How can this contrast in our way of thinking be explained: As children, we love our cuddly toys and books about animals. Rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, cows and calves are our friends in films and cartoons and we are strongly impressed when we can see these living beings in real. But even if mother and child have watched a pet book in the morning, this does not prevent them from eating a burger for lunch.
And lots of us were amazed to see the cute calves on a farm, which obviously lived very peacefully. But hardly anybody knows what kind of cruelties they are forced to suffer together with their mothers.
How come we keep dogs as pets, which are like members of the family? We condemn people who eat dogs or cats but it is self-evident for us to eat pigs and cows. On top of it all, pigs are not less intelligent than dogs.
So how come we pet the ones and torment the others? If we behaved similarly to human beings, this would be called racism.
Most people are against tormenting animals and against the destruction of the environment, aren't they? Yet, consumer behaviour aggravates exactly these.
This inconsistency can only be explained by lack of knowledge or by being deliberately false informed. Many of us have seen TV reports about cruelty to animals in breeding and slaughtering but we are easily appeased by those responsible or by politicians when they dismiss those examples as "exceptions". Yet, countless TV and internet reports are proof that these are no exceptions but the rule. Any video that was turned clandestinely by animal rights activists contains disgusting scenes. When each of hundreds of such videos contains this kind of scenes, one can take for granted that these scenes are the rule. What other reason would there be to surround animal factories with huge protective walls and fences?
Only few people are directly confronted with these conditions, except they see one of the many animal transports on our roads, which could give them a rough idea of the unfair treatment of animals.
These transports are extremely stressful for the animals. They have still less room to stand than in the stalls and they often have to spend several days on the trucks. In some cases the journey lasts thousands of kilometres as there is no official limit of the duration of the transports. Equally there is no special equipment to protect the animals from the cold in the winter or from the heat in the summer.
Often the insufficient rules are violated and the animals are transported on too little space and without a pause. And even on the hottest summer days, the animals do not always have access to water, which is impressively shown in this video from Canada. However, most of the animals are not lucky enough to come across caring humans on their journey.