Darker Than Fiction: The Real Nightmares Animals Endure Every Day

Posted on by Dan H

Halloween is upon us – the season when we revel in ghostly attractions, dress up in spooky costumes, and binge on scary movies. While we indulge in these temporary seasonal frights, countless animals in Australia live through almost unimaginable dread and torment each and every day. Their real-life anguish surpasses even the most chilling haunted house tales. Here are some heartrending truths about the daily torment many animals endure:

Dairy Is Scary

Dairy Is ScarySteven Walker

Spirit-world spookiness has nothing on dairy farms, where cows are forcibly impregnated, separated from their babies, and sent to face the slaughter knife after their milk production has waned.

Because male calves are useless to dairy farmers, they’re taken from their mothers when they’re less than a day old. Many are confined to pens, longing for the comfort of their mothers until they’re trucked to slaughter for veal. Every year in Australia, 400,000 calves who are less than a month old endure long, stressful journeys to abattoirs and are killed.

Mother cows have been known to wail for their calves for days after separation, and male calves miss their mothers so much that they will suckle the fingers of abattoir workers moments before they’re killed.

Terrifying Live Export

Animals transported by sea from Australia to the middle east.Jo-Anne McArthur | Israel Against Live Shipments | We Animals Media

Every year, millions of Australian sheep and cows are sent on hellish journeys to Southeast Asia and the Middle East – and the government fully supports this cruelty.

The terrified animals are crammed onto open-decked ships, many storeys high, for a gruelling trip across thousands of kilometres in all weather extremes. Many starve or succumb to heatstroke or disease.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources indicate that more than 2.5 million animals have died on live-export ships before reaching their destination, often from starvation – as they don’t recognise the pellets they’re given as food – or heat stress.

The fate of animals who survive an excruciating journey is little better: many are taken to filthy markets, where their throats are slit while they’re still conscious.

Cruelty to Crocodiles

Want to watch a truly terrifying “movie”? Footage of farms owned by Hermès and its suppliers reveals that crocodiles are confined to cramped cages and small concrete pits filled with filthy water before they’re electrocuted, dragged into the open, and mutilated – often while still conscious.

Australia is the world’s main producer of saltwater crocodile skin, exporting 90% of it internationally. Crocodiles are crudely bludgeoned, gutted, and sometimes skinned alive to make Hermès bags.

The Despair Test

Image shows the forced swim test

The forced swim test – also known as the “despair test” – was supposed to provide insights into human depression, but most scientists now agree it’s not fit for this purpose. Small animals – usually mice or rats – are often dosed with drugs and dropped into cylinders of water. At first, they try to escape by attempting to climb up the sides of the beakers or even diving underwater in search of an exit. They paddle furiously, desperately trying to keep their heads above water, until eventually they start to float.

Forcing frantic animals to swim in an inescapable cylinder of water is both physically and psychologically abusive – not to mention completely irrelevant to human depression.

Help End These Nightmares for Animals

Want to help end these horrors? November is World Vegan Month!

Sign our pledge and throughout the month, we’ll send you meal plans, delicious recipes, and tips on eating a balanced vegan diet, choosing vegan clothes and cruelty-free cosmetics, and implementing animal-friendly choices in every aspect of your life.