Don’t give me that bullshit about how, “Not all farmers are like that!” when someone explains to you what goes on in the animal agriculture industry. I did work experience on a small, family-run farm in Northern Ireland, and the standard practices employed there are deemed humane when they’re anything but.
1 metre square pens for ewes and their lambs, with some pens having up to three lambs in them. Mothers were terrified for their lambs safety any time humans went anywhere near their pens, so much so that they often kicked or stood on their babies whilst trying to protect them.
Lambs had tags put in their ears a short time after being born, which involved having a hole punched in their ears with no pain relief. They also had rubber bands wrapped around their testes and tails as a means of removing them.
Workers chased and beat ewes to get them to go where they wanted. In one case a wooden crook was used to beat a ewe.
Mothers who didn’t know how to care for their lambs, or whose lambs died, were put in ‘adoption pens’ which consisted of wooden boards preventing them from moving in any direction, even to lie down. Lambs could still access her milk to suckle whilst she had no choice but to let them.
To transport ewes and lambs to the fields when they were old enough, lambs were lifted by their back legs and thrown into a box on the back of a quad. The man who owned the farm remarked to me, “look, they bounce back!”, after having thrown a lamb with such force that they landed on the edge of the box with their abdomen, and their hind-quarters flipped into the box after them. These boxes (and the trailer underneath with screaming ewes looking for their children) were so full that the sheep couldn’t move.
Even if none of these things happened, in less than six months all of those lambs are packed onto lorries and have their throats slit in a slaughterhouse. You tell me that’s humane?