Animal Husbandry: Reality Check

“Der aufrüttelnde Film zeigte nicht nur mit dem Finger auf ein paar schwarze Schafe, sondern die Auswüchse komplexer globaler Fehlentwicklungen, die vermutlich nicht mehr so einfach zu stoppen sind und mit uns allen als Gesellschaft, aber fraglos auch mit jedem einzelnen Konsumenten zu tun haben.” – MSN


Kleine Schlachthöfe: 44 % Fehlbetäubungen


9%+  Fehlbeteubung in Deutschland


“40 Prozent der Tiere wachen beim Zerlegen auf”


Tötung überzähliger Puten zeigt kaputtes System auf

Ministerium stoppte Zwangsgeld

“Das ist eine riesengroße Sauerei. Der Minister hat sein Amt schamlos missbraucht und damit die Fortsetzung der Tierquälerei ermöglicht”

Eine Qual – mit amtlicher Genehmigung



Impact of genetic selection for high yields of milk


“Dairy cows may continue to be economically productive for many lactation cycles. In theory a longevity of 10 lactations is possible. The chances of problems arising which may lead to a cow being culled are high, however; the average herd life of US Holstein is today fewer than 3 lactations. This requires more herd replacements to be reared or purchased. Over 90% of all cows are slaughtered for 4 main reasons:

  • Infertility – failure to conceive and reduced milk production.
Cows are at their most fertile between 60 and 80 days after calving. Cows remaining “open” (not with calf) after this period become increasingly difficult to breed, which may be due to poor health. Failure to expel the afterbirth from a previous pregnancy, luteal cysts, or metritis, an infection of the uterus, are common causes of infertility.
Mastitis is recognized by a reddening and swelling of the infected quarter of the udder and the presence of whitish clots or pus in the milk. Treatment is possible with long-acting antibiotics but milk from such cows is not marketable until drug residues have left the cow’s system, also called withdrawal period.
  • Lameness – persistent foot infection or leg problems causing infertility and loss of production.
High feed levels of highly digestible carbohydrate cause acidic conditions in the cow’s rumen. This leads to laminitis and subsequent lameness, leaving the cow vulnerable to other foot infections and problems which may be exacerbated by standing in faeces or water soaked areas.
  • Production – some animals fail to produce economic levels of milk to justify their feed costs.
Production below 12 to 15 L of milk per day is not economically viable.[citation needed]

Cow longevity is strongly correlated with production levels.[25] Lower production cows live longer than high production cows, but may be less profitable. Cows no longer wanted for milk production are sent to slaughter. Their meat is of relatively low value and is generally used for processed meat. Another factor affecting milk production is the stress the cow is faced with.



Use of flame to burn udder hair

What Are Welfare Standards Really Like For UK Dairy Cows?


The “enormous” lack of information is “going to translate into extreme suffering for individual animals”, said report co-author Becca Franks, a research scientist at New York University.
The report, published in the journal Science Advances, found that a failure to provide the right environment and to handle aquatic animals correctly can lead to birth defects, restricted mobility, aggressive behaviour and extreme pain during slaughter.

Conditions for workers in slaughterhouses

Smithfield Hit With Lawsuit for Failing to Protect Pork Factory Workers From COVID-19

“Largest outbreak in Canada”  (….”In the U.S., rates of coronavirus infection are 75 per cent higher in rural counties housing large beef, pork and poultry-processing plants”)

Outbreak in German slaughterhouses

1500+ infected


exploitation of workers at Tönnies (site of major Corona outbreak)



Rund 300 Mitarbeiter positiv Heftiger Corona-Ausbruch in Schlachthof

“American slaughterhouse workers are three times more likely to suffer serious injury than the average American worker.”

“Working at slaughterhouses often leads to a high amount of psychological trauma”

“in the UK 78 slaughter workers lost fingers, parts of fingers or limbs, more than 800 workers had serious injuries, and at least 4,500 had to take more than three days off after accidents.[29] In a 2018 study in the Italian Journal of Food Safety, slaughterhouse workers are instructed to wear ear protectors to protect their hearing from the constant screams of animals being killed.[30] A 2004 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that “excess risks were observed for mortality from all causes, all cancers, and lung cancer” in workers employed in the New Zealand meat processing industry.[31]



“Die deutsche Agrarlobby: verfilzt, intransparent und wenig am Gemeinwohl orientiert”


Coronavirus and other pathogen outbreaks from animal-farming /-consumption

(links to media on pathogens below)

We can see below the dangers of farming and eating animals just from zoonotic diseases beside supporting the greatest damage to the environment, to health and animal suffering. The current covid-19 pandemic scenario was warned of 2007. Without animal farming (especially industrial) and consumption of animal-products, these outbreaks are highly unlikely to have occurred. Meat markets / factory farms and even slaughterhouses are often infested with pathogens. Abnormal high density of infected animals, their transportation and contact with humans results in optimal pathogen-spreading and mutations. An additional dilemma is the high usage of antibiotics in industrial farms to fight pathogens, which is the main cause of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, considered as a major threat by WHO, potentially killing millions in the coming years.1 2 3 4 “Drug-resistant infections know no borders and do not respect barriers between industry, regulators and buyers, or between animals, humans and their wider environment”5

Spanish flu 1918 – wild birds to poultry farms to humans

How Denmark significantly reduced its death-rate by cutting out meat, alcohol and reducing dairy herds to one third due to wartime shortages:

In Denmark, for example, the pandemic claimed just 0.2% of the population

“Recent studies have, by comparing international mortality levels for 1918, noted that Denmark stands out as the country with the lowest levels of excess mortality [2,3].”


