A factory farm is a large-scale industrial operation that houses thousands of animals raised for food—such as chickens, turkeys, cows, and pigs—and treats them with hormones and antibiotics to prevent disease and maximize their growth and food output.
Animals are fed and sprayed with huge amounts of pesticides and antibiotics, which can remain in their bodies and are passed on to the people who eat them, creating serious health hazards in humans.
The beaks of chickens, turkeys and ducks are often removed in factory farms to reduce the excessive feather pecking and cannibalism seen among stressed, overcrowded birds.
A typical supermarket chicken today contains more than twice the fat, and about a third less protein than 40 years ago.
2 out of every 3 farm animals in the world are now factory farmed.
Confining so many animals in one place produces much more waste than the surrounding land can handle. As a result, factory farms are associated with various environmental hazards, such as water, land and air pollution.
The pollution from animal waste causes respiratory problems, skin infections, nausea, depression and even death for people who live near factory farms.
Dairy cows typically live to their third lactation before being culled. Naturally, a cow can live for 20 years.
Hog, chicken and cattle waste has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states.
Egg-laying hens are sometimes starved for up to 14 days, exposed to changing light patterns and given no water in order to shock their bodies into molting, a usually natural process by which worn feathers are replaced. It’s common for 5-10% of hens to die during the forced molting process.
Worldwide, about 70 billion farm animals are now reared for food each year.
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