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Factory Farming






Beef Cattle

Dairy Cows

Veal Calves




Geese & Ducks:
Foie Gras & Meat

Chickens: Meat

Chickens: Eggs





Contaminated Food

Animal Agriculture & the Environment




Down & Feathers

The Byproduct Myth

Animal Agriculture: Selected Bibliography

Judaism & Animals:  Vegetarianism

Islam & Animals: Factory Farming

Christianity & Animals



Cattle Mutilation

How Long Animals Live

How Rabbits
Live and Die

Slaughterhouse: Photos

Slaughterhouse: Process

Who Controls the Food Supply





Cities of death: a typical farm can warehouse over a million chickens.
Credit: Compassionate Action for Animals

Writing in Harper's Magazine in 1997, Joy Williams characterized factory farms in the U.S.:


The factory farm today is a crowded, stinking bedlam, filled with suffering animals that are quite literally insane, sprayed with pesticides and fattened on a diet of growth stimulants, antibiotics, and drugs. Two hundred and fifty thousand laying hens are confined within a single building. (The high mortality rate caused by overcrowding is economically acceptable; nothing is more worthless than an individual chicken.) Pigs are raised in bare concrete cages in windowless metal buildings or tightly restrained in foul pens and gestation boxes. Cows are kept pregnant to produce an abnormal amount of milk, which is further artificially increased with hormone injections. The byproducts of the dairy industry, calves, are chained in crates twenty-two inches wide and no longer than their bodies, and raised on a diet of drug-laced liquid feed for a few months until they're slaughtered for the "delicacy" veal.... In England, the beef industry had a setback when a link was found between Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), a fatal disease of cattle, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a fatal neurological virus in humans. The cows became ill because they were fed the rendered remains of sick sheep. Of course, in this country we are assured that our cows aren't being fed sick sheep and that no BSE-infected cattle have been found here. We do have many "downer" animals, though, about 100,000 of them a year, who collapse from stress or something, heaven knows, and end up dead prior to the slaughtering process. They are rendered and ground up and become pet food and animal feed. Cattle do eat cattle here. They are fed the ground offal of those that have succumbed to unknown causes, and this has been the practice for many years.


In 2000, cattle infected with BSE (popularly known as Mad Cow Disease) were found in Canada, in 2002 a dairy cow was diagnosed positive in Israel, and not long after in the U.S. (2003), and again in the U.S. in 2012.


In factory farms (specific categories are referred to as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: CAFOs), cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, ostriches, ducks, geese, and fish are all industrially farmed and intensively confined, with 2 caregivers for 10,000 animals, at best. Killing lines operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, slaughtering tens of thousands of animals daily (Smithfield Farms reports processing over 80,000 pigs every day in its U.S. plants alone).