As Texas and much of the southern United States face unprecedented climate catastrophe, humans and animals face danger. But a large group of animals are particularly vulnerable: farm animals. Stuck on overcrowded factory farms as energy sources die off and on bare and exposed expanses as biting winds blow, animals raised for food must brave the storm with no choice.
A fortune press article published on February 17 offers a haunting look at the plight of cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys and more – and emphasizes the economic losses and the potential rise in meat prices rather than the suffering animal. The article talks about newborn calves frozen to death and surviving calves with frostbite severe enough to freeze their ears. “They were born in the snow, there was nothing to do,” cattle breeder Clay Burtrum said of two frozen calves on his Oklahoma ranch in the Fortune interview. Burtrum also says he “won’t reap the benefits of this cycle for two years” when the cows have another calf that can be raised for slaughter. âIt’s survival of the fittest right now,â said an Arkansas rancher of his cows.
The great vulnerability of farm animals is that industry standards allow animals raised for meat, dairy and eggs to be raised in large numbers; making evacuations impossible. The infamous Cooper Farms industrial farm in Ohio, for example, is home to an average fifteen million turkeys whenever. Where and how to evacuate fifteen million birds? They can not. even attempting such a feat would be impossible. Fires, floods, tornadoes, snowstorms and other natural disasters are generally death sentences for these animals. In 2018, when Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas, it is estimated that 3.4 million farm animals drowned because of this problem.
Despite the solid proof As animals need shade and shelter to thrive, it’s also common for grazing cattle, sheep, and goats to live without either. Unexpected summer heat waves cause heatstroke in animals, while blizzards often mean animals are freezing to death. When animals are raised and kept under these conditions, it stands to reason that deaths will occur in the event of a disaster.
While the people are stopped and sued for abandoning dogs in the current raging storm, farm animal deaths are being ignored as nothing more than economic losses. There is currently no federal law to protect animals during their lifetime on farms in the United States, and no regulations regarding transporting animals to slaughter in extreme weather conditions. As long as this remains true and as long as farm animals are still considered commodities, the consequences of natural disasters will continue to be dire for these vulnerable animals.
Sign this petition to demand that Texas lawmakers provide immediate aid to animal sanctuaries that have been hit by the storm.
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