17% death rate reduction from non-epidemic causes 1917 and 34% in 1918 (pandemic year)

SARS 2002 – bats/civet cat-eating/farming to humans

swine flu 2009 – pig farms to humans

swine flu origins in intensive pig farming


Current threats and examples of continuous problem

Fur Farms and Covid-19 spread

Bird flu Germany – backyard chickens

Avian flu origins in animal-farming

“Cromie said that while improving biosecurity was the best short-term solution, the authorities should be looking at how these viruses originate in and are amplified by industrial meat production. Britain slaughters more than 1 billion chickens every year.”

Virus causing ‘high levels of mortality’ in birds, with risk to chickens and other poultry

Fatal strain of bird flu outbreak S.Carolina

General outbreak (in German)

African Swine Fever outbreak in Poland April 2020

African Swine Fever Outbreak Discovered In Poland

Antibioticresistant bacteria in pig feces as fertiliser (German)


Die nächste Pandemie könnte aus dem Hühnerstall kommen

Christian Drosten, virologist at Berliner Charité (article in German)

„Der aktuelle Grund sollte jetzt sehr überzeugend sein, notwendige Veränderungen in Angriff zu nehmen. Das Problem ist der Fleischhunger in der sich ausweitenden Gesellschaft.“

“The current reason should now be very convincing to make the necessary changes. The problem is the desire for meat in an expanding society. ”—wir-haben-in-deutschland-einige-vorteile-gegenueber-anderen-laendern–9190450.html?fbclid=IwAR3Fuep6cZvjmSR4xriumI-tVkn7ReXjvHy8Vrrv-ha3gqvMmuEFnBCBE_w

MERS (H1N1) 2012 – bats to camel farms to humans

Covid-19 (“Coronavirus”) 2019 – bat-eating / pangolin farms

“for a precursor virus … an animal host would probably have to have a high population density (for natural selection to be efficient)…”.

Spread via slaughterhouses?

“the single-biggest source of coronavirus cases in the U.S.”

Smithfield Hit With Lawsuit for Failing to Protect Pork Factory Workers From COVID-19

“Largest outbreak in Canada”  (….”In the U.S., rates of coronavirus infection are 75 per cent higher in rural counties housing large beef, pork and poultry-processing plants”)


Outbreak in German slaughterhouse:300 cases (in German)

Rund 300 Mitarbeiter positiv Heftiger Corona-Ausbruch in Schlachthof

“Schlachthöfe und Fleischbetriebe entwickeln sich gerade zum Corona-Brennpunkt im ganzen Land”

“Löhne unter dem Mindestlohn, Massenunterkünfte, kaum Erholung für kranke Kollegen”


652 Infizierte

“Corona-Massenausbruch bei Tönnies: Hunderte infiziert – die Ansteckungsrate ist enorm – heftige Konsequenzen drohen”

bird flu – wild birds to poultry farms to humans

Spread of bird flu


“While most wild birds have only a mild form of the H5N1 strain, once domesticated birds such as chickens or turkeys are infected, H5N1 can potentially become much more deadly because the birds are often in close contact. H5N1 is a large threat in Asia with infected poultry due to low hygiene conditions and close quarters. Although it is easy for humans to contract the infection from birds, human-to-human transmission is more difficult without prolonged contact. However, public health officials are concerned that strains of avian flu may mutate to become easily transmissible between humans.[18”

HIV and Ebola from bushmeat hunting

Further Antibiotic Resistance Information

Antibiotic use in animal farming – EU comparison


Antibiotic resistance adds to the impact of Covid-19

Antibiotic resistance: the hidden threat lurking behind Covid-19–SVfDEEXXqKeyO9d4zSWC0XG_wTDX6TvfVltJBpYD-ruPWE


Cardiovascular aspect of covid-19 (another reason for preventative approaches to heart disease)

The General Problem:

“The world is in an “era of pandemics” and unless the destruction of the natural world is halted they will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, kill more people and affect the global economy with more devastating impact than ever before”


‘We should start thinking about the next one’: Coronavirus is just the first of many pandemics to come, environmentalists warn


Coronavirus: Pandemics will be worse and more frequent unless we stop exploiting Earth and animals, top scientists warn


Coronavirus: Industrial animal farming has caused most new infectious diseases and risks more pandemics, experts warn–CDhCvUokWwWc_B7RB3r60


Go vegan or risk further pandemics, experts warn


Meat-eating creates risk of future pandemic that ‘would make Covid seem a dress rehearsal’, scientists warn


German video summary



List of Zoonotic Diseases (before covid 19)


Other pathogens

Salmonella origins in animal-farming, animal manure

e.coli origins in animal-farming, animal manure

Anthrax origins in animal-farming