Most people consider themselves animal lovers; they are our friends, companions and even members of our families. However, we also slaughter eighty billion land animals every year as well as over two trillion marine animals, for no necessary reason. This is more animals than the amount of humans who ever lived, every single year!
We are born into societies and cultures that condition us from birth into believing that eating body parts and animal secretions, and using animal products is normal, natural and necessary.
We learn to love some - and eat others.
We have normalised horrific behaviours, using excuses and ingrained justifications to hide behind the reality of our immoral actions.
It is humans that have designated certain animals as pets to be loved and pampered, and others as food. There is no difference in the capacity of animals to love, desire safety and companionship, to feel pain, despair and loneliness.
Animals that get sent to their death by the truckload, day in day out, experience terror and pain.
Increasingly intensive farming practices that keep them inprisoned until their premature death offer only a lifetime of abject misery, suffering, fear and pain.
Such intense farming in horrific conditions also means that disease is rife. To attempt to combat this, worldwide, antibiotics are poured into animal feed as a preemptive measure. Approximately 80% of all the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for use in animal agriculture. 
Given the chance, animals have rich and fulfilling emotional and social lives.
By abusing them in the way we do, instead humans subject them to this:
One of the smartest animals with the cognition of a toddler.
Extreme confinement for almost all of their life causes pigs to go insane and cannibalise.
A cow needs to give birth in order to produce milk – just like your own mother. She is impregnated with semen whilst restrained in what is known in the industry as a 'rape rack'.
Once she gives birth her babies are taken from her and all but a handful of any male, 'bobby' calves are slaughtered.
This is because they have no commercial value and because we want their mother's milk for human consumption. Mum is then milked sometimes several times a day, and commonly her teats will become raw and infected with a painful condition called mastitis. This is so common that worldwide it is known that the milk that humans drink contains pus cells from infected cows. Some countries have laws dictating how much pus (somatic cell count) can be present in your milk, but it almost always will indeed be present.
Meanwhile a female cow will continue this pattern of impregnation and milking until she collapses from sickness or exhaustion (known in the industry as a 'downer'). Then she will be taken to be slaughtered and ground up. The dairy industry is the beef industry.
Chickens are inquisitive, interesting animals who are as intelligent as mammals such as cats, dogs, and even some primates. They are very social and like to spend their days together, scratching for food, taking dust baths, roosting in trees, and lying in the sun.
Chickens raised for their flesh, called “broilers” by the chicken industry, spend their entire lives in filthy sheds with tens of thousands of other birds, where intense crowding and confinement lead to outbreaks of disease.
They’re bred and drugged to grow so large so quickly that their legs and organs can’t keep up, making heart attacks, organ failure, and crippling leg deformities common. Many become crippled under their own weight and eventually die because they can’t reach the water nozzles. When they are only 6 or 7 weeks old, they’re crammed into cages and trucked to slaughter.
In the natural world a hen will lay about 12 eggs a year. It's a painful process and also takes up all of the birds nutritional resources. Farm hens are bred to lay over 300 eggs a year!
In New Zealand, close to three million hens are kept in small wire cages to produce eggs. These intensive farming conditions prevent hens from doing their most basic behaviours. Farms that promote themselves as 'free range' by law only need to provide access to the outside.
There is no minimum requirement for the size of outdoor areas or the suitability of these outdoor areas for the hens. There is also no specification of the maximum number of hens allowed per flock. Therefore, the quality of life a free-range hen on one farm can be vastly different to that of a hen on another free-range farm.
There is no doubt that salmon, along with all fishes, have nerve receptors and feel distress and pain, just like all animals. Intensive salmon farming in New Zealand and around the world is disastrous for the environment and agony for the fish. Far from swimming through lakes and launching themselves up rivers as they would in the wild, farmed salmon are crammed into pools that they can hardly move in. High mortality rates, disease, and parasite infestations are common.
Deformities and stress-related injuries are also a regular occurrence.
Traditional methods of slaughtering fish include suffocation, leaving them to endure pain and terror for 10 minutes or more before finally dying; piercing their hearts or severing their gill arches without prior stunning.
Farmed fish feed: feed pellets contain sea fishing bi-catch and 'inedibles' along with a bunch of chemicals and toxins. The farmed fish industry is the ocean industry.
The above is a snapshot of the way we treat animals. It doesn't include sheep, wool, bees, ducks, turkeys, donkeys, alpaca rabbits, monkeys, wet markets, rodeos, racing, lab testing, tanneries and fifty other animals, or ways to abuse those that we claim to love.
If you’re Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, male, female, androgynous, transgender, gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, young, old, rich, poor, furred, feathered, scaled, hooved, clawed, finned, whatever, you feel, you hurt, you desire, you love. And you deserve life.
Speciesism is the concept of discriminating against other beings based on their species.