To the Editor:

I just learned that there is a World Day for Farm Animals, coming up on Oct. 2 (Gandhi’s birth date). It’s intended to memorialize the billions of animals abused and killed for food each year.

Like many others, I always thought of farm animals as “food on the hoof.” But, after watching the deeply moving feature film okja on Netflix, I realized that a farm animal is much like our family dog, fully deserving of compassion and respect.

An internet search showed me that farm animals get neither on today’s factory farms. Male baby chicks are suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground up alive. Laying hens are crowded into small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding sows spend their lives pregnant in metal cages. Dairy cow babies are snatched from their mothers upon birth, so we can drink their milk.

The cruelties inherent in factory faming drove me to replace animal products in my diet with a rich variety of plant-based meats and dairy items offered by my supermarket.

I have since learned that my cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

Mark Gifford

Killeen

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