Factory farms aren’t just awful places for animals; they also hurt people. Here are just six reasons that human and animal rights are undeniably and deeply linked:
1. Sexual Abuse
Last year, PBS’s Frontline aired the hard-hitting documentary “Rape in the Fields,” which offered a harrowing look inside the sexual abuse, including frequent rape, of undocumented immigrant farm workers in the United States.
2. Global Hunger
To put it simply, there are over 800 million people who do not have enough to eat, while 90 million acres of land are currently used to grow corn to feed factory-farmed animals.
Men who come to Thailand, America’s second-largest seafood supplier, from bordering countries in search of work are tricked into lives of slavery on fishing boats, where captains subject them to horrific brutality. Those who resist are often murdered. Read the full story here.
4. Unsafe Working Conditions
Factory farm workers are exposed to countless workplace hazards, including injuries, respiratory illness, PTSD, and exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In fact, a recent issue of the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that 10 out of 22 workers who were tested carried potentially deadly bacteria.
5. Environmental Injustice
Waste from factory farms pollutes air, contaminates streams and rivers, jeopardizes our water supply, and compromises the quality of life for families who live nearby.
6. Child Labor
Federal officials fined House of Raeford, one of the largest poultry processors in the country, when a 2008 immigration raid uncovered more than 300 undocumented workers and six underage employees, including a 15-year-old girl, working 10-hour shifts slaughtering chickens.