Likewise, when we ask people to think about the number of land animals killed for food in the U.S. each year – more than 10 billion – the number alone can be a poor representative of the depth and breadth of suffering and death involved. Recently I found a powerful little visual representation of the number of chickens (9 billion), pigs (116 million) and cows (35 million) killed in the U.S. for food in 2008.
Created by Mark Middleton, founder of Animal Visuals, the brief video shows little animated cow, pig and chicken carcasses sliding along a slaughterhouse line at the average rate of slaughter (such as 287 per second for chickens). The data for the animation comes directly from the USDA.
Middleton’s goal with Animal Visuals is to “provide compelling visuals and interactive media to empower animal advocates, educate the public, and expose the injustices of animal exploitation.”
He has also created a Virtual Battery Cage, which offers a glimpse into what a battery hen endures while in her cage. The “virtualization” also includes sound and factoids. It's not as strong a tool as the slaughter animation, but still worth a look.
Look for Middleton to create more such tools in the future.