What is a factory farm?
Factory farms are massive industrial farms that are designed to maximize production at minimal cost, with little or no attention given to the welfare of animals. Approximately 99% of farmed animals in the United States come from factory farms. The animals are kept indoors in overcrowded conditions, where they are bred to grow unnaturally large and fast. They are pumped with antibiotics to keep them healthy in unsanitary, packed indoor spaces. In the United States, more than 70% of all antibiotics produced by the pharmaceutical industry are fed to farm animals to inhibit the spread of disease. They are also given hormones to make them grow faster and unnaturally large. The animal’s bodies cannot support this unnatural growth which often results in painful conditions and deformities. Factory farms are often places of profound animal abuse, as the animals are treated like objects to maximize profits at the expense of the animals, the environment, rural communities and human health. Most animals are never exposed to sunlight or the outdoors until they are taken into trucks to be transported to slaughter.
Unfortunately, most people do not know about the conditions on factory farms. Corporate agribusiness companies keep the reality of factory farms far from the public eye by marketing their animal food products with misleading packaging that shows happy animals lounging under the sun on lush green farm pastures. They produce television commercials showing talking animals promoting bacon, steak, and dairy products. For these wealthy agribusiness corporations, keeping what really happens behind the closed gates of the factory farms is of the utmost importance because it allows them to make billions of dollars every year. Luckily though, extensive undercover footage has gone viral on social media which has put a light on many of these farms and the rampant abuse. The footage has repeatedly shown a culture of horrific abuse to the animals, with unimaginable cruelty. It has been so damaging, that it has become a catalyst in many people’s switch to vegetarianism or veganism. As a result there has been a huge push by massive agribusiness corporations to push ag-gag laws in states, which prohibits pictures and videos on factory farms, so the abuse stays away from the public eye. Fortunately many of these laws have been struck down as unconstitutional, but they have passed in five states. Furthermore they are terrible for the environment and are a huge contributor to climate change. Factory farms produce staggering quantities of waste and greenhouse gases which pollute our land, air, and water, and destroy entire ecosystems. Also, the demand for livestock pasture is a major cause of deforestation. Factory farms in short are terrible for animals, humans and the planet.