Farmed Pigs

Authored by James Videle
Economic Transition Team Leader
The Humane Party of the United States

With interest in veganism and plant based eating on the rise, it is surprising to learn that animal agriculture in Canada is a huge industry that is expected to continue growing.  Farm Credit Canada  expects all major sectors of Canadian Agriculture  to become even more robust in 2018.

Expected Growth:

Hog Sector –  12%
Beef Sector – 8%
Poultry Sector – 7% by July 2018
Dairy Sector –  11% in the next 18 months & may surpass projections with recent news about  production growth

Timmy & Thomas – Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary

So, where does that leave the efforts of animal rights activists in Canada? Unfortunately, this recent upsurge seems to indicate that our efforts as vegans and animal liberation activists are somewhat falling on deaf ears within the industry itself,  as well as in the government.

Stats indicate that in 2016, the entire industry exploited and/or killed  743,241,300 farmed animals. This includes cows and goats for their milk, calves, pigs, cows, turkeys, ducks, sheep, chickens for their flesh and chickens for their eggs.  Farmed fish certainly belongs in the category of exploited animals, but presently  the industry is quite small and numbers are difficult to find. For the purposes of this article, animals farmed for their fur are not included, even though they, like farmed animals raised for food, are exploited for profit.   Below I have outlined numbers of animals for each distinct species and the two provinces that are the worst offenders. Verification of stats can be found at Statistics Canada.



Ontario     253,553,500
Québec     206,545,500

Animal Use for Food
Across Canada Alberta Ontario Quebec Saskatchewan
Cows for Beef 6,526,100 3,061,200 1,477,600
Cows For Milk 1,384,600 480,400 492,800
Calves (Beef & Dairy) 3,939,300 1,703,700 771,200
Pigs 23,143,000 5,257,000 7,219,000
Broiler Chickens 651,923,000 226,160,000 187,680,000
Hens for Eggs 29,437,000 11,060,000 5,532,000
Turkeys 20,530,000 9,091,000 4,691,000
*Ducks/Geese 5,058,000  N/A  N/A
Sheep 1,070,300 326,000 273,500
Goats 230,000 130,000 35,700

*Ducks/Geese: Two largest producers of ducks are Lac Brome (QC) and King Cole Ducks (Ontario)

With the population of Canada estimated at 36.29 million, logistically speaking, our nation exploits and/or kills over 20 animals annually for every  man, woman and child. This consumption of animals for what passes as food is neither natural, nor necessary even though it has been normalized in our society by both farmed animal agriculture and our governments for the sole purpose of making a profit and propping up the economy.


United States Statistics:

9,052,395,000 farmed land  animals exploited and/or killed annually
28 animals for each man, woman and child


Beef & Dairy Farm 2012

Collectively, Canada and the United States kill 9.8 billion farmed animals annually. These animals are routinely and systematically exploited for their flesh, their milk and their eggs. Chickens and cows who are confined for their eggs and milk are slaughtered when their production decreases, having been labelled  as “spent”. On average, cows are slaughtered at 4-5 years of age and chickens at two years of age, well before the end of their natural life spans.

Canada and the United States actively trade products within the borders of North America. This trading includes live animals as well as the “products” of these animals  We, as Canadians and Americans  are without a doubt, “in bed with each other” when it comes to intentionally causing animal suffering.


As activists what are we to do?

Never stop fighting till the fight is done.


Peaceful Protest

If we stop advocating, there will be a meteoric rise in animal exploitation. Every time we are out in front of the slaughterhouses or marching to close them down, an undeniable  message is sent. Every time we write an article to be shared with the world at large or contact our governmental representatives, we help to back further into a corner those individuals and corporations  causing the most suffering. History show us that the rights of women would never have been realized if the Suffragettes had not persevered. Rights for people of color would never have been realized if the civil rights activists curtailed their message. We must keep pushing forward.


The Humane Party of the United States

But marching and protesting is not enough. We must take the next most important step and award rights to all animal species. Their voices must be heard within the human community and the only way to do that is to be the human representative for them. We need to learn what their exact needs and desires are and advocate explicitly for them. To this end, the Humane Party of the United States has launched Zoocracy, a system of government and representation.


Zoocracy is a representative form of government in which members of all sentient species—not just homo sapiens—hold permanent political power of equal dignity.  The term zoocracy derives from the Greek zoion, meaning “animal” (as in zoology), and kratos, meaning “rule” (as in democracy).

Zoocracy is akin to democracy, in that decisions are made by vote of an enfranchised population.  But democracy—in theory, in practice, and in etymology (the Greek demos means “common people,” i.e., humans—pertains to an enfranchised population that is limited to humans, whereas zoocracy extends the franchise to all species.

 While the idea of giving the vote to animals is in its infant stages, it is the new future for a compassionate world. It is avant-garde, being both ahead of our time as well as needed for the future of us all. Let’s make the time for it now.

Recommended Reading:

1) Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights,  written by Canadian authors Sue Donaldson & Will Kymlicka

2) The Humane Herald:

Annie’s Vegan View

It is often said that the animals exploited by humans are voiceless. It is my view that they do have a voice. Every cry from a pig, a cow, a chicken, a lamb is a voice. It is a voice that needs representation.

I support the The Humane Party of the United States for bringing to light this basic need and for working to make it a reality.

May all beings be happy and free.


Share...Share on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someonePrint this page
A Look Into Canada’s Vast Animal Agriculture Industry

6 thoughts on “A Look Into Canada’s Vast Animal Agriculture Industry

  • February 15, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Animals ARE speaking. They are crying for mercy, but only vegans are listening. We must make their voices heard. We must be their representatives. We need this system of Zoocracy. Bless the Humane Party of the United States.

    • February 16, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      Hi Murray,

      It took this article of Jimmy’s for me to understand the concept of legal representation for all animals. I definitely think rights for them will not come from within governmental parties which are in bed with animal agriculture. So, yes, I am really looking forward to hearing more about the goals and efforts of The Humane Party of the United States.

      Take care,

  • February 15, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    I’m amazed and surprised. People are increasingly switching to dairy alternatives and cutting out or lowering meat consumption. Why is the animal agriculture industry growing so much in Canada and the U. S.? Is it a growing population, increased exports, or increased consumption by those who continue to eat animals? This is very discouraging.

    • February 16, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      In both Canada and the United States there is a market increase in exports, especially Tyson foods and Olymel. The amount of live animal export is increasing as well. It is important to look at it all from a global perspective because the biggest producers in our two countries won’t stop exploiting animals if there is a global marketplace. As difficult as it is our advocacy must touch all countries and all peoples.

      • February 16, 2018 at 4:52 pm

        Thanks for explaining that Jimmy.

        As long as there is money to be made the exploitation will continue. It seems like a daunting task to advocate worldwide. Lots to think about. Thanks again for your article. As usual, I learned something new and valuable.

        Take care,

    • February 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Hi Murray,

      So it looks like the biggest issue is the growth in exports. We know that the consumption of dairy is down. It does get discouraging. As Jimmy says, we need to expand our advocacy.

      Take care,


Leave a Reply