Factory Farmed Meat: Why It’s Not Good for Us

In the interest of being able to back up my eating choices with actual facts (I am not one of the lucky few in possession of a photographic memory, or even an I-took-good-notes memory), I decided to put together a little background on where most of our meat comes from. It’s one thing to be able to regale folks with my true stories of happy farm animals raised by loving people on local farms, but it’s another to be able to speak (or refer to my article) to the other and much larger side of meat production here in the U.S.

I firmly believe that what we eat makes a difference on all levels, from how we look and feel to how we think and reproduce. It also makes a difference on how we relate to each other as a society, when food is as relevant and important to our survival as water. When we get our food not from people, but from corporations, I believe a critical thread is cut in our societal fabric.

Every state in the U.S. save for 12 have “Extreme” density levels of factory farms. Extreme is the highest level designated by Food and Water Watch for their Factory Farm Map program. Massachusetts is the only state (with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii) with no higher level than”Moderate.” Only one single state in the contiguous U.S., West Virginia, has no factory farms. As for California, 15 of the state’s 58 counties (over 25 percent) partake in extreme density animal farms, mostly in the central valley, but surprisingly in Sonoma county as well.

This is a problem for several reasons:

  • pigs

    Corporate, factory-farmed meat edges out the old-fashioned family farm by undercutting market meat prices so far the family farms cannot survive.

  • Factory farms make their money by numbers, raising the number of animals crowded into one space; raising the speed at which animals grow by injecting them with growth hormones.
  • Factory farms keep hogs and chickens in totally enclosed buildings with no exposure to the outdoors or sunlight ever in their lives.
  • Factory farms maintain a constant use of antibiotics in their animals to keep these animals living in ridiculously unclean, crowded conditions, alive long enough to sell them to you as food.
  • Factory farms advertise that they are cleaner and provide more options at lower cost to consumers, but in reality they provide less choices at a higher cost, with greater risk for E. coli and Salmonella in your food.
  • The concentration of factory farms also concentrates their waste including antibiotics and hormones, that often make it into the meat you buy in the store, and always back into our environment, back into our drinking water and back