animal welfare

01 average dogs eat 8.030 animals in their life

An average dog such as an golden retriever weighs 32 kg, eats 1500 calories a day, and lives 11 years. Based on these metrics and a fresh-meat diet the average dog would consume approximately 8.030 animals in its entire life. That is equivalent to 1 animal each day.

Link to book: Pitcairn, Richard & Pitcairn, Susan. Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press.1982: 28.


02 discomfort dutch livestock

The report states that the life quality aspects for cattle, especially dairy cattle, have not improved significantly yet. The main issue for dairy cattle is the inadequate housing, including lack of movement, smooth and hard floors, poor stall climate, insufficient room to move and overpopulation in lying and feeding areas. Mixed feeding is being used more often, but the need for simultaneous feeding is not being fully recognized. The number of dairy cattle without access to pasture has increased and this means more discomfort, especially in suboptimal stables. Motherless calf rearing is common and has not changed in recent years. Horn removal, which is an intervention, is mostly performed because of inadequate housing. In calf rearing, both the housing and feeding regime (lack of roughage) remain a risk for discomfort, including a low Hb level. The pressure of infection has not decreased due to the merging of calves from different origins. The effects of the plan to prevent caesarean sections in the beef cattle industry have not been observed yet and there has been no change in the level of discomfort caused by caesarean sections and excessive muscle development.

Link to report:  Leenstra F. et al. (2011) Discomfort, cattle, pigs, poultry, mink, horses, policy evaluation. Wageningen UR Livestock Research. Report 456.


03 livestock dies by overheating during transport

News report by Animals rights group on livestock pigs dying during transport in the Netherlands and Belgium during KMI announced code red heat wave.

Link to news article: Animals rights (2019) Varkens overleven hitte transport niet.


04 horrific undercover livestock conditions in the netherlands and belgium

Animal Rights, an animal welfare organization, has been conducting undercover investigations into the treatment of animals in various industries in the Netherlands and Belgium. Their investigations have revealed mistreatment of sheep and goats at Mulder BV slaughterhouse in Twello, Netherlands in June 2021, showing how animals were mistreated and witnessed the death of their fellow animals. In November 2020, they uncovered the cruel treatment of meat chickens at Nollens poultry slaughterhouse in Belgium. In September 2020, the organization exposed mistreatment of sheep at Moerbeko slaughterhouse. In June 2020, they released footage from the horror slaughterhouse Torhout showing a range of animal abuses, including disabled pigs and pregnant cows. Animal Rights has also contributed to investigations into the lives of battery chickens and the industrial pig farming industry. They have conducted investigations into the rabbit industry and cow dairy farming, and filmed the death of rabbits on a farm in November 2019 and dead cows on a dairy farm in July 2019. In June 2019, they filmed the mistreatment of 'spent' hens, disabled pigs being transported, and animals waiting in the sun at trailers outside slaughterhouses. The organization has been working with media outlets to bring these investigations to light and raise awareness about animal welfare.

Link to Video Publications (PLEASE BEWARE of severe discomforting video's) : Animal Rights (2019-2021) Research in cattle breeding and slaughterhouses in NL and BE.


04 all animals experience pain

Three kinds of argument are commonly advanced to support the contention that animals feel pain. The first involves the claim that animal behaviours give us clues to alleged mental states, about what animals are feeling. Thus animals confronted with noxious stimuli which would cause human beings pain, react in similar ways. They attempt to avoid the stimulus, they show facial contortions, they may even cry out. From these 'pain behaviours' it is inferred that the animals must be experiencing pain. A second argument asserts that by virtue of a similarity in structure and function of nervous systems it is likely that human beings and animals closely related to the human species will experience the external environment in much the same way. It is assumed, for example, that primates have visual experiences similar to our own, feel hunger and thirst as we do, and so on. Presumably when they encounter noxious stimuli, they, like us, feel pain. A third line of argument is derived from evolutionary theory. Organic evolution implies that there radical discontinuity between human and other species. It is likely, on this view, that human minds

Link to article: Harrison, P. (1991). Do Animals Feel Pain? Philosophy, 66(255), 25-40.


