2023 CANADA ANIMAL KILL CLOCK
animals have been killed for food
this year in Canada
animals have been killed for food
this year in Canada
“The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?”
“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
“In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.”
“You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”
“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.”
“Our own worst nightmare such a place may well be; it is also real life for the billions of animals unlucky enough to have been born beneath these grim steel roofs.”
Animals in Canada are in a dire situation and need individuals like you to fight for their protection. Animal suffering at the hands of industries is a systemic issue, and it requires an overhaul of our political and legal system to end it. Sadly, animals have no voice in our legal and political system, so it's up to advocates to change this.
Here are a few ways that you can make a difference:
Learn and share: Learn about animal welfare issues and talk to friends and family about those issues. Share educational content on social media. Join a local activist group (or start your own).
Vote: Vote for officials who support and defend animal rights. Humane Voters Canada endorses animal-friendly candidates during election periods and is a great resource to find out whom to support.
Contact your representative: Contact your local politicians to let them know you care about animal issues and that you vote on these issues, and encourage others to do so as well. Volunteer to assist and endorse animal-friendly candidates.
Don't pay for cruelty: Be a conscious consumer and don't buy products that are made from animals. Industries profiting from animal abuse can only do so because the public is funding them. Reduce or eliminate your consumption of animal foods.
Report animal cruelty: Animals can't report crimes against them, so it's up to us to take action and push for their protection. If you witness an act of animal cruelty or neglect, call your local SPCA or humane society.
Another way to help advance animal issues is to support the work of Animal Justice. Animal Justice is Canada's only animal advocacy organization that uses the law to fight for animal protection. The organization defends animals in court, pushes for stronger laws and works to ensure existing laws are properly enforced.
To learn more about Animal Justice's work and how to you can help their mission, visit their website and follow them on social media:
Billions of intelligent animals, capable of feeling fear and pain, suffer in the dark without sympathy or compassion at a scale that is hard to imagine.
How many animals die for food in Canada every year?
In 2022, 841 million land animals were killed for food in Canada—up from 825 million in 2021, and 812 million in 2020. The number of animals slaughtered for food in 2020 and 2021 dipped due to disruptions caused by the pandemic. Sadly, the death toll has now bounced back up again, and Canada continues on its path of drastic growth in the number of animals killed.
A rise in per capita consumption and shift in consumption away from eating pigs and cows towards eating more chickens are major reasons animal deaths are increasing. Since chickens are much smaller than cows and pigs, it takes many more individual animals to produce the same amount of meat.
Marine animal deaths are challenging to calculate since these lives are measured in tonnes. Exclusive of bycatch and feed fish, Canada's food supply included 492 million fish and 4.2 billion shellfish (see reference section for details).
Many more animals die on farms without ever being recorded as a statistic. Some are deliberately killed, and some literally suffer to death. For example, there is no data available for the millions of male chicks who are killed immediately after birth in hatcheries, and millions of animals who die of illnesses and injuries on farms and in transport on their way to slaughter.
How do Canada's animal protection laws compare to the rest of the world?
Canada has some of the worst animal protection laws in the Western world.
In Canada, animal welfare isn't regulated on farms. The industry is allowed to make its own rules, and undercover investigations have shown time and time again that a culture of cruelty and neglect is systemically engrained in commercial farming.
The only federal laws that specifically protect farmed animals are for the transport and slaughter process. Canada's animal transport laws are also sorely lacking in how they work to protect animals from suffering. There is no maximum or minimum temperature animals can be transported in. The large metal trucks that transport animals to slaughterhouses have holes lining the sides with no climate control. Whether it's -40°C or +40°C, it's business as usual. On hot days, animals often arrive dead or dying of heat stress. On cold days, animals often arrive frozen to death. Chickens and pigs can legally be transported for 36 hours without food or water. For cows, it's up to 52 hours.
Although general animal welfare laws do apply to farmed animals, these laws are rarely enforced on farms. That's because, in the Canadian legal system, law enforcement agencies investigate cases of animal cruelty only after receiving a complaint from a witness. Since farmed animal neglect and abuse are invisible, it's almost never reported. And of course, much of the cruelty endured by farmed animals, such as being separated from their families and tightly confined in barren conditions their whole lives, is considered perfectly legal.
Canada's animal cruelty laws haven't been overhauled since the 1950s. While Canadians would like to see action to improve these laws, the government has not prioritized animal issues. Recently, the government struck down a bill aiming to improve these laws, which even included a non-controversial ban on dog and cat meat imports.
Is there progress being made?
Yes! While the government has fallen behind when it comes to animal protection, Canada is in the midst of a plant-food revolution. The vegan movement is rising exponentially, with new plant-based options taking over grocery store shelves, and new vegan restaurants popping-up and thriving in cities and towns across the country. Statistics show that younger Canadians are more likely to adopt plant-based diets, which means the vegan population will only continue to grow.
According to a 2018 Dalhousie University poll, 7.1% of Canadians are vegetarian and 2.3% of Canadians are vegan.
Recently, Health Canada released a draft to its new Canada Food Guide, with an emphasis on plant-based protein over meat. It even leaves out dairy as its own food group!
Additionally, Canadian dairy sales are on a steady decline. According to the Canadian Dairy Information Centre, milk consumption has fallen by 24.8% per-capita over the last 20 years. Plant-based milk sales have dramatically increased over the same period.
In 2016, Animal Justice went to the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene in a case involving animal sexual abuse. During this proceeding, the country's top court mentioned for the first time ever that society has a long established and growing concern over the protection of animals. As our legal system works upon precedent, these words from the Supreme Court resulted in an incredible development in the field of animal law.
Additional questions and answers
The U.S. version of Animal Clock addresses additional questions, including:
Animal Clock was created to bring attention to the incredible number of animals currently suffering on factory farms.
Animal Clock is currently available in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
If you work with an established animal welfare organization and would like to partner with us to launch a clock in your country, please contact us.