TORONTO, September 27, 2001 - Every year billions of animals suffer worldwide. Confined for their milk and eggs or reared for food, these sentient beings "live" horrible existences before their short lives are ended.


"These animals are born into a cruel world, they suffer most of their lives, experience stress and pain as they are transported great distances before being killed to satisfy our species’ unhealthy diet," says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. "And while death brings an end to the individual’s suffering, even the slaughter of animals results in additional stress, pain and suffering."

Most people don’t stop and ask themselves when they drink milk what happens to the male calves that are born which make up about half of the population of calves born each year. Many of these surplus male calves are separated from their mothers and isolated in confinement stalls until they are slaughtered for the production of veal.

Likewise, when people eat eggs, which are of course laid by hens, most people don’t stop and think about what happens to all of the males which are hatched and who account for roughly half of the chicks born each year. Hundreds of thousands of these male chicks are killed and ground up for animal feed, says HSC Executive Director, Michael O'Sullivan.

O’Sullivan who has worked on farms and holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture says that the contamination of water, and other forms of pollution also cause serious environmental problems and has led Ontario and Alberta to pass stricter laws to regulate the operation of factory farms. This is particularly true of pig factory farms, which produce tremendous amounts of waste.

"This is the bad news. But there is good news. Every year more and more people become vegetarians or vegans - and this compassionate lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular. For example, October is World Vegetarian Month, October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, and October 2nd is World Farm Animals’ Day".

To celebrate these special events and to reduce animal suffering, The Humane Society of Canada is asking people to reduce or eliminate meat, eggs, milk and other foods that come from animals during these designated periods - longer if possible. If numerous people chose to have a vegetarian meal or two then even this would have a significant reduction in animal suffering.

In consultation with your doctor or dietician, there is also considerable information available on healthy alternatives to meat, eggs, milk and cheese. To inform people of all ages about vegetarianism and the numerous environmental, health and animal welfare benefits that it brings, The Humane Society of Canada has compiled a list of books on this life giving diet which can be found here or call us toll-free at: 1-800-641-KIND (5463).

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

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