Reform Factory Farms


The Facts

  • A single “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation” (CAFO) might house well over a million hens or 50,000 cattle and produce prodigious amounts of waste. Many states have recently undertaken efforts to hide their industrial agricultural practices, introducing “ag-gag” bills—rules essentially criminalizing the documentation of farm animal mistreatment.
  • Only nine states have laws mandating that some farm animals, mainly pigs and calves, be given enough room to stand up, sit down, turn around, and extend their limbs. All other states allow for the use of “gestation crates,” a cruel confinement technique resulting in physical suffering and mental anguish for the entire adult life of the animal.
  • Farm animals are routinely fed low doses of antibiotics—the same ones used for human medicine—through their water or food to promote growth and expedite weight gain. Antibiotics spur the development of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that cause difficult-to-treat infections in both humans and farm animals.
  • On average, about one-third of a pound of fertilizer, 1,900 gallons of water, and seven pounds of grain are required to produce one pound of grain-fed beef.
  • Agricultural practices, particularly large-scale industrial operations, are responsible for 70 percent of all pollution in U.S. rivers and streams.

What You Can Do 

  • Hold Food Day events including lectures, demonstrations, debates, and petition drives that highlight issues such as antibiotic resistance, environmental degradation from CAFOs, and animal mistreatment.

Download this factsheet with full citations here.

Photo Credit: Food Mythbusters.

get involved
join the fun