Organic Consumers Association

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Cook Organic not the Planet Campaign

Factory Farms: Bad for Farm Animals and Human Consumers

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's CAFO's vs. Free Range page.

Those idyllic (extremely happy) farm scenes depicted on most conventional dairy products, meat packaging, and egg cartons are far from the reality of how conventional meat comes to be. Unlike organic livestock conditions, factory farming puts animals in gruesome concentration camp-like conditions to prepare them for horrible deaths. If you don't think this is true, just simply watch documentaries like Food Inc., Death on a Factory Farm, Fresh, or simply search Google to view videos of animal cruelty on factory farms.

If you don't think animals are sentient beings that deserve proper treatment, as they produce your eggs and dairy products or groomed to become your servings of meat, then you should be at least interested in how the treatment of factory farm animals affects your health.

Meet Your Meat and Dairy


Cows and cattle raised conventionally are often stuffed into feed lots known as confined animal feed operations, or CAFOs, and are given a diet primarily of genetically modified corn and grains. These animals are grass grazing animals that don't belong in these conditions; they have masticating teeth for chewing grass or alfalfa and long complex digestive tracts to absorb plant nutrients. And they are accustomed to wandering about in open fields, or at least they used to be.

CAFOs are incredibly crowded with animals that are forced to stand in manure and urine while feeding or being milked. This confinement, along with the type of unnatural feed they're forced to eat, makes them disease breeders. It is for this reasons that most antibiotics, 70-80%, are used for factory farm animals for both disease prevention and to stimulate unnatural growth. Growth stimulants are prohibited in Europe, but not here.

And those antibiotics can arrive in your meat and dairy, depleting your healthy bacteria and creating more antibiotic resistant pathogens, or super bugs. Mainstream medicine has been concerned about the constantly growing threat of super bugs for decades, and are now even greatly concerned over the use of antibiotics in livestock for that reason.

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