Marching against animal abuse

Rights group raises awareness about treatment of factory animals

Ian Clark, ArtSci ’12, says factory cows sometimes go up to 52 hours without food or water when transported.
Ian Clark, ArtSci ’12, says factory cows sometimes go up to 52 hours without food or water when transported.
Photo: 

This Saturday, a group of Queen’s students will walk for farm animals to support local group Kingston Animal Trust.

Kingston Animal Trust will give the proceeds to Farm Sanctuary, a national non-profit organization committed to ending animal cruelty and advocating for animal regulation reform, Ian Clark, ArtSci ’12, said.

“They rescue animals who would have otherwise been left to die,” he said.

Clark said factory animals are often deprived of basic living conditions.

“When cows are transported they can go up to 52 hours with no food or water,” he said. “They want to change regulations like that.” The two-hour walk starts at 1 p.m. at Confederation Basin on Ontario St. There’s a $15 registration fee that goes towards Farm Sanctuary and all participants will receive a free t-shirt.

Clark said Farm Sanctuary, located in California and New York, takes in neglected or discarded animals that often stay with the organization for the remainder of their natural lives.

“Chickens will get their feet cut off with no anesthetic,” he said.

Katie Newman, ArtSci ’13, said she likes Farm Sanctuary’s personal approach to each animal they rescue, adding that the Kingston Animal Trust doesn’t rescue animals.

Farm Sanctuary is working to change transportation and slaughterhouse laws to reduce pain and suffering for farm animals, Newman said, adding that 40 per cent of farm animals die during transportation alone.

“There is a lot of suffering on these transportation trucks,” she said. “In some ways they’re almost worse than the slaughterhouse itself.” The walk will benefit all animals that are considered to be meals, Newman said, adding that slaughterhouses are often corrupt because they are given advance notice for inspections.

“Once the inspectors leave it goes back to madness and chaos,” she said.

Newman said she decided to get involved in animal rights activism after she saw a presentation in high school on slaughterhouses.

“I was always interested in animal rights but I never did anything because it wasn’t socially acceptable,” she said. “People look down on animal activists. They classify us as hippies.”

Newman, who’s vegetarian, said she thinks mistreatment of animals often goes unnoticed by

most people.

“Animal abuse is so hidden in society and so ingrained in it that people are desensitized to it,” she said. “When people wear leather shoes or eat steak they don’t think about it.”

Newman said she hopes the walk will bring awareness that animal rights are an important issue, adding that the majority of people participating in the walk are vegan or vegetarian.

“The way we treat our animals is a horrible reflection of humanity,” she said. “People need to wake up and realize that just because an animal doesn’t have the same language as we do doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.”

To register for the walk, visit kingstonanimaltrust.com

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.