You can choose to cut out animal products and make a powerful statement that it’s time to stop treating animals as commodities. When cases of cruelty involving cats and dogs occur the public are rightly horrified, but somehow as a nation many of us seem indifferent to the suffering of farmed animals. We might point the finger at countries in the Far East for their consumption of dog meat, but pigs are just as intelligent as dogs and they deserve to be treated with just as much respect.

The recent horse meat fiasco is another case in point - it seems that as a nation whilst we are horrified at the thought of old unwanted horses being used as filler in cheap burgers, most people do not care about the clapped out dairy cow spat out before her time by our dairy industry.

Farm animals are bred for the single purpose of being killed at the end of what is usually a life of misery. Whilst many people might point to ‘higherwelfare’ free range and organic farming, this option still leads the animals to suffer in many ways. For example, so-called free range egg farms may involve thousands of hens being kept in a shed with limited access to outside usually limited land. Even in the better free range/organic egg farms, all male chicks are killed within hours – useless by-products as they do not lay eggs and are too scrawny for meat. All animals kept for farming are prevented from mixing innormal social groups, for example dairy cows often have their calves separated from them at one or two days old and the male dairy calves, useless for beef production, are then killed.

There is increasing recognition of the role of animal farming and meat and dairy consumption in the growing problem of human resistance to antibiotics, thought to be responsible for superbugs such as MRSA. Farm animals are given antibiotics to make them grow and to fight infections that quickly spread due to poor,  cramped conditions on factory farms.

If you aren't vegan yet why not watch this short video about traditional British farming from Viva! You can then see exactly what you are paying for when you buy that bacon sandwich, artisan goats cheese or even a good old pint of the white stuff. If you are vegan already you might want to give it a miss.

If you feel that you are ready to reduce or even eliminate your consumption of other animal products, you can further relieve the suffering of animals by going vegan. It is an unavoidable truth that the production of eggs means the gassing of “useless” male chicks, and that the dairy industry is the meat industry