were quite playful in their behavior, more time was needed to feed and ruminate at their age

The bond between mother and calf was powerfully strong. The calves were very bonded to their mothers and remained with her until fully weaned for approximately three years.

Cows are social, gentle, and peaceful animals that enjoy many of the same behaviors as their wild forebears. In today’s world, they live in captivity, raised primarily for beef and dairy foods.

In the dairy industry, a cow must give birth in order to produce milk. Female cows, like female pigs, are forced to exist in a repetitive cycle of being raped by a probe to force pregnancy and then, once she gives birth to a baby calf, her milk, intended for her young, is pumped out by machines for human consumption.  Through artificial hormones, abnormally high energy feeds, and genetic alterations, cows produce ten times more milk than they would if allowed to live out a natural life.

Strapped to equipment , they are forced to give milk during the majority of their pregnancies to maximize production. For approximately 50 % of cows raised for milk, the stress on their bodies leads to a bacterial infection in the udder called mastitis and a host of other diseases.

Family bonds are not valued for these living beings. The calves stay with their mother between one day to a few days and are then separated forever. At separation time, it is very common to hear the distressed calves and mother’s prolonged bellowing for one another in severe distress.

The female calves are raised to produce more milk and replace their mothers. The male calves are held captive to be killed for their flesh.  They are kept on a 2-3 foot chain in individual crates so small that they can’t turn around or move comfortably. Instead of their mother’s milk, they are fed an iron and fiber deficient liquid which purposely makes them anemic; creating the tender, light colored meat called veal. They are typically killed after 16-20 weeks.

Cows enslaved for their flesh live together on open, unfertile land, surviving on their own for a short period before they are fattened on small plots of land to be killed.
As captive beings, they have evolved in such a way that while they maintain several of the same behaviors as their wild ancestors, they no longer have the same physical or psychological makeup for survival. Despite their dependency on humans for support, they are not provided water or food during drought, protection from extreme temperatures, or veterinary care.

In contrast to the green forests and fields of their original homeland, the land they are placed on is generally the poorest, least fertile agricultural lands. Ranchers identify them with painful procedures using no anesthetics or pain relievers. In branding, a hot iron is placed on their bodies and burns a permanent mark. In wattling, large pieces of their skin are cut below the neck which also leave permanent markings.

Cows spend the last portion of their life at feedlots which are confined, overcrowded areas, where they are fed artificially enriched feed, not the preferred greens, to fatten them for slaughter. They are forced to stand in their own feces.

Cows are loaded on trucks for often long journeys across many states to feedlots, range land, auction houses, and slaughterhouses. These trips are very stressful as the animals are often not provided adequate food and water.

Workers do not handle the stressed and weakened animals gently, but frequently prod them with an electrically charged rod, beat them, and drag them. Many weak and sick cows are left alone to die a painful death.

On the killing floor, the speed at which these innocent beings are required to be killed has horrendous consequences. While they are supposed to be rendered unconscious prior to being violently hoisted up by their legs, many remain fully aware, struggling in fear to be freed. Tragically, their lives are filled with neglect and suffering; bearing no resemblance to their wild relatives.



The captive turkey’s ancestor, the wild turkey, was a large ground feeding bird originally inhabiting southern Ontario to Mexico. In contrast to the domestic turkey, they possessed larger brains, exhibited more active and aggressive behavior, and matured later.

In small or large groups, the wild turkey began foraging at dawn in forests, fields, and low shrubs for plant foods: acorns, chestnuts, fruits, and seeds; occasionally eating insects and other smaller animals. They preferred woods with clearings as opposed to very thick forests.

Days were spent on the ground and evenings were spent roosting in trees away from predators. Despite their ability to fly, turkeys preferred walking in most situations. Going to great lengths to protect themselves from moist weather, turkeys could spend a full week at their nest without food in heavy rains or snows.

Reaching sexual maturity at age two, males would court and mate with as many females as possible. To attract mates, he displayed a dramatic posture by spreading his feathers and calling out to females as he strut about. If other males interfered with a courting ritual, fights would often break out.

After mating, the females ceased contact with the male and selected a hidden spot on the ground for a nest. They would then create a small hollow and covered it with various plant materials upon which she layed 20 – 25 eggs. When searching for food, the females would protect the eggs by covering them with grass and leaves.

Within one day, hatched chicks were able to leave the nest, following their mother to feed. After two weeks, they could fly into trees. The young stayed with their mother for the entire winter and larger flocks were then formed as the young matured.

Today, turkeys enslaved for human consumptionbare little physical resemblance to their wild ancestors. Humans have genetically altered turkeys to grow twice as fast and large; yielding the most product for the money.

Their breasts are so large that the animals cannot reproduce in a natural way and must be artificially inseminated. Tragically, their skeletons have not grown to accommodate their obesity and enormous increase in muscle mass.

The stress imposed on their bodies is so intense that many turkeys are prone to a whole host of illnesses including heart disease, and arthritis; struggling just to support their bodyweight. Many die every year of heart attacks.

Most often, millions of turkeys are deprived of their natural behaviors and forced to live in intensively crowded indoor warehouses to be fattened for slaughter. Deprived of fresh air and sunshine, each turkey is provided less than three square feet or less of space to move.

Without anesthetics, their beaks are cut with a hot blade and their toes are removed to reduce the aberrant behavior of plucking one another that they exhibit under such confined conditions. Due to the constantly overpowering ammonia fumes and dust, they are highly susceptible to respiratory diseases. The industry treats this problem by adding various antibiotics to their feed.

Once they are fattened for slaughter at 3 – 6 months old, turkeys are overcrowded onto trucks in metal crates stacked on top of one another. Many die on route to be killed due to the extreme confinement and stress of the long journey.

The crates arrive at the slaughterhouse and the birds are hung by their feet on a moving rail which takes them to a tank of water that is electrified. As with other species, the tank doesn’t always render the turkeys unconscious. So, aware and frightened, their throats are cut or they are boiled alive while still aware.

In today’s world, turkeys are severely deprived of sunshine, fresh air, places to roost, freedom to roam, fresh greens, and family bonds. They are denied respect that all creatures need and deserve. Like all other farmed animals, they are viewed as merely economic commodities for consumers and their lives are filled with pain and suffering.



The red jungle fowl from Asia inhabited a rather diverse habitat from their tropical rainforest homeland to dry brush and shrubbery. Outside of the breeding season, they lived together in small groups of both male and female birds.

These groups ventured into open areas to search for food in early morning and dusk. They possessed a skillful flight and upon landing, would immediately run toward protection and crouch down. Dust baths were frequent, helping to maintain hygiene and ward off mites.

A social hierarchy existed which helped establish order and ward off long quarrels. The leader was respected and looked upon for protection and guidance. Within these groups, the males, referred to as cocks, would: defend both the group territory and members, call others to food sources, warn of oncoming danger, escort females (hens) back to the group who had strayed far, assist hens in finding nests, and protect nests from predators.

To display his power and authority, a male would crow loudly as he flapped his wings above his back. To court females, a male would spread his plumage in an impressive arc. Hens, like cocks, engaged in fights over rank, but these conflicts were shorter and less aggressive than their male counterparts. To express defeat, cocks and hens would bury their faces.

Hens, like turkeys, would hide their nests well and lay five to six eggs. While incubating eggs or raising chicks, the hens would ruffle their feathers, spread their wings, and cock their head to send lower hens away or greet a higher ranked hen.

Once hatched, chicks could recognize their mother after a few hours. Eight days after hatching, the chicks were able to fly between branches and later manage short distances. A hen protected her young from inclement weather by brooding, whereby she squatted with wings lowered over them.

The language of fowl included a wide vocabulary of cackle sounds that expressed an array of behaviors and emotions; contentedness, pain, warning, threats, courting, the laying of an egg etc. Chicks chirped to announce their hatching.

They chirped when they wanted attention, warmth, and food or if they became lost. They would vocalize a happy warble when mother warmed them with her body and when they gathered together in their evening nest.

Today, the domesticated chicken is raised in severe confinement and enjoys none of the pleasures of their ancestors. Egg laying chickens, called hens, live their lives in sunless warehouses; confined in tiny wire cages piled on top of one another in endless rows.

At least four chickens are kept in each cage which measures approximately only sixteen inches wide. Instead of stretching their wings and roaming through forests, their feathers fall off (commonly leaving bald spots) due to the constant rubbing against the wire cage.

Instead of grass and soft earth to roam upon and build nests, their feet must rest upon a metal grate. Instead of incubating their own eggs, the cage floor is sloped so that the eggs roll onto a tray.

Under these conditions, the stress is so intolerable that the workers cut off the hens’ beaks with a hot blade to reduce injuries from pecking on one another; an abnormal behavior expressed under severe deprivation. Unlike a human fingernail, a hen’s beak is highly sensitive and the pain this procedure causes can endure for long periods of time.

Due to genetic manipulation pursued to increase their productivity, hens annually lay approximately 250 eggs as opposed to the five or six per breeding season of their wild ancestor. Many hens are calcium starved and suffer from advanced osteoporosis due to the high levels of calcium needed to produce this astronomical amount of eggs. .

Their bodies grow extremely fatigued and weak coping with this intensive reproduction. While most chickens must endure this confinement for a least one year before they have reached their egg laying capacity and are killed for low quality meat, many die in their cages long before. The eggs layed by the hens are brought to a hatchery.

Since the breed is specifically designed to lay eggs, the male chicks are useless in the industry’s eyes. Newly born male chicks are discarded in trash cans and dumpsters. They are not allowed to be greeted, warmed, or fed by their mothers. They are dumped along with other garbage and left to die alone.

Like turkeys, chickens raised for meat are crowded in warehouses to be fattened and are provided approximately half a square foot to move about. Similar to egg laying hens, chickens raised for meat have been genetically engineered to be twice as large as their distant relatives which places severe strain on the body; causing various illnesses.

While a healthy chicken can live to be 10 years old, chickens raised in today’s modern factory farm will be killed at approximately six weeks of age. They are transported and killed in the same manner as turkeys.

Enduring short, deprived lives, chickens are not allowed to express their natural behavior or receive their basic needs.

Rather than fresh air, they are forced to breath in the heavy odors from excrement. Many struggle just to stand as their bodies are unable to bear the weight imposed upon them through human interference.



Unlike their domestic relatives, wild goats and sheep were very similar in appearance and behavior. Their short legs and strong muscles enabled them to inhabit the mountains of Mediterranea, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and the middle east.

Possessing a remarkable climbing ability, they adapted to extreme terrains (up to 13,800 ft.) and climates, receiving their nourishment from grases, plants, and herbs.

Highly social, wild goats lived in small to large herds. A social hierarchy prevailed where males and females lived separately up until the mating season. Older group members tended to be dominant. Similar to the behavior of many animals, wild goats would be most active during morning and late afternoon; taking a rest for a good portion of midday.
Herds would sometimes migrate to lower elevations where food was more abundant and return back to their home up high.

Sheep and goats were the first animals to be held captive 9000 years ago. They were living within and on the edges of forests when they were taken from the wild and confined in captivity Goats and sheep do not receive veterinary care when they are sick.

Rather than mountains or steep cliffs to roam, they are now raised in primarily flat or gently rolling hilled areas. Like cattle, most goats are either raised on the open range, unprotected from climactic extremes, drought, and poor food distribution, or are confined and overcrowded in areas called feedlots; where they are fattened before they are killed.

The major ranchers in the United States and Australia oversee 2,000-5,000 sheep each! Attention to basic needs for food, care of the young, and medicine has become virtually non-existent. In the industry's eyes, it is too expensive to have staff overseeing the health and well being of the animals.

While millions of sheep die every year due to respiratory diseases on cramped and dirty feedlots, pneumonia from shearing in cold weather, starvation, and poor care, the industry views this loss as an acceptable part of the business.

During the first year of life, lambs all undergo surgeries but are not given medicine to numb the area during or after these procedures. Male sheep are castrated. In addition, the tails of male and female sheep are cut off to keep their behinds clean so as to prevent fly infestation.

Merino sheep are a breed that was created by humans thousands of years ago to have wrinkled skin which yields more wool, therefore more profit. However, these wrinkles cause the sheep to produce more sweat and the moisture attracts flies and leads to maggot infestation.

Merino sheep are forced to undergo a painful procedure called mulesing, whereby the folds of skin around their behinds are cut and scraped to prevent flies from laying eggs. Although many shepherds initially believed this surgery to be excessively cruel, the Australian government strongly encouraged mulesing and it has become a common practice.

Sheep spend their lives fending for themselves on agricultural land that is of little use to farmers. The drought conditions of the regions they inhabit cause many deaths as no one intervenes to provide shelter, water, and food. The wild animals that live in surrounding areas are at risk as they have been known to attack sheep. Despite the success of dogs and burros naturally warding off predators for many farmers, thousands of coyotes, mountain lions, and bears are annually trapped, poisoned, and shot by government agencies to protect the sheep for the ranchers.

Many sheep suffer in great pain during and after shearing. There are so many sheep that need to be sheared to meet the consumer deman and speed, not thoughtful handling, becomes the priority. Since the sheep haven't been handled for most of their life, it is very scary for them to be prodded and pushed and held down. They don't understand what is happening to them.

Sheep are frequently bruised and beaten as workers force them to hold still, move into a certain area, or follow other orders. One worker who had spent years in the Australian wool industry saw the cruelty of the shearing process first hand. He observed workers commonly punching sheep with their shears and fists to control them, cutting them deeply, and leaving serious wounds untreated. Sheep are left traumatized, scarred, sore, and weak by the shearing process.

A million sheep in Australia die each year because they are sheared early in the season when the air is still cold. After their wool is removed, they no longer have protection against the climate and get pneumonia.

If sheep do survive the surgeries, harsh weather, shearing process, and risk of disease, they are then killed for meat. Annually, approximately five million lambs are killed between the ages of one week to six months for meat. In North America and Australia, they are killed in slaughterhouses. These slaughterhouses are very far away from the land they live on and frightened sheep are forced to spend several days in trucks with inadequate food, water, and clean shelter.

Millions of sheep are put on ships for several months traveling to another country or continent; The largest populations of sheep travel annually from Australia to the Middle East. The air quality on the ships is very poor. There are so many sheep packed together in one place with little room to move. Their urine and droppings pile up beneath them. All of these conditions lead to pneumonia for many stressed out animals.

Whether it's one week or five months, disease, starvation, injury, and heat exhaustion kill thousands of sheep annually before they ever reach the slaughterhouse! Many are killed by religious custom which dictates that the goats and sheep are conscious while the killing takes place.

The modern wool industry seems to focus solely on profit and has forgotten that sheep are living and feeling creatures.. The suffering that sheep are forced to endure during the course of their lives has caused many to stop purchasing products made from wool. There are many other worthy crops that can be grown to produce fine clothing such as cotton, hemp, and other products originating from plants. We all can help sheep by treating them with care and thinking twice about buying a new wool sweater, blanket, hat, mittens, or pair of socks.