For the animals
Confined in a narrow metal gestation crate, unable to turn around, Julia was impregnated over and over again, to constantly give birth to piglets. Each time, her children were taken away from her only a few weeks after birth.
Julia’s little ones had to endure painful procedures, such as having their curly tails cut off, their teeth clipped and castration – everything without anaesthesia. The suffering these intelligent and sensitive creatures have to endure is challenging to imagine.
But Julia was lucky. After it became known that the heavily pregnant sow had been beaten and kicked by a farm worker, committed animal lovers liberated her.
Now she lives with her 16 beautiful piglets at Farm Sanctuary. Julia and her little ones enjoy family life in safety, far away from exploitation and suffering.
This handsome little guy is Ronnie. He might be young, but he is already stealing the hearts of the other inhabitants of the sanctuary.
Broilers like Ronnie are bred specifically so that they feel no sense of fullness. They painfully gain a lot of weight within a very short period of time. At just five-weeks-old these broilers are being slaughtered – 9 billion per year in the US alone.
Cooped up by the thousands, these intelligent creatures live in dark stables, with no clear hierarchy and without the opportunity to seclude themselves. Due to their rapid weight gain they are hardly able to move, which is why they are lying on the ground most of the time. Bone, joint or muscle problems as well as respiratory and heart problems are common among broilers.
Ronnie has escaped this sad life. He can now enjoy his days, pursuing his favorite pastimes and growing up to be a healthy boy.
Basilico is a bright little lamb, full of mischief. He was rescued by Animal Equality from a breeding facility in Italy, escaping a horrible fate.
Investigations by Animal Equality inside the Italian lamb meat industry revealed the horrible suffering of these animals: The image and video footage show how lambs, like Basilico, are sometimes slaughtered without prior stunning.
It reveals the stressful, painful journey of young animals on their way to slaughter: Brutally, the horrified animals are herded into the slaughterhouse. Many of them suffer from fractures and other injuries.
Basilico was spared all of that suffering. He can now live a life of freedom, surrounded by people who love and respect him without expecting something in return. He can explore the exciting world around him, make friends and enjoy the cuddles of his two-legged friends.
Lisa is a curious little lady. She is interested in everything that happens around her. Curiously she pecks and observes everything and everybody. Lisa loves to be tickled and caressed. She likes to snuggle on the lap of her two-legged friends, blissfully enjoying some tender loving care.
Lisa was lucky, as she escaped the cruel egg industry. She was rescued by Animal Equality activists from a free-range farm. If she had not been rescued, she would have had to lay eggs until she was completely exhausted.
She would have been imprisoned for the rest of her short, painful life, cramped into a filthy, overcrowded coop, unable to move around or indulge in natural behaviors, like pecking for food and taking extended dust baths.
Lisa’s brothers suffered a similar fate. Since male chicks cannot be used for egg production, 50 million male chicks are shredded alive, gassed or suffocated every year in the US.
Lisa is free now. Her body is slowly but surely recovering from the strains. She will probably never forget what she experienced, but her new environment and her new friends give her confidence.
Little Lili’s story is especially touching. Lili caught the attention of Animal Equality activists while they were conducting an undercover investigation inside a German duck fattening farm. All alone and frightened, she huddled in a corner.
During her short, miserable life, she was never able to feel the warmth of the sunlight on her back. She never experienced the security of a family and she was never able to swim in water, which would naturally be an integral part of her life.
Lili’s fate is that of millions of ducks and geese: cooped up by the thousands, without any possibility to rest. They never see daylight and have no opportunity to engage in their natural behavior.
These days, ducks and geese are being specifically bred in order to grow as much meat as possible in a short period of time. Due to this rapid weight gain, they can’t support their own body weight. Some of them can hardly stand upright. Many fall on their backs. Unable to stand and balance, they die of thirst.
Sir Paul is one of eleven turkey babies who one morning appeared at the door of Farm Sanctuary. Unknown rescuers had saved the baby animals from a cruel fate and left them at the threshold.
In conventional breeding and fattening facilities, turkeys are being specifically bred in order to grow as much meat as possible in a short period of time. The abnormal and rapid weight gain causes the animals great pain.
Sir Paul is having the time of his life now, free from exploitation and suffering. He can grow up in peace and security to become a big, proud turkey.
Elsa is a young, smart cow. One morning, she was found standing in the courtyard of an animal sanctuary in Germany. She had escaped from a dairy farm, and it looked as if she knew that she would find safety at Hof Butenland. In any case, intuitively she had made the right decision.
She escaped a horrible fate just in time. If she had not fled, she would have very soon – at the age of around 1½ years – been artificially inseminated. From that point on she would have had to give birth to one calf a year, every one of which would be taken from her shortly after birth.
Such a separation is extremely painful for mother and child. Elsa would have cried for her child for days, maybe even weeks – in vain. Her mother’s milk, which was meant for her little one, would have been taken away from her to be sold for human consumption.
But Elsa took charge of her fate. She wanted to live without pain, suffering and sadness. She is now able to do so surrounded by humans who respect and protect her.
Fish and other marine animals
Despite the differences in appearance that exist between fish and other animals, numerous scientific studies have proven that fish can feel pain and happiness in the same way that birds, reptiles and other mammals do.
Fish are fascinating creatures: They have an incredible memory. For example, they can remember a one time learned escape route for years. They build complex relationships and have preferred partners that they swim with in a school of fish.
Some types of fish are able to build small sandcastles to protect themselves from their enemies. Others have been observed using tools, for example stones, for food intake. Others build small gardens, which they regularly take care of. They support the growth of their favorite kinds of algae, remove less tasty plants and chase other fish away from their gardens.
Every year billions of fish are the victims of the commercial fishing industry. And not only fish – also whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine animals that get caught in the huge fishing nets and are thrown back into the sea, dead or seriously injured, as unnecessary “bycatch”.