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Factory Farms

January 12, 2007 • Volume 17, Issue 2
Are they the best way to feed the nation?
By Jennifer Weeks

Introduction

Hogs on U.S. factory farms are typically confined indoors in narrow crates from birth until they go to the slaughterhouse.  (Humane Society of the United States)
Hogs on U.S. factory farms are typically confined indoors in narrow crates from birth until they go to the slaughterhouse. (Humane Society of the United States)

Most U.S. meat, poultry, eggs and milk come from so-called factory farms or CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), where thousands of animals are confined indoors. While they efficiently produce abundant supplies of affordable food, CAFOs also raise questions about animal welfare, public health and environmental degradation. Large livestock farms create huge quantities of animal waste, which produce noxious air emissions and contaminate water supplies when storage facilities leak or overflow. Overuse of antibiotics to keep animals healthy in crowded conditions helps generate drug-resistant bacteria and spread infections in humans. And many critics argue that long-term confinement in small enclosures or cages harms farm animals. Organic and free-range meat and eggs are increasingly popular, but they are more expensive than conventional meat and dairy products, and some organic suppliers are adopting industrial-style methods to keep up with demand.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jun. 29, 2012  Whale Hunting
Oct. 22, 2010  Animal Intelligence
Jan. 08, 2010  Animal Rights
Jan. 12, 2007  Factory Farms
Aug. 02, 1996  Fighting Over Animal Rights
Aug. 08, 1980  Animal Rights
Jan. 12, 1966  Treatment of Animals in Medical Research
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Livestock
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