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About Animal Factories

Center for Food Safety

Did you know that only 2% of livestock farms now raise 40% of all animals in the U.S.? Or that 79% of pigs in the U.S. are raised on farms with 2,000 pigs or more?

In the last few decades, consolidation of food production has concentrated power in the hands of fewer and fewer corporations.  Many of today’s farms are actually large industrial facilities, not family farms with green pastures and red barns that most Americans imagine.  The operation of these consolidated operations have little to no regard for the environment, animal welfare or food safety, and they often put the health of consumers and rural communities at risk for the sake of profit.

Animal Factories pack hundreds, thousands, and sometimes millions of cows, pigs, chickens into unsanitary, inhumane and unsafe conditions, damaging our environment, our public health and our economy.  These harms outweigh any alleged benefit of increased production and are simply not a viable, sustainable or intelligent way to produce our nation’s beef, pork, poultry, dairy and eggs.  Scientific research and on-the-ground observations confirm the varied and disastrous impacts of Animal Factories. They include:

  • Overuse of pharmaceutical products that masks unsanitary conditions at factory farms and causing increased human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, dangerous hormones and cancer-causing arsenicals.
  • Manure production that well exceeds amounts reasonably used for crops.  The manure is normally sprayed on crops, often excessively, leading to run off into surface waters.  Man-made manure lagoons on industrial farms hold millions of gallons of liquid waste from which contaminants can leach into groundwater.
  • Environmental pollution that affects both local and regional ecosystems and communities, as nutrients and bacteria from waste can contaminate waterways, killing fish and shellfish, and disturbing aquatic ecosystems.
  • Corporate control of markets -- from “birth to bacon” – that discriminates against sustainable producers and does not pass cost-savings of the industrial model on to consumers. 

Moreover, our tax dollars support the subsidies that enable Animal Factories to continue to exist. 

Center for Food Safety uses regulatory action, citizen engagement, litigation and legislation to promote transparency and accountability in the Animal Factory industry.  Revealing the true and alarming risks factory farms pose supports everyone’s right to know how the industrial meat system impacts our health, our environment and our consumer rights.  Vigorous reporting of data, more stringent regulation of unchecked practices and enforcement of applicable laws affecting our health, environment and economic livelihoods are the core concepts behind our Animal Factories program.