Cows are exploited by humans for their meat, milk and skin, reducing them to nothing more than products for our use.


Most beef cattle are not well taken care of on the ranges where they live. They often don't get the necessary veterinary help and aren't adequately protected against the changing weather. Some cows die of dehydration or freeze to death.

Injured Cow

The branding of a cow.


Several methods are used so ranchers can identify their cattle. One very common method is a combination of ear tags and tattoos. Another common method is hot brands (see the picture on the left). Less common methods include freeze brands, ear notches, neck chains and horn brands.

Downed Cows

When cattle is rounded up by the ranchers, they can get very scared and are often injured. When cows are injured to the point that they can no longer stand or walk, they are called "downed". Some downed animals are neglected and left to die while others are beaten and dragged on their way to slaughter.

Downed cow. Behind her you see her frightened calf.



Other stressful events in the life of cattle are the many transportations they have to endure. They are forced to travel in extreme heat or freezing temperatures. While traveling they urinate and defecate right in the trailers.
Before slaughter, most beef cattle are brought to feedlots where they are implanted with growth-promoting hormones and given unnaturally rich diets to fatten them up.

Beef cattle in a feedlot.

At the slaughterhouse.


In the slaughterhouse, the cows are 'stunned' by a mechanical blow to the head. This method is very inadequate and a lot of cows are hung upside down while still conscious. Whether conscious or not, they will end up having their throats slashed with knives. A sad ending to a very sad life.
Copyright © 2008-2015 by Wanda Embar. All Rights Reserved. Legal/Contact Me.
Beef: USDA public domain. Beef cattle, downed cow and slaughterhouse by Farm Sanctuary.
Transportation by The Animals Voice. Cow branding ©2004