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Illinoisans Decry Plight of Animals on Modern Farms

PHOTO: World Day for Farmed Animals is being observed in Illinois and around the globe to raise awareness about the treatment of animals killed for food. Photo credit: sioda/morguefile.
PHOTO: World Day for Farmed Animals is being observed in Illinois and around the globe to raise awareness about the treatment of animals killed for food. Photo credit: sioda/morguefile.
October 2, 2014

CHICAGO – Supporters of animal welfare in Illinois are speaking up today about the plight of animals on modern farms.

As part of World Day for Farmed Animals, events are being held around the state to raise awareness about what animal rights advocates say is the suffering and slaughter of animals raised for food.

Ashley Byrne, campaign specialist for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), says most of these animals are raised on factory farms, where they are denied everything that is natural to them.

"They're kept in crowded, filthy sheds or tiny cages,” she maintains. “They're drugged to grow so rapidly that sometimes their legs become crippled and can't support their body weight. And often are denied adequate veterinary care."

Byrne adds PETA is encouraging Illinoisans to think about the decisions they make about what they put on their plate and perhaps fast or abstain from food produced by animals today.

World Day for Farmed Animals takes place annually on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, an outspoken advocate of nonviolence towards animals.

Most animals on factory farms are not protected from abuse under the Animal Welfare Act.

Brian Pietrzycki, Chicago outreach coordinator for animal rights group Mercy for Animals, says one example is egg-laying hens.

He says they have the same ability to feel pain as a dog or cat, yet suffer cruel conditions.

"So you have seven very intelligent, social, emotional, sophisticated individuals who are confined to these very, very narrow wire, mesh cages,” he points out. “It's just inherently cruel."

As part of today's observance, animal protection organizations are hosting outreach events and demonstrations at universities and public places throughout Illinois.

At Harold Washington College, Pietrzycki says his organization will show students a video on modern agriculture in exchange for a dollar.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL