On industrial egg farms, for instance, it is standard practice to kill all male chicks born on egg farms when they are just a day or two old. However, two-thirds of people were unaware of this common industry policy. Interestingly, upon learning of the fate of male chicks, 69% of respondents believed the practice should be made illegal. In addition, a third of those surveyed did not know that dairy cows are sent to slaughter once their milk yield begins to drop. Yet, 60% did not even know that cows must be pregnant in order to produce milk. One in ten respondents wrongly believed “retired” dairy cows were sent to animal sanctuaries or lived out the rest of their lives on the farm.
Others were convinced that other common industry practices were illegal, such as the keeping breeding sows in crates that render them immobile, the amputation of piglets’ tails, and the removal of piglet teeth with pliers. Many also thought it was illegal to shoot and kill male dairy calves. Yet, all of these practices – and more – are legal and standard practice on farms in the US and Europe. Many of those surveyed were genuinely shocked and appalled upon learning of these industry practices,
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