Alternatives to Animal Abuse



By Mr. Pramoda Chitrabhanu


The information in this article will help you minimize the daily suffering and exploitation of living creatures. Most people increase their intake of eggs and milk when they start a vegetarian diet. Many vegetarians do not realize the gross exploitation involved in supporting the dairy industry, as well as the wool, leather goods and fur industries. Here are some of the facts and alternatives for you to consider.

Facts about Violence : Factory Farming is the method of intensive breeding used today which employs high production assembly line technology and reduces mammals and birds to production units confined under the most inhumane conditions. Stress, disease, pain and suffering for the animals are the inevitable results.

Cows : The cow, a naturally domicile animal, has been turned into a flesh and milk machine, drugged and injected with hormones and antibiotics. She ultimately suffers the horrors of the slaughterhouse when she is no longer profitable as a producer of milk and veal.

Cows are artificially forced into a continuous state of pregnancy and made to produce 400 times their normal amount of milk. This results in widespread infectious diseases unknown to them under natural conditions and necessitates the use of various antibiotics.

Newborn calves are taken from their mothers so that we can drink the milk intended for them. They are placed in dark wooden crates, fed an anemia inducing liquid diet, all to produce white veal.Rennet, used to curdle most cheeses, is obtained from the stomach of a freshly killed very young calf.

Chickens : Factory farm bred layer hens are confined 4 to 5 per 1 to 2 square feet wire mesh cages arranged in tiers. Over 90% of all eggs produced come from factory farms. A broiler chicken's life is around 8 to10 weeks. The average space allotted them is about 1/2 square foot per bird. This overcrowding produces such stress and neurotic behavior in the birds that they resort to feather -pecking, scratching and cannibalism. The solution to this is to clip half of the upper and lower beaks of all the birds by putting them through a hot knife machine, to clip their toes, to keep them in constant dim lighting and feeding them anti-stress chemicals added to their water and food. "Free-range" hens are ultimately slaughtered when their productivity drops off.

Sheep : Sheep by nature, do not have "too much" wool. Scientific breeding, under factory farm conditions, creates an excessive amount of wool. Sheep are shorn continuously in all seasons. Every year, hundreds of thousands of sheep die from exposure to cold. A closely shorn sheep is more sensitive to cold than a naked human. Sheep are not shorn by "experts" as we see in educational films. The truth is that sheep are pinned down violently and shorn quickly while blood-stauncher stand by to cover the cuts with tar. Old sheep are ultimately shipped to the slaughterhouse in abominable conditions and without food or water. If people were to stop eating lamb and mutton, sheep would still be raised for their wool alone. Buying woolen products supports this cruelty.

Bees : Bees are bred commercially. Their honey and combs are taken from them, and given a cheap sugar substitute on which they cannot survive. Thousands upon thousands bees die. Honey also contains toxins, which the bees produce as a preservative that are harmful to us.

Fur-Bearing Animals : Most often, the trapping of fur-bearing animals does not result in a quick death. The most commonly used traps are of steel leghold. The trapped animals often are caught for days until the traps are checked. Many chew their limbs-off to escape. Trapping results not only in painful anguish for the trapped animal, but also starvation for its young. Commercially bred fur-bearing animals (such as mink) are raised in cramped anxiety provoking pens and do not live to reach one year. The methods of killing them are painful, in order to avoid scarring the valuable coats.

Cosmetics and its testing on Animals : Cosmetics include toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, talcum, hand lotions, lipsticks, eye cosmetics, face creams, hair conditioners, perfumes and colognes. Most cosmetics contain animal products and are tested on animals in laboratories. Though the FDA does not require such testing, they endorse the Gillette procedures for tests on animals. Common tests on animals are the LD/50 test. This test induces death in 50% of the animals (rats, mice, guinea pigs and dogs) used to determine the lethal dose of a product. The Draize test, used to measure eye irritancy in cosmetics and other products by restraining rabbits and administering increasing amounts of the product directly to the cornea. The Acute Dermal Toxicity test which presses the substance on the shaved skin of an animal after abrasions have been made on its skin and there are still other tests done on animals. Soaps usually contain animal fats like tallow (stearic acid and related salts). Shampoos can contain tallow, animal glycerin, placenta collagen, animal proteins, and fish liver oil. Many commercial toothpaste contain animal glycerin. Expensive perfumes commonly contain musk, a secretion scraped from the genitals of male civet cats in Ethiopia. These cats undergo hundreds of such painful scrapings during their lifetime.

Use of Animals in Entertainment : Circuses, Zoos, Rodeos, Horse Racing etc. Animals for the most part are put through painful training and forced to perform, totally alien to their natural way of life. The living condition is also unnatural. Countless animals are killed before a good specimen is captured to fill the many zoos and circuses. Many animals die in transport. Their young ones are left behind to starve. Electric prods are used in rodeos, and the gentle domesticated steers and horses are made to "buck" by a leather belt tightened around their abdomens pressing against their genitals. Horns are broken, animals are strangled while being roped, kicked and abused. Circus animals are forced to perform as freaks. The training is very unpleasant. Horses bred for racing are genetically bred by humans for swiftness, but suffer constantly from weak and sprained ankles, broken bones and drug abuse, often, they must be "destroyed".

Impact on Health : Meat, cheese and eggs are extremely high in saturated fats and the cholesterol that accumulates on the arterial walls is the major factor of heart attacks. Large amounts of antibiotics and chemicals are readily used to control the vast amounts of diseases those meat animals, cows, and chickens are prone to get due to their unnatural living and breeding conditions. The drugs are present in the animals' meat, milk and eggs. The kidneys of a moderate meat eater work three times harder than that of a vegetarian. This is due to the excess toxic wastes in meat, which the kidneys try to eliminate. Lard, the white rendered fat of a hog is not readily digestible. It is used widely in commercially baked goods and many name brand products. Less radioactive fallout is found in vegetable milks (cows milk generally shows a count of 98 of the element Strontium 90 compared to a count of 2.1 in vegetable-based milk). Cow's milk has a different constitution from human's milk. Cow's milk is made of elements that help in developing animal, whereas human milk helps build the nerves and brain faster than the bulk of the body. Cow's milk is not the only source of calcium. Its content in cow's milk is 120 mg. per 100 grams; Brazil nuts have 176-186 mg.; almonds have 234-247 mg.; kale has 179-200 mg.; sea kelp has over 1,000 mg.; and unhulled sesame seeds have 1, 160 mg.; just to name a few other sources.

Impact on Economics, Ecology and Environment : The waste and fecal matter, chemicals, and grease from the meat packing industry empties into our sewer systems and then into our rivers. Slaughterhouses and feedlots are some of the worst polluters of land, water and air. A diet including meat and dairy products requires the daily consumption of 8 times more gallons of water than that needed to produce non-animal foods. Non-animal diets require 1/4 acre per person, whereas meat and dairy eaters require over 2 acres. One half of the world's population is hungry or malnourished. There is a shortage of over 8 million tons of food, rising to an estimated 100 million tons by the year 2000. A total-vegetarian diet would END the world hunger crisis.


Food Alternatives : Animal Protein: Beans and legumes (lentils), whole grains, nuts, tofu, avocado, olives, hummus, "Good Tasting Nutritional Yeastö by the farm, vegetable protein such as processed vegetable foods in health food stores such as protose, Big Franks and Loma Linda Sandwich Spread.

Legume + Grain, Legume + Seed, or Legume + Nut combinations result in high quality complete proteins (rice + beans, lentils + rice, beans + corn).

Milk: Commercially prepared vegetable milk such as soymilk (in health food stores). Nut milks may be made at home in a blender in many varieties and delicious flavors. Also substitute with fruits and vegetable juices.

