Animal (ab)use in today's society
In our modern society, animals are treated as objects that are there for our use and pleasure, rather than as fellow sentient beings. There are two major areas where animals are treated particularly badly, namely in farming and in medical research.
Modern Factory Farming processes include the keeping of animals in pens where their movement is extremely restricted, the injection of growth hormones (linked to health risks in humans), and artificial insemination to keep milk cows pregnant (with calves being removed from their mothers almost at birth to make the milk yield as high as possible). Farming of all animals, due to the drive to maximise profits, has little or no regard for the animals and reaches the heights of barbarity and unnecessary cruelty. The many recent food scares have shown that intensive farming also affects the quality and safety of the food. Continual use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides is also detrimental to our health, as well as poisoning our rivers and wildlife. The drive to bigger farms means we are losing valuable wildlife habitats as more and more hedges are grubbed out (our land had about 1.5 miles of hedges ripped out before we bought it) and land is drained. Even with free range organic farming, the animals are often kept in quite crowded conditions and still suffer stress and pain before their eventual slaughter. We have no need for animal products in our diet - indeed their intake is often harmful. There is another reason why the farming of animals most stop - the second population explosion. The ever growing number of domesticated animals is competing for land, food, water and other resources with the ever growing human population, as well as producing an ever growing amount of methane which is one of the major greenhouse gases.
Modern orthodox medicine has as its mainstay the prescription of drugs produced by the large multinational drug companies. There are some 200,000 synthetic drugs world-wide - with business interests like these is it any wonder that 75% of GP. consultations end in a drug prescription? All new drugs are tested on animals in cruel and useless experiments: Cruel because the animals are often subjected to maiming, burning or poisoning in the name of research. They are kept in very cramped and unnatural conditions causing stress and fear before the experiments begin. Pointless because animals are physiologically different to humans and often react differently to drugs, e.g. Digitalis lowers blood pressure in humans whilst raising it to dangerous levels in dogs. This means that when a drug is released to the human population the doctors are testing the drug on their patients. Witness for example the effects of Opren, Thalidomide, Eraldin, Chloramphenicol, Nurofen and many, many more; all drugs that have produced serious and sometimes fatal side effects.