Cows, Chickens, Fish, and Other Animals Used for Food |

Animals Used for Food

On today’s farms, animals used for food are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds or stuffed into wire cages, metal crates, and other torturous devices. Billions of fish—along with “nontarget” animals, including sharks, sea turtles, birds, seals, and whales—are caught each year by the commercial fishing industry. Animals used for food will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that’s natural and important to them. Most won’t even feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they’re loaded onto trucks headed for slaughterhouses.

PETA Is at the Forefront of Stopping the Abuse of Animals Used for Food

PETA and our millions of supporters around the world know that animals aren’t ours to use for food—they’re unique, feeling individuals with their own wants and needs. That’s why we work behind the scenes with companies to get delicious vegan options added at restaurants across the country, among other efforts.

Our hard-hitting campaigns and eye-opening investigations show people the reality of using animals for food. For decades, PETA’s ads, articles, and bold protests have revealed the horrors that the meat and dairy industries try so hard to hide—and the public can’t help but take notice.


How Many Animals Are Killed for Food Every Year?

  • More than 29 million cows suffer and die in the meat and dairy industries every year.
  • In the U.S., approximately 9 billion chickens are killed for their flesh each year and 305 million hens are used for their eggs.
  • Of the millions of pigs killed every year for food, more than 1 million die annually just during transport to the slaughterhouse, and at least 40,000 have sustained injuries by the time they arrive.
  • An estimated 245 million turkeys are raised and killed for their flesh every year in the U.S. More than 46 million of them are killed each year at Thanksgiving alone, and more than 22 million die at Christmas.
  • More than 31 million ducks are killed each year for their flesh and for cruelly obtained foie gras.
  • More fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined, as tens of billions of fish and shellfish are slaughtered annually.

What Is ‘Factory Farming’?

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