05 Netherlands slaughters 350.000 animals for pet food, every day

Depending on the country 20-30% of livestock is slaughtered every day to meat the demand for petfood. In the Netherlands 1,7 million animals are slaughtered each day, 20% of that amount would accumilated to 350.000 animals to meet our pet food demand.

Link to website: Wakker Dier; Livestock Industry Netherlands

Link to articleOkin GS (2017) Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats. PLOS ONE 12(8): e0181301.


06 common diseases within livestock farming practices

Factory farming has various implications for animal welfare. Firstly, the spread of diseases such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites due to overpopulation, bad ventilation, and low hygiene standards. Up to 10% of all chickens are infected with endoparasites causing chronic pain in several organs. And about 5% of all chicks die from stomach fluid buildup. Many pigs suffer from infected longs caused by the air quality. You can image the living conditions these animals are exposed to that result to these circumstances and the disease accumulation that ends up indirectly in your pets food.

Link to website: Wakker dier. Comprehensive website with all ongoing campaigns and claims regarding livestock welfares issues in the Netherlands.


07 certification standard of "beter leven"

For pigs: 0.8-1.3 m2 living space depending on amount of stars

For chicken: 11-21 chickens per m2 depending on amount of stars

For cows: 0-8,5m2 living space depending on amount of stars


08 speciesism between pets and livestock

*speciesism is the notion that humans and/-or specific animals such as animals likely to be companion animals are inherently superior to all other organisms and, therefore, are entitled to exploit them.

One could argue that dogs or cats are superior to other animals and therefore we do not exploit them. However, various studies demonstrate that there is not real difference between animals that would ground the argumentation that they are entitled to alternate handling. In this particular study they concluded; In the present state of our knowledge, we are led to a simple conclusion: When a broad-enough set of comparison species is considered, there is no current case for canine exceptionalism. Dog cognition is, no doubt, unique, because the cognition of every species is unique. Dogs exist at a particular intersection of phylogenetic, ecological, and anthropogenic circumstances. But on the basis of the evidence we have reviewed here, those circumstances are sufficient to account for the nature of dog cognition: It is what we would expect of cognition in a domesticated social canine.

Link to article: ea. S.E.G. and Osthaus B. (2018). in what sense are dogs special? Canine cognition in comparative context. Learning & behavior journal 46, 335-3363.


09 emotional welfare of slaughterhouse employees

A Less publicly discussed or understood topic regarding slaughter houses are the psychological trauma inflicted on slaughterhouses workers. Not only do the employees face serious physical health hazards daily, but they also experience, on a daily basis, large-scale violence and death that most of the population will never have to encounter. The impact of slaughtering hundreds of animal’s daily causes post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, and pathological sadism. “Down in the blood pit they say that the smell of blood makes you aggressive. And it does. You get an attitude that if that hog kicks at me, I’m going to get even. You’re already going to kill the hog, but that’s not enough. It has to suffer. When you get a live one you think, Oh good, I’m going to beat this sucker". These words sadly represent a class of workers present in civilized countries across the world: slaughterhouse workers.

Link to slaughterhouse employee quote: Lebwohl M. (2016). A Call to Action: Psychological Harm in Slaughterhouse Workers. The Yale Gloabl Health Review

Link to article: Dillard, J. (2008). A slaughterhouse nightmare: Psychological harm suffered by slaughterhouse employees and the possibility of redress through legal reform. Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y15, 391.


10 breeding unhealthy & unethical cow breeds

In the Netherlands and Belgium, heavily muscled cattle are bred for meat production. The meat industry praises these "dikbillen" (literally "thick-buts") for their high slaughter yield. However, breeding these extremely muscled breeds is ethically controversial and banned in several countries. The biological limits of the animals have been exceeded through crazily driven breeding programs. Natural childbirth has become impossible for mothers. Calves have to be removed from the cow's abdomen via caesarean section. Many calves are born with serious genetic disorders and die soon after. Many of these cows are not able to stand independently 

Link to blog Article & Source list: Animal Rights: Vleesrunderen