Most times when we think about baby lambs, piglets or chicks, what comes to mind are their irresistible cuteness and innocence that makes you want to pick them up and cuddle them. However, these feeling do not extend to places where animals are processed for food. Young animals seem to get the short end of the stick in these places and are often forced to undergo gruesome and horrific torture just so we can have steak for dinner.

Here are some of the insane things done to baby animals in the production of meat, dairy, and eggs.

Bashing the head of male calves in with axes
Male calves have less worth female calves in the dairy industry as they don’t produce any milk, so they are often killed at birth by bashing their head in with a hammer or an ax. Rather than sending the male calves to ranches, pens, and slaughterhouses, and making a tidy profit in the process, dairy farms believe it is more convenient to kill them as they are born.

Grinding baby chicks and ducklings alive
In what looks like a Saw movie, male chick in the egg industry are thrown into a grinder alive at just one day old. They are ground to a pulp while alive because they don’t produce eggs. The males are born a deeper shade of yellow as a result of some genetic modifications making them easily identifiable.

On the other hand, female ducklings in the foie gras industry get crushed alive in an electric mincer. The male ducklings are in higher demand because they gain more weight and develop much faster compared to females [1].

Castrating piglets without anesthetics
In order to comply with USDA laws, piggeries rip out the testicles of male piglets to prevent boar taint contamination. Boar taint is an offensive odor produced when cooking pork from non-castrated male pigs. However, piglets are not the only animals that undergo this procedure, baby cows and lambs are also castrated without pain killers to make them submissive and ensure that their meat smells and tastes in a certain way.

Burning off the beaks of baby chicks
Beaks are a luxury in the egg industry where baby birds have to be debeaking in order to prevent them from harming each other. This process is an extremely painful one as the beak is still soft and pliable at this point, filled with blood vessels, nerve endings, and pain receptors. Needless to say, it is done without any painkillers or anesthetics.

Separating babies from their mothers
This is a standard procedure in the dairy industry where the calves are taken away from their mother so they don’t receive any milk. Dairy animals, cows, goat, sheep, etc. produce milk when they are pregnant but have their babies are taken away from them hours after birth to ensure that we get the milk instead of them.

Crushing piglets against concrete
This process is called PAC (Pounding Against Concrete) and sometimes thumping and it involves slamming the head of unwanted piglets against a wall to kill them. This leads to slow agonizing deaths caused by head trauma. In some cases, piglets who don’t die immediately can be found hours later squirming in agony.


  1. 7 Things Done to Baby Animals That We’d Never Dream of Doing to the Most Evil Criminals“, Kinder World. February, 2019.
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