European Vegetarian Union

30 Governors, Mayors proclaim World Farm Animals Day

from EVU News, Issue 3 /1998

In Europe October is regarded as a month of observance for vegetarianism or animal protection. The birthday of Gandhi' on October 2 as well as the commemoration day of Francesco d'Assisi on October 4 are the reason for many different traditional events in most European countries. This year several vegetarian societies have followed the invitation of FARM to proclaim a World Farm Animals Day on October 2nd.

Sigrid de Leo

Thirty governors and large city mayors have issued special proclamations for the 16th annual observance of World Farm Animals Day on October 2. Most proclamations request that animals raised for food be accorded humane and sanitary treatment, that farming be directed to protect our environment and natural resources, and that our food supply be safe and wholesome.

[IMAGE: Pigs in factory farm] World Farm Animals Day observances have been exposing and memorialising the suffering and death of billions of innocent, sentient animals in factory farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses since 1983. The date (October 2) honours the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the world's foremost champion of humane farming. The annual observances are coordinated by FARM (Farm Animal Reform Movement), a non-profit public interest organisation.

This year's observance targets atrocities in US slaughterhouses. The animals are routinely mutilated, skinned, drowned, boiled, or beaten to death while fully conscious. This is documented in testimony by slaughter-house workers and USDA inspectors published in "Slaughterhouse" by investigative reporter Gail Eisnitz. It occurs with tacit approval of USDA and the unaware financial support of US consumers, in flagrant violation of the Humane Slaughter Act and common decency.

Consumer and animal protection activists in three hundred US communities are planning exhibits, information tables, lectures, leafleting, picketing, and vigils. They will be offering solutions to the catastrophic problems associated with today's animal agriculture, including animal abuse, chronic diseases, and environmental devastation.

Other participating countries include Belgium, Canada, Italy, France (Alliance Végétarienne for the first time) Netherlands, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

This year's observance of World Farm Animals Day comes at a critical time for the US farm animal industry. Growing concern with health consequences of meat consumption is driving consumers to plant-based foods. A budget-conscious Congress has reduced the massive subsidies. The relentless take-over of the meat industry by large conglomerates has displaced independent producers and farm workers and alienated local communities. A dozen agricultural states and EPA are restricting the size of and discharges from factory farms. Nine in ten consumers condemn mistreatment of farm animals, and several states have enacted protective legislation.

Dr. Alex Hershaft
PO Box 30654
20824 Bethesda
Maryland, USA
Tel: +13015301737
Fax: +13015305747
"As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness, love and compassion. That these animals suffer through human cruelty is beyond understanding. Please help to stop this madness."
Richard Gere (actor)