Eggs: In baking, use egg replacement. You may leave eggs out of many recipes that call for them with satisfactory results.

Calcium: Almonds, Sesame seeds, Tahini, dark green leafy vegetables, corn, molasses, seaweed, dried figs, sunflower seeds.

Iron: Dried fruits such as raisins and figs, dark green leafy vegetables, molasses, seaweed (kelp) black walnuts, almonds, and cashews.

Butter: Soya margarine such as "Willow Run" and "Hains" contain no animal products in health food stores as well as regular super markets.

Cheese: Tofu, or soybean cheese or curd maybe used in many ways as a cheese replacement. 

Honey: Maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, date sugar.

Clothing Alternatives :  
Wool : Use Acrylic, Rayon, or Orion for sweaters, blankets etc.
Leather : Use non-leather shoes, belt, purses, wallets etc.
Silk : Use acetate, nylon, or satin.
Fur : Use "Fake Furs" made of acrylics.
Toiletries : Use toiletries without lanolin, animal glycerin, tallow or any other animal product. Generally, all commercially prepared soaps contain tallow or animal fats. If you can't determine ingredients from labels, do not use it and write the manufacturer for more information.

Household Goods Alternatives :
Pillows: Use Acrylic non-allergic material.
Blankets: Use Acrylic or nylon material.
Rugs & Carpets: Use Acrylic, nylon, or cottons material.
Mattresses & Furniture: Avoid horsehair and other animal hairs.
Brushes: Avoid "natural bristlesö - they come from boars. Use nylon only.
Greases and Polishes: If labels don't have all ingredients, check out your favorite products by writing to the manufacturer.

Medicines, Drugs, Vitamins Alternatives : Vaccines, Serums, many Drugs and vitamins contain either animal products or were tested on animals. Meditation and yoga along with a good balanced diet, fresh air, enough water and rest diminish the need for frequent drug remedies. Occasional fasting and some herbs are some natural remedies.

Sports, Entertainment Alternatives : Encourage humane alternatives to hunting, racing, fishing, zoos, rodeos, and circuses, such as educational films of animals in their natural habitats, books and other educational materials.

Animal Based Additives to Avoid :
Calcium Stearates : Stearates most often refer to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. It acts as an emulsifier, also found in the form of sodium sterile lactylate and stearic acid.
Lactic Acid : Lactic Acid is a byproduct of the slaughter-house.
Red Dye, Cochineal : 70,000 beetles are killed to produce one pound of this red dye.
Rennet : Rennet is an enzyme taken from the stomachs of very young calves and is used in clotting milk to make mostly hard cheeses. Friendship Cottage has none.
Gelatin : Gelatin is dried protein extracted from the bones, tendons and skins of animals.
Lipase : Lipase is an enzyme from the stomachs and tongue glands of calves, kids and lambs.
Glycerol Monostearate : Glycerol Monostearate is used as an emulsifier. It is hydrolyzed protein often of animal origin.
Pepsin : Pepsin is a clotting agent derived from pigs, which is used in some cheese and vitamins. 
Sperm Oil : Sperm oil is hydrogenated whale oil used in much margarine, but mainly for cosmetics and toiletries as well as in the leather industry.
Stearic Acid : Stearic Acid comes from the slaughterhouse and is a product of pigs. It is used in making soaps.
Vitamin D2 & D3 : Vitamin D2 & D3 may be from fish oil, often in milk.

It is a good idea to write the manufacturer when in doubt of a product. Please share information you may have about animal substances especially in food products with others.



Information Courtesy : Mr. Pravin K. Shah
Chairperson Jaina Education Committee
 Federation of Jain Associations in North America 
509, Carriage Woods Circle Raleigh, NC 27607-3969, USA 
E-Mail : Tele & fax : 919-859-4994 
Websites : and


Mail to : Ahimsa Foundation