Tools of Injustice

nonhuman animals exploited for food

Tools of injustice.jpg

CW: graphic imagery, nonhuman sexual violations, violence, speciesism

Credit for resource: Vegan Information Project - Support them here

“In the Battle of ideas, the philosophy of animal rights win’s its critics lose. It remains to be seen which side emerges as the victor in the ongoing political battle between what is just and what is not.”
— Tom Regan

This is a resource about injustice and systematic violations of the moral rights of nonhuman animals and the inevitable violence that is associated with those rights violations.

The use of the “tools” shown in this resource are considered “standard practice” in the enslavement and slaughter of nonhuman animals as well as other “practices” in which nonhuman animals are used and exploited.

All of the “tools” shown can easily be purchased from “farming” supply businesses, veterinarian suppliers as well as suppliers to other businesses and practices in which nonhuman animals are exploited.

None of the “tools” shown in this resource are currently prohibited and their use is acceptable under nonhuman animal “welfare” legislation.

The “Weaning Ring”

ID: photo of three different rings and examples of calves wearing them

The “weaning ring”, also called an “anti-suckler” or “weaning plate” is attached between the nostrils of the calf. When the calf tries to suckle from their mother the strategically placed spikes will irritate her and cause her to move away from her calf, thereby preventing her calf from suckling. The mother is then forced to reject her calf. Her calf will then be given substitute food and her milk will be stolen and sold for human consumption. The “weaning ring” is not used for all calves; in many cases, mother and child are separated at birth. The “weaning ring” can be made from plastic or metal.

The “Burdizzo”


ID: Photo of the Burdizzo

“The Burdizzo” or “castration pliers” is a device which uses a large clamp to break the blood vessels leading to the testicles. It is used for the bloodless orchidectomy of bulls and horses as well as other nonhuman animals. There are many reasons put forward by nonhuman enslavers to justify an orchidectomy. (“Orchidectomy” is the non-speciesist term for “castration”.)

The bulls may be easier to subjugate after the procedure and they can be housed with “heifers” (young female cows who have not had any babies) without the dangers of unwanted pregnancy. “Castration” also may increase the value of the calf. Once a calf has this procedure he is known by the term “steer” by exploiters. “Steers” are preferred to bulls, because the flesh of the bovine is considered to be of a “higher quality” by the exploiter. A further rights violation is inflicted on the calf after an orchidectomy, since he will now grow slower he may be given a growth promotor at the time of the procedure.

Other methods of “castration” using different tools are also inflicted.

“Artificial Insemination” Syringe

ID: Following text describes the “AI” steps and there is also a photo of the “AI” syringe.

“Artificial insemination (AI)” is the process of “collecting” sperm cells from a male nonhuman animal and manually “depositing” them into the reproductive tract of a female nonhuman animal. The most common “A.I.” method inflicted on “cattle” is known as “recto-vaginal”.

It is carried out as follows:

  • The left hand of the inseminator is inserted into the cow’s rectum up to the wrist.

  • The cow’s rectum is wiped to remove manure and debris.

  • The inseminator Makes a fist with the left hand and

    presses down directly on top of the vulva. This spreads

    the vulva lips allowing access to insert the gun tip.

  • The gun is first inserted about 6 to 8 inches inside the

    vagina then slid forward until it contacts the outer portion of the cervix.

The “Stock” Prod

The images only show the use of the “cattle prod”.

“The Electric Stock Prod” or “Cattle Prod” is a handheld device used to coerce “cattle” and other animals to move against their will. It is used to move nonhuman animals onto transport trucks or a slaughterhouse killing floor, it has electrodes that administer an electric shock.

The images here shows a cow, who is following another to her death on a slaughterhouse killing floor. After the first cow has passed through the door the second cow is distressed. In vain she tries to escape when it is her turn to enter the killing floor. The slaughterhouse worker shocks her using the “cattle prod” and once on the killing floor, she will be shot with a captive bolt pistol (depending on the slaughter method) before her throat is slit.

The “Farrowing Crate”

ID: 3 images of a “farrowing crate” and two photos of mothers and their babies in a “sow stall”

The “Farrowing crate” is a nursing cage in which a sow or female pig is imprisoned in on intensive enslavement units. She will be unable to turn around and often the only time she sees daylight is on her last day when she is forced onto a transport truck. The floor is usually slatted to allow manure to fall through meaning she will spend her life standing above her faeces in cramped and dirty conditions which cause respiratory problems due to high levels of ammonia. The hard slatted floor may cause foot and joint injuries. This confinement is only one example of the rights violations and violence perpetrated against the victims of the pig-flesh industry since the conditions lead to intense frustration causing abnormal and neurotic behaviour. It’s to be duly noted that an absence of the nursing cage in the exploitation of pigs for their flesh is still obviously violating their moral rights.

“Gestation Crates” (pregnancy cages) and basic confinement areas are also used to imprison pigs.

“Enriched” Cages

ID: two photos of featherless and emaciated hens in a “battery” cage and an “enriched” cage

So-called “enriched” cages replaced “battery” cages when were banned by the EU in 2012. These cages gave enslaved birds a small amount of extra space and a perch. However, this change in cage design was little more than a token gesture, and of course, even if they did offer an improvement in the quality of life for the birds (which they don’t) they are still a huge violation of their moral rights and amount to nothing more than a marketing ploy by the egg industries.

Captive Bolt Pistol

ID: Two photos of a captive bolt gun. One photo of a bovine about to be shot in the head. One slide of a drawing of where the gun is aimed for (the brain).

When a captive bolt pistol is used on a slaughterhouse killing floor, the killing is in a two-stage process. Firstly, the nonhuman animal is stunned by the propulsion of the bolt into the brain. The nonhuman animal is then bled out by the severing of the major blood vessel in their neck or thorax. The captive bolt does not kill them because the heart has to be pumping for effective and efficient bleeding to take place otherwise the flesh will be adversely affected. Nonhuman animals often regain consciousness while they are still being bled.

Electric Pig Stunner

ID: 3 photos. A photo of an electric stunner and two photos of it on use on pigs who look as if they are in great pain.

“The Electric Pig” stunner is a device used to render pigs unconscious before bleeding out by severing a major blood vessel in their neck or throat. As with the captive bolt pistol pigs can often do regain consciousness after they have been stunned.

Chick Macerator

ID: Photo of a macerator and two photos of chicks entering the macerator and being ground up alive.

Used in the egg industry, the “macerator” is a “waste” disposal device. Since male chicks are considered a waste product in the egg industry. The macerator is one method used to kill chicks. Chicks are also killed by asphyxiation (asphyxiation is more common in the UK and maceration is more common in the USA). Use of either method involves violating the rights of the chicks.


The use of the tools shown in the resource is made possible because, with the language we use we reduce sentient individuals to products, with our words we turn someone into something, lives become “livestock”, cows become “beef” and pigs become “pork”. What was once a lamb’s leg becomes a “leg of lamb”. With our words, we remove any trace of who was once there. We close our eyes to the psychological presence, the individuality and the personhood of those we imprison, eat, wear, vivisect; those we force to perform or race; those we steal from in the case of the cow-milk and egg industry.

With words, we perpetuate the myth of compassionate slaughter and convince ourselves that such a thing is possible. We reduce rights to “welfare”, we portray drinking cow’s milk as natural, we speak of “free-range” and “organic” like it means something worthwhile and by doing this we support a great injustice. We condemn other animals to lives valued by usefulness to humans, we condemn them to be components in a machine until they are regarded as “spent”, murdered and replaced in an endless cycle of injustice. However, it does not have to be this way, for we have a choice. We can choose respect instead of violence and extend that respect beyond the boundary of our species. We can refuse to support the industries of injustice and we can refuse to lie to ourselves and accept that there is no right way to do the wrong thing.

“When Rights are Violated Justice, not kindness is at issue”
— Tom Regan
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