Modern, capitalist society recognises animals only as material carriers of value and as capital’s means of production, as means of labour and subjects of labour which are supplied by nature for free–as long as no human labour is used to harness it.
The executives in the meat industry, the heart of the animal exploitation complex, earn billions with the killing of animals. In Germany alone, record turnovers of up to 40 billion Euros per year are reached by slaughtering more than 60 million pigs, 3.5 million cows and 700 million chicken, ducks and geese annually. Even in Switzerland, the sales volume amounts to 10 billion Swiss francs. In circuses and zoos, ‘exotic’ animals are usually kept under atrocious conditions to perform excruciating, stultifying show-acts. During hunts, they are killed for the mere amusement of mostly well-off huntsmen. In experiments, they serve as objects of research and labour, while the pet industry overbreeds and sells them off as toys.