Frog legs. A meal eaten so rarely in most areas of the world that many people can’t even imagine where the frogs originate, let alone the conditions they were once in.
‘Extreme confinement, automation, and mutilation for convenience’s sake is the norm’
Unfortunately, that meal likely came from a distant land where frogs suffered immensely.
Before a video about frog farming in China went viral, most people didn’t consider the plight of frogs destined to become a main course.
Have you ever seen a frog factory farm before? Absolutely appalling.
Frogs as far as the eye can see, with literally no space to move. No animal deserves to suffer like this. RT if you agree. 😡🐸😡 pic.twitter.com/t4CxWTSCZ2
— John Oberg (@JohnOberg) October 1, 2018
You’ve probably heard of factory farming. It’s the term which describes the way in which most farm animals are raised in today’s highly mechanised, globalised world.
And it’s called factory farming is because these farms resemble factories more than they do farms.
Smaller size equals more suffering
Extreme confinement, automation, and mutilation for convenience’s sake is the norm. Nearly all meat, egg, and dairy products globally come from animals who’ve spent their lives in these conditions.
When considering farm animals, many people may only think about the pigs, the cows, and the chickens.
I’m here to tell you about a problem that most of us didn’t even know we have: frog farming.
There’s an unfortunate correlation between size and suffering. The smaller the animal, the greater quantities in which they’re consumed per kilogram.
The average person eats only a small portion of a cow each year, but they eat dozens of chickens.
Think about how many frogs a person could eat – potentially hundreds in a single year. This compounds the impact that a consumer has.
An interesting and disturbing aspect of frog consumption is that the countries in which it’s most eaten – like Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, where a combined 93 per cent of frog leg imports in the EU occur – are also some of the countries with the greatest restrictions and bans in the world on the commercial farming of frogs.
‘The numbers are staggering, but the ability to make a difference is huge’
The vast majority of all of the frogs imported into the EU come from countries in Asia, with Indonesia, Vietnam, and China among the leaders.
You would think that a ban on commercial farming of something should also mean a ban on importing that very same thing.
That is not the case for the many tens of millions of frogs consumed each year in the European Union.
Your ability to make a difference
Amphibians have pain receptors similar to that in mammals.
This makes the following fact that much more disturbing: standard practice for the removal of frogs’ legs is by cutting the legs off with knives, scissors, or simple dismemberment by hand – all while fully conscious.
The frogs struggle aggressively until they reach a point of absolute exhaustion. It can take up to a full hour before they finally die.
Your ability to make a difference begins every time you sit down at the dinner table
If you think it’s repulsive how frogs are treated, then consider the fact that chickens suffer just like them, and account for nearly nine out of every 10 farm animals killed in the world.
The numbers are staggering, but the ability to make a difference is huge. This is one reason I’m excited about One in a Billion Campaign from The Humane League UK.
While intensive animal farming may seem like some far off problem in a land far away, your food choices here and now are what can prevent this cruel practice from continuing.
The cries and croaks of sentient animals may occur on a farm far away or it might be on your doorstep, but your ability to make a difference begins every time you sit down at the dinner table.
Pledge to eat more vegetarian and vegan meals with the help of websites like Veganuary.com.
Give frogs – and all farm animals – a voice. Share this video across social media to highlight the reality of frog farming.
Let others know that the cruelty going on behind the closed doors of factory farms isn’t something that you’re comfortable with. Animals are depending on it.