To get updates on new site content, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Assignment:Template for Animal Articles

From JFA Wiki
Revision as of 10:01, 15 November 2019 by Greg.Fuller (talk | contribs)

This is not an assignment per se, but a template for an an assignment for summary articles on animals (pigs, cows, chickens, etc). This will be the starting point for creating assignments. Existing articles should be retrofitted into this structure.

All the sections will not be applicable for all the animals covered, and other sections may be required for certain animals. This will be fleshed out in the assignment for each article.

This assignment is a work in process and not ready to be assigned. Assignments are moved to the draft namespace after an author has accepted the assignment.

This article provides summarized information about ??? that should prove useful to those advocating for animal rights, as well as to those exploring the rationale for veganism.

It covers various aspects of ??? in the context of animal rights, including injustices and suffering, humane labels and certifications, sentience and cognition, the environmental consequences of cattle farming, the health risks of ???, and impacts of ??? farming and slaughter to communities and workers,

<-- Reminder: don't be hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration to use graphic, persuasive language that represents reality. -->

<-- Several references say "citation needed." The author will receive credit for the words the citation is provided for. -->

<-- As usual, avoid where possible animal rights sites for these sources—always better to use veterinary, animal ag, government, etc sources. Sites like PCRM, Harvard Public Health, etc are good-->

General Information


<-- Provide definitions for a few of the most commonly used related terms. User this source[1] unless there is a reason not to. -->

Cattle (example) are "domesticated quadrupeds held as property or raised for use," or more specifically "bovine animals on a farm or ranch."[1] We use this word reluctantly because of its etymology from property,[2] but related words, as shown below, don't adequately describe our topic, while cattle does.

Bovine (example) is sometimes used as a synonym for cattle, but zoologically means "any of a subfamily (Bovinae) of bovids including oxen, bison, buffalo, and their close relatives."[1]

Sow (example) refers to...



<-- when referring to numbers slaughtered, link to this table instead of using a footnote. -->

Injustices and Suffering


As shown below, the injustices and cruelties that cattle must endure are many and often draconian. The life of a dairy cow is particularly egregious because the cycle of artificial insemination, separation from offspring, and mechanical milking repeats for 4 or 5 years until she is slaughtered, often for hamburger meat.

Loss of Life

To take the life of any sentient being is to harm that being by depriving them of opportunities for fulfillment, even if it is done suddenly and painlessly (which it is not, as explained below).

We have no nutritional need for beef or for cow milk (or any animal product) so denying cattle their lives is unnecessary, as are the other forms of suffering enumerated here. Not only are we taking their lives—we are doing so after allowing them to live only about ??? percent of their natural life spans. Dairy cows are slaughtered after living ??? of a ???-year natural lifespan, while cattle used for beef are slaughtered after living ??? of a ???-year natural lifespan.


<-- discuss methods of slaughter, for example: USDA inspecter testimonials, slaughter speed lines, and the cruelty involved. The books Slaughterhouse" and Eating Animals can help if you have them or can get them. —>

Method 1, etc.

<-- for each of the following cruelties, but only as applicable: to what extent is it performed?; when (what age, repeating?); how painful?; pain relief given?; lasting damage? -->


Dehorning and Debudding

<-- point out it is performed on cows, not just bulls; try to find out the extent to which this doesn't occur because of selective breeding to eliminate horns. -->


Other 1, etc.

Living Conditions

Feed Lots / CAFO

Mechanical Milking

<-- for how long at a time?; how many times a day?; cover discomfort and infection here, mention mastitis and say it's covered later -->

Other 1, etc.

Denial of Natural Behaviors

Nuturing and Being Nutured

<-- include at least these ideas: Mothers are separated from their calves soon after birth. Cows have strong maternal instincts and have been known to grieve and bellow for weeks after separation. Calves will never know the love of nurturing of their mothers. -->


Social Behaviours

<-- friendships, grooming, etc, how is it that these are denied? There may not be a strong case here, and if so, omit -->

Other 1, etc.

Reproduction and Breeding

Artificial Insemination

In industrialized countries, artificial insemination is the standard method of impregnating cows.[3] The procedure calls for an entire human arm being inserted into the cow's anus to guide the semen injection gone which is inserted through the cow's vulva.[4]

Semen Collection

Teaser Bull. To artificially inseminate a cow, semen must be collected. This involves a teaser-bull, usually a male, and an involuntary donor bull. In the process, female pheromones are released to get the "donor" bull aroused, compelling him to mount the teaser bull. In the process, the teaser bull often, to put it mildly, suffers tissue damage, as semen is collected in what the industry calls a loving cup.[5]

Electroejaculation. <-- describe the process; how much is it used in comparison to the Teaser Bull method? -->


<-- point out that veal is a product of the dairy industry and would not exist with it; point out here that sometimes males born to dairy cows are sometimes slaughtered for waste soon after they are born, as veal is increasingly unpopular; -->

A separate article on veal will be available at some future date.

Other 1, etc.

Handling and Transport

Forced Movement

<-- beating, prodding, shocking, etc -->

Other 1, etc.

Cruel Transport

Disease and Mortality



Other 1, etc.

Humane Labels and Certifications


Here we address the most common labels and certifications. Some labels and certifications cover some forms of abuse, and others cover different forms of abuse, but none address all forms of abuse. But even if they did, the standards are often not enforced.


<-- using a different tactic here from the Pigs article: In general, instead of pointing out specific abuses allowed, just we just discredit the entire label or certification. copied from -->

<-- Oh crap. I just discovered that our Consumer Reports links now redirect to a general food labeling site, which is not as comprehensive and doesn't have statements that are as strong. Most don't have accessed dates, I think because they were done before CMOS 17. I checked and I do have access dates stored in the Zotero app, and I will retrofit. This illustrates the need to always have an access date in each citation that links to a web site. -->

<-- FYI, I plan to put the text pertaining to humane labels in templates or a custom namespace and then include them here and in other articles -->

Pasture raised

According to Consumer Reports, “government agencies have no common standard that producers have to meet to make a 'pasture raised' claim on a food label, no definition for ‘pasture,’ and no requirement for the claim to be verified through on-farm inspections.”[6]

Grass fed

The USDA-regulated grass fed label in the United States requires that the bovine is fed grass their entire life. The designation has only to do with feeding and does not prohibit routine cruelties, such as dehorning, castration, confinement, harsh living conditions, rough handling, and lack of veterinary care.

Enforcement is weak,[7] and the animals are still slaughtered at an early age.[8]


Some have the perception that organic means humanely raised, but that is not the case. Organic farmers are free to treat their animals no better than non-organic farmers. This is because the USDA, which controls the organic label in the United States, ruled that the label does not allow "broadly prescriptive, stand-alone animal welfare regulations."[10]

Consumer Reports informs us that while there are organic standards relating to animals, they lack clarity and precision, letting producers with poor standards sell poultry and eggs.[11]

Certified humane raised and handled

Consumer Reports says that "we do not rate Certified Humane as a highly meaningful label for animal welfare, because the standards do not have certain requirements that a majority of consumers expect from a 'humanely raised' label, such as access to the outdoors."[12]

Whole Foods' Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certified

The Open Philanthropy Project criticized GAP for having weak enforcement and for providing only slight improvements over standard factory farming conditions.[13] For example, according to Consumer Reports, "standards for slaughter do not exist..."[14]

GAP doesn't even publish standards for dairy cows, arguably the most abused of any of the farmed mammals.

American Humane Certified

According to Consumer Reports, "the requirements fall short in meeting consumer expectations for a 'humane' label in many ways."[15]

Label or Certification Other, etc

<-- Feel free to add other labels and certifications, especially they are widely used in the USA or across multiple other countries. -->

Sentience and Cognition

While we are not suggesting that the degree of moral consideration given to an animal be based on their cognitive capacity, it seems that most people are not fully aware of the rich cognitive, emotional, and psychological lives that cattle experience.

Trait 1, etc.

A Sense of the Future

Environmental Consequences

The breeding, confinement, and slaughter of cattle have a profoundly negative impact on the environment. It accounts for a large percentage of the environmental damage done by animal agriculture[16]

You would think that might have some ramifications for personal action, and it does:

  • Researchers from the University of Chicago determined that you reduce your personal contribution to global warming more by changing to a vegan diet than you do by switching to a Prius[17]
  • In 2017, over 15,000 scientists from 184 countries issued a "Warning to Humanity," promoting plant-based eating as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.[18]
  • The Oxford Study was published in 2018 and called the most comprehensive analysis to date of its kind. Joseph Poore, who led the research said "A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth"—"It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”

Global Warming

A United Nations study in 2006, Livestock's Long Shadow, said that livestock accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but a study by World Watch Institute three years later said the U.N. report failed to consider some of the factors, and put the figure at 51%.[19]

Even at the lower number, animal agriculture contributes more to global warming than all cars, trucks, trains, buses, airplanes, and ships combined—more than the entire transportation sector, which the EPA pegs at 14% globally.[20]

Land Use



Species Extension

Other, etc.

Human Health, Nutrition

Food Safety

Food Safety Topic, etc.

<-- each topic could be meat or milk related, or a single topic could relate to both. -->

Deseases and Conditions =

Disease or Condition Risk Topic 1, etc.

<-- each topic could be meat or milk related, or a single topic could relate to both. -->

Animal Protein Risks

All animal protein, including the protein found in beef and cow milk, carries risks that are not associated with plant protein. Template:Jfatext-animal-protein-risks

Social Consequences of Cattle Production

Worker Injustice 1, etc

Community Injustice 1, etc


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 “Dictionary by Merriam-Webster: America’s Most-Trusted Online Dictionary.” Accessed November 12, 2019.
  2. “Cattle | Origin and Meaning of Cattle by Online Etymology Dictionary.” Accessed November 12, 2019.
  3. citation needed
  4. citation needed
  5. citation needed
  6. “Pasture Raised” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, April 4, 2017,
  7. “Labeling Guideline on Documentation Needed to Substantiate Animal Raising Claims for Label Submissions.” USDA FSIS, n.d.
  8. Whisnant, DVM, Patricia. “FAQ Grass Fed Beef.” American Grass Fed Beef (blog). Accessed October 25, 2018.
  9. “Labeling Guideline on Documentation Needed to Substantiate Animal Raising Claims for Label Submissions.” USDA FSIS, n.d.
  10. Whoriskey, Peter. “Should ‘USDA Organic’ Animals Be Treated More Humanely? The Trump Administration Just Said No.” Washington Post, December 15, 2017.
  11. “Do You Care about Animal Welfare on Organic Farms?” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, February 6, 2018.
  12. “Certified Humane Raised and Handled.” Consumer Reports—Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, January 30, 2017.
  13. “Global Animal Partnership.” Open Philanthropy Project, March 26, 2016.  href="">
  14. “Global Animal Partnership Step 5+.” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, May 23, 2017.
  15. “American Humane Certified.” Consumer Reports—Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, January 11, 2017.
  16. citation needed
  17. Gidon Eshel, and Pamela A. Martin. “Diet, Energy, and Global Warming.” Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 2005. Accessed November 14, 2019.
  18. needs citation
  19. citation needed
  20. citation needed


This article was originally authored by Bethany Chester with contributions by Greg Fuller . The contents may have been edited since that time by others.