Animals used in food production

Breeding:

  • Animals such as cows, chickens, pigs and sheep are ‘domesticated animals‘ – they have been created by humans to have particular characteristics using selective breeding techniques over many generations.  They are, therefore, not ‘natural’ animals in the sense that they do not exist in the wild, and probably would not survive very well without human intervention.
  • Chickens, for example, have been bred so that they cannot fly.  Their wings can carry them off the ground temporarily but they cannot get very far.  This makes them easy for humans to control, and also very vulnerable to predators.
  • Cows have been bred to have various characteristics such as large udders (which make them produce excessive quantities of milk – often up to 10 times more than a calf would need).  Other cattle have been bred to have large, lean bodies so that they can be used for meat.  Certain sheep have been bred to have excessive quantities of wool, and pigs were bred to have temperaments which make them more docile, for example.

Slaughter:

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