The Effects Of Animal Rights And Factory Farming In California

1180 Words 5 Pages
Nicole Vecchio
POSC 199-02
26 October, 2014
Animal Rights and Factory Farming in California

There are social norms prevalent in modern society that frequently go unquestioned because they are either so fundamentally logical that they just make sense, or because people choose to ignore them, as it is an easier solution than trying to fix them. For example, running all of your daily errands in the nude is, unquestioningly, taboo. Unfortunately, the flawed, unsanitary, and violent practice of factory farming is one of the latter, which has made itself prominent due to a general lack of opposition. Phasing out factory farming in California will improve the quality of meat products available, protect the environment, provide more jobs for farmers,
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Although modern depictions of farmed animals lead the public to believe that they are of low intelligence, many studies have proven otherwise. Research around swine intelligence reveals that at as young an age as three weeks old, piglets can learn their names, and further research has demonstrated that pigs can even be taught to manipulate a joystick with their snout to achieve 80% accuracy in a video game that requires them to hit a target (Joy, 2010). Livestock animals have also been falsely portrayed as incapable of forming close emotional relationships. Pigs and cows alike form strong emotional bonds with their offspring, and often endure severe emotional stress when horrifically separated from their young on factory farms. Pigs, when under intense psychological stress brought on by cramped, confined quarters, premature maternal separation, and unanesthetized castration and tail docking, can suffer from PSS, or porcine stress syndrome. The symptoms of PSS are astoundingly similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder in humans (Joy, 2010). The most severe of these symptoms include irrational, repetitive behaviors and even self-mutilation. When separated from their young, female cows will become panicked and exhibit violent behaviors, often lashing out at workers on factory farms. “There are even instances of cows escaping and traveling for miles to find their calves on other farms” (Joy, 2010). Thus, as these animals are intelligent and possess emotional capacity, they should, logically, have rights to peaceful lives, despite their doomed fate (Clemmitt, 2010). R. G. Frey even goes so far as to compare the concept of animal rights to the rights of human infants and the mentally impaired. He contends that although these individuals are

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