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Animal abuse have been around and countless of innocent animals gets killed every single day just to serve us in ways such as food. I have chosen this topic for my essay because I felt that this issue has not gotten the attention and care from many people as they are being ignorant about it. Therefore, it needs more recognition and by covering this topic, I am able to understand more of what the animals go through.
Animal cruelty is described generally as any act or omission that causes unnecessary or unreasonable harm to an animal. According to a research done by the Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals (RSPCA), in its annual prosecutions report, the RSPCA said it had investigated almost 150, 000 cases in 2016.
Firstly, animals are being used for medical purposes. Many diseases that humans face have been reduced over the years due to discovery of medicines when being tested on animals. The polio vaccine, tested on animals, reduced the global occurrence of the disease from 350, 000 cases in 1988 to 27 cases in 2016. Furthermore, animal testing has also been instrumental in saving endangered species from extinction, including the black-footed ferret and the tamarinds of Brazil. However, animals such as mice and rats would be locked in cages and would be forced to inhale toxic fumes, fed pesticides or have corrosive chemicals drip in their eyes. Moreover, not all medicines being tested on animal proves that it is safe for humans to consume or use. Animal tests on the arthritis drug Vioxx showed that it had a protective effect on the hearts of mice, yet the drug went on to cause more than 27, 000 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths before being pulled from the market. 94% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human clinical trials. Therefore, it is not justifiable to test for medicines on animals as it is inhumane and testing on animals does not verify that it is safe for humans.
Animals are involved in mass production which is commonly known as factory farming whereby animals such as chicken and cows experience a process where they would be slaughtered. The creation of factory farms, also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), came about in the last century as a way to keep up with the enormous demand for animal products. In the United States, approximately 9 billion chickens are killed for their flesh each year, and 305 million hens are used for their eggs . When they arrive at the slaughterhouse, these chickens would be hung by their legs with chains then plunged into a pool of hot water, head first, to remove their feathers and their throats would be slit while they’re still conscious so that they are able to be slaughtered for meat. The conditions in the slaughter houses are terrible as there are lack of care towards the animals and many of them would be stuffed into cases which are filled with wires and they would be deprived of food. To earn more profit, these animals would be injected with antibiotics so that they could grow bulkier as people would more likely buy chickens which seems healthier. However, some animals would be given an excessive amount of antibiotics and they would grow very large that their body are unable to withstand their weight. Other than meat, sharks undergo a horrifying process where they are caught just for their fins and their bodies would be thrown back into the sea to die slowly as many people in the Chinese community are consuming shark fin as an indicator of social standards. While these sharks are thrown into the sea without their fins, they are unable to swim properly which causes them to suffocate and die. It is estimated that as many as 73 million sharks are killed for shark-fin soup every year.
Most common choice of clothing pieces includes clothings with fur, more than half the fur in the U. S. comes from China, where millions of dogs and cats are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and often skinned alive for their fur. Sometimes some of these animals may be overwhelmed by the amount of stress they are facing, they would begin to cannibalise one another. They would be trapped using a steel-jaw trap, which causes extreme pain. Due to the inhumane nature of the steel-jaw trap, this contraction has been banned in US & Europe. This is so that humans could keep themselves warm with these fur clothings and to look and feel good. Aside from the fur industry, the leather industry is one of the most popular industries. Most of these leathers are from the skin of cattle but they may also come from other exotic species like crocodiles. Leather, a by-product of Big Agri-Business, which cashes in on cows for dairy products and for their flesh, is created by the toxic tanning of animal rawhide and skin; today most leather is made of cattle skin, but many exceptions exist. These animals are usually slaughtered in China whereby they go through the same process as mass productions.
Their skins would then be exported to other countries, all around the world. Ostrich leather is currently used by many major fashion houses such as ‘Hermes’, it has a characteristic “goose bump” look because of the large follicles from which the feathers grew. It would be used to produce handbags and shoes so that humans could improve their social standards and feel satisfied.
Animal abuse is also present in the entertainment industry such as circuses. Those animals would be confined in hefty trucks for days while in transit without food and water. To force animals to perform, circus trainers abuse animals with whips, muzzles, electric prods and bullhooks. Other than that, countries such as Thailand, there are elephant rides which may seem fun but these wild elephants would have to be tamed and trained. These training starts when they are still a baby, they would be separated from their mothers and confined into a small cage. They would then be stabbed with sharp bull-hooks and are beaten while being starved for days. They are stabbed so that they would fear the trainers and that motivates them to work. Moreover, there are long term harm to these elephants as their spines are not made to withstand the weight of humans. However, the elephant rides have helped to improve the tourism rate of the countries as many foreigners are attracted to them. But it is not justifiable to harm the elephants from young just so that we could sit atop of them and enjoy.
Firstly, we need animals for consumption as it is part of our food chain as they provide many health benefits. Studies have shown that people not consuming meat are more likely to suffer from problems such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. However, is it not justifiable for us to eat animals when we slaughter them atrociously.
Other than that, many people rely on animals to earn money. Many businesses would pay farmers to raise the animals and slaughter them so that they could be sold off to people. Therefore, it helps to create employment. Aside from that, many fashion brands also use animal skin to make leather and fur for their clothings and that increases their profits. However, it leads to environmental issues as many trees would have to be chopped off and that decreases the oxygen levels. Raising the animals whose skin eventually becomes leather requires vast quantities of water and wide tracts of pastureland, which must be cleared off trees. Therefore, it is not justifiable to kill animals and harm the environment just to make clothings to be aesthetic. As shark fins are costly, many fishermen could earn a large sum of money when restaurants and shops demand for shark fin to be consumed by their consumers and businesses are also earning a lot of profit from that. Since sharks are apex predators, they play an important role in maintaining the marine ecosystem, therefore, with their population decreasing, it would affect the whole marine ecosystem. Furthermore, many countries rely on animals such as elephants to attract foreigners into their country and circuses as well which generates economic growth. However, many people are unaware of the level of cruel trainings the animals go through just so that they could be entertained.
Lastly, animals are being used for medical purposes, which have helped to discover the various number of medicines that we use now to prevent us from diseases. However, not all medicines tested on animals are proven to be safe for humans. Due to the technological advancement, many scientists are now using computer modeling and human skin cells to test for medicines instead of animals as they take less time.
Orangutans are currently considered as an endangered animal and are at risk of extinction in Malaysia. A century ago there were probably more than 230, 000 orangutans in total, but the Bornean orangutan is now estimated at about 104, 700 based on updated geographic range. Their habitats are destroyed for palm oil plantations. Today more than 50% of orangutans are found outside protected areas in forests under management by timber, palm oil and mining companies. They are usually killed for food or in retaliation when they move into new areas and destroy the crops of the villagers. Young orangutans are kept as pets and they are exported to Taiwan, as the demand is growing there. However, at least 3 to 5 orangutans will die during the transportation. Other than keeping orangutans as pets and the destruction of their habitats, orangutans can only survive if they are supplied with a variety of fruits and leaves but they hardly have a variety of foods as many of the forests are being used for land to build infrastructure and many plantations. Moreover, they could also die from diseases, drought and fires. Recently, Taiwan has introduced new law enforcements which helped to reduce the number of orangutans transported there. Other than that, WWF, is currently working together with Borneo and Sumatra to secure and conserve the areas in the forest which contains orang-utans. The Sabah government’s initiative to retain the largest orangutan population in the Ulu Segama-Malua Forest Reserves under sustainable forest management and needs more support of the nations. Lastly, organisations like WWF, has recommend people to start supporting brands and buy products which are certified by the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil as it ensures that the palm oil used in the products are not farmed through deforestation.
The courses of actions for this issue is that there should be more awareness being raised in schools as well, such as making it as an co-curriculum activity or doing presentations so that students are informed about the hardships animals go through and how the food they consume are produced as well as teaching them about empathy. We could all start reducing our meat intake from our meals, it would benefit the environment as there would be less carbon footprints and global warming. Animal agriculture is responsible for 13–18% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions globally, and less in developed countries.
In conclusion, by watching graphic videos online and by reading many articles, I have discovered the pain encountered by animals that many people are unaware of. It has been an eye-opener to me as I find myself actually being more conscious of which clothings and brands I use and make an effort to not support brands that are unethical. Now I understand, the level of abuse exerted on these animals, it has made me gain more empathy for them and I would try to support and help any animal organisations in the future.
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