What's the Deal with CAFOs?
While confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are inherently an environmental issue, they are equally an issue of ethics and animal justice. In order to feed the growing global population, animal agriculture companies have had to find ways to increase production speed and output. This largely comes at the expense of the animals' living conditions, safety, health, and treatment. In order to meet current demand for animal meat and animal byproducts (like milk and eggs), the cages have gotten smaller, the buildings more packed, medical treatment pushed by the wayside, in addition to an increase in genetic manipulation and growth-promoting antibiotics. More antibiotics are given to animals in North Carolina alone than are given to people in all of the United States. The endless quest for CAFO workers to meet production numbers and the corporate owners to line their pockets are pushing animals to their physical limits. For example, broiler chickens, the name for chickens raised for their meat, have a breast size seven times heavier on average than that of a chicken twenty-five years ago. Commercially raised turkeys in the United States have been bred to be so large they cannot mate naturally; 100% of these turkeys need human intervention to reproduce. These industry standards are disturbing but only touch the surface of what billions of animals go through each year. Read on to learn more about the conditions of factory produced chickens, pigs, cows, and the unique concerns for sea life.
The Secret Life of Animals