Chickens in a high welfare environment - World Farmed Animals Day

World Farmed Animals Day

World Farmed Animals Day offers us a chance to shine a light on the lives of farmed animals. Here’s everything you need to know about the day, and how you can get involved personally

What is World Farmed Animals Day

World Farmed Animals Day, also known as the 'World Day for Farmed Animals', is an annual global event dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of farmed animals, educating the public on their conditions, and commemorating those who have suffered.

When is World Farmed Animals Day celebrated?

The day is celebrated annually on October 2nd, a date chosen in honour of Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. This global observance first began in 1983 and has since grown into an international movement.

Why do we celebrate World Farmed Animals Day?

We celebrate this day to raise awareness and educate people about the deplorable conditions of farmed animals in factory farming. Annually, 80 billion land animals are used for farming. It is estimated that 56 billion are trapped in industrial farming systems, that inflict pain, stress, and appalling suffering, all to satisfy the growing demand for cheap meat. So many fish are taken from the wild or farmed for consumption that they are counted by tons, not by the individuals they are.

Factory farming's impact on the planet

The day also gives us a chance to promote awareness about factory farming's impact on the earth's climate. Factory farming contributes significantly to climate change due to deforestation for animal feed production and carbon emissions from livestock rearing processes. This destructive industry also accelerates habitat destruction and wildlife displacement.

Honouring animal sentience

Another reason we celebrate this day is to recognise and honour animal sentience. Every animal has feelings, consciousness, and unique experiences, and this day reminds us to respect and protect their lives and well-being.

What is factory farming?

Factory farming is a method of agriculture designed to maximise output and minimise costs. This industrial approach leads to the exploitation of billions of animals annually, with a majority of these creatures raised in intensive systems. The quest for efficiency often results in severe animal welfare issues like cramped conditions, unnatural living environments, and harsh slaughter methods.

Factory farming also has devastating environmental impacts including climate change acceleration and biodiversity loss due to deforestation for grazing fields or crop cultivation for livestock feed. It also contributes significantly to disease transmission among animals that can potentially jump species barriers and create public health risks.

Why farmed animals need protection

Farmed animals require protection due to factory farming that treats them as commodities rather than living beings. The relentless demand for meat perpetuates their distressing living conditions. It's crucial that we raise awareness and advocate changes in this grim reality, as change won’t happen on its own.

What is the meaning of a farmed animal?

A farmed animal is an animal that is raised or bred by humans for various purposes, typically for the production of food, such as meat, milk, eggs, or other agricultural products. These animals are specifically bred, managed, and often housed in farms or agricultural settings to meet human needs and demands for food and other resources.

Are farmed animals domesticated?

Yes, farmed animals are domesticated. Domesticated animals have undergone genetic changes, they adapt to human presence, showing behaviours we influence. These changes can include traits like docility, increased reproductive capacity, and improved suitability for specific roles, such as milk or meat production. As a result of domestication, these animals often differ significantly from their wild ancestors in terms of behaviour, appearance, and physiology.

Can farmed animals live together?

Some can coexist, like ruminants with poultry, and others can’t. Given their sentience, the group dynamics need to be evaluated to ensure all animals are happy, healthy, and not overly stressed 

Farmed animals can live together in various combinations. The criteria to consider meeting their behavioural and physiological requirement are several, including, the knowledge and expertise of the farmer, the management practices, the geographical location, the climate, the space and landscape, the species involved, their individual social behaviour, and also the purpose of keeping them together.

Are farmed animals endangered?

Farmed animals are not near extinction, however, local breeds of domesticated farm animals, especially heritage or rare breeds, may face conservation challenges due to declining populations, and they do require our urgent protection

Globally, more than 72 billion chickens are slaughtered for meat each year. In the photo: A 6-week-old broiler chicken

Every year, factory farming condemns billions of animals to lives of cruelty and suffering for a fast profit. Animals in factory farms are bred to grow fast, have large litters, lay high numbers of eggs, or produce a maximum amount of milk. This causes great suffering over their short lifetimes. Image: Andrew Skowron.

How to celebrate World Farmed Animals Day

There are many ways to celebrate World Farmed Animals Day and help ensure farmed animals live good lives by transforming the global food system and attitudes towards farm animal welfare.

Raise awareness about animal sentience and animal welfare

Animal sentience means that animals are sentient beings with thoughts, feelings, and individual personalities. Animals in factory farming have their preferences, desires, and needs. The growing body of research on animal sentience shows the world that factory farming cannot meet the needs of the complex, sentient beings we farm in their trillions.

Consume less animal products

Consuming fewer animal products can significantly impact your health, the planet and farm animal welfare. Less demand for meat and dairy products means fewer animals suffering in factory farming. We can all do our bit for the welfare of animals and to protect our planet. Together, we can take cruelty off the menu. Learn some quick tips to reduce your meat and dairy consumption.

Collaborate with local organisations and groups

Networking with local animal welfare, animal rights, vegan or vegetarian groups can help to provide both support and resources for organising events such as distributing pamphlets about factory farming and screenings of impactful farmed animals and sentience films. Participate in vigils where activists witness animals at slaughterhouses, which can be particularly moving.

Join our community

Sign up for our newsletter and prepare for our calls to help change legislation, transform our global food system and end the cruel practices affecting farmed animals. 

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