WORLD Farm Animals Day (WFAD) was on October 2.

Since the Second World War there has been a massive increase in meat consumption which has been matched by the huge development and expansion of industrial factory farming.

Apart from their serious detrimental environmental impact, such farming systems are based on the triple cruelties of selective breeding for high yield, overcrowding and gross restriction of the animal's natural behaviour.

Readers may be shocked to learn in the UK alone around two and half million animals are killed each day to satisfy our desire for meat.

By far the majority will have been factory farmed, and many are little more than babies at time of slaughter.

WFAD raised awareness of the welfare and ethical problems associated with intensive farming, animal transportation and slaughter, and encourages people to use free-range, organic or vegetarian alternatives.

It is promoted by Compassion in World Farming, which actively campaigns to improve the lot of all farm animals; the ultimate aim being to ensure they do not spend their short lives in misery and deprivation.

WFAD was launched to commemorate the suffering of billions of farm animals world-wide, and October 2 poignantly fell on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, a champion of compassionate farming.

In the worlds of Gandhi himself: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated."