Explainers

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What is a CAFO?

For the last century farming practices have shifted with the growth of technology from a family oriented model to an industrialized setup that maximizes profits and output. Today most of the country’s pork, poultry, beef, and dairy products are produced on large farms with a single animal species living in buildings or open-air pens known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOS).

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Animal Rights and Animal Welfare

Animal welfare can be described as how an animal is adapting and coping with their living conditions as controlled by humans. This is determined by: health of the animal, nourishment, safety, comfort, and its ability to still realize its instinctive behavior. Animal rights, by contrast, go further and usually establish higher moral standards for how animals ought to be treated.

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How Do Hog Farms Operate?

Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Hog producers are often contracted by corporate pork producers to raise hogs for processing. The farm and equipment are generally owned by the farmer, while the pigs themselves belong to the company.

Raising hogs can be a costly endeavor that consumes enormous amounts of resources. Farrow-to-feeder operations require more than 5,000lbs of food and 2,100 gallons of water per week for 20 sows. When raising feeder-to-finish pigs more than 4,000lbs of food and more than 1,000 gallons of water is enough to sustain 100 hogs per week. Soybean meal, corn, oats, and minerals are required at various stages of growth to raise healthy hogs, all of which fluctuate in cost depending on the state of the grain and feed market.  

Factory Farming: The Horrifying Secrets Behind the Scenes

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Image via WeAnimals

Factory farming is arguably one of the cruelest inventions humans have devised to maximize their profits and ensure their businesses’ livelihoods. But what is factory farming?

On a factory farm, the bottom line matters more than anything else. Factory farmers raise their animals to produce food, medications, and other many other consumer products. The lives of these sentient creatures mostly have no value beyond what they can produce for profit.

And, in most cases, the death of the animal is required for these goods to be produced. A death that usually follows a life spent in deplorable conditions with no access to necessities.

Once you peek inside the lives these animals lead in barns, warehouses, and cages, you’ll think twice about how you live, eat, and consume.

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Is Grass-fed Cattle a Sustainable Farming Practice?

With a growing public demand, two Harvard researchers attempt to answer that question.

Over the past decade, there have been growing concerns over how cattle are raised and the way beef is produced. People have grown weary of concentrated animal feeding operations, grain-finished cattle, and livestock farming practices that limit a cow’s ability to perform instinctive practices. This shift in attitude coincides with a growth in the demand for grass-fed beef.

The Only Animal Rights Newsletter You Need


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