11 Reasons You Should Be Mad About Factory Farms… Even If You Aren’t Vegan

1. Animals on factory farms are subjected to treatment that would be illegal if the victims were dogs or cats. 

Cruelty that would be illegal if it were inflicted on dogs or cats, such as neglect, mutilation, transport through all weather extremes, and gruesome and violent slaughter, is commonplace in animal agribusiness. Yet farmed animals are no less intelligent or capable of feeling pain than dogs and cats. 

2. Factory farms threaten our waterways. 

The meat industry has a record of egregious water pollution. In fact, animal excrement and other agricultural runoff from large-scale farms have polluted nearly one-third of rivers in the U.S. 

3. Workers are exposed to injury and illness. 

Workplace hazards include injuries, respiratory illness, and PTSD. Workers are also at risk for infection by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Earlier this year, it was revealed that on average, one Tyson employee a month is injured by equipment and loses a finger or limb. 
4. Farmed animals are mutilated without painkillers. 

Dehorning, tail docking, debeaking, and castration are all mutilations performed daily on factory farms. These cruel acts are carried out without the use of anesthesia, and because of the filthy conditions, they often result in infection. 
5. Meat production wastes an incredible amount of water. 

It reportedly takes 576 gallons of water to produce one pound of pork, 880 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk, and a whopping 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. 

6. Factory farms are breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

Eighty percent of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are administered to farmed animals. While these drugs are sometimes used to prevent and treat illness, they’re also used in low doses to keep animals alive in filthy, disease-ridden conditions that would otherwise kill them. 

7. Animals on factory farms are denied everything that is important to them. 

Most farmed animals will never root in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural to them. They won’t even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter. 

8. Raising animals for food has a devastating impact on the climate.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions. In fact, the meat industry emits more greenhouse gases than all the transportation in the world combined! 

9. Some farmed animals literally can’t move. 

Many animals on factory farms live in spaces so small they can’t even turn around, lie down comfortably, or stretch their limbs. These include gestation crates for mother pigs, battery cages for egg-laying hens, and veal crates for calves. 

10. Meat production is an inefficient use of grain.

There are nearly a billion starving people on the planet. It takes 16 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of beef. Think about all of the people who could use that grain.

11. Raising animals for food is one of the leading causes of rainforest destruction.

The World Bank reports that the majority of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down to graze cattle and grow feed for farmed animals. This deforestation is a major cause of climate change and has contributed to the extinction of many species in the region. 

Pissed off? You should be.

The single best thing we can do to protect animals, workers, and the planet from the cruel and destructive meat industry is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of meat and other animal products. 

Click here for delicious vegan recipes, meal ideas, and tips on making the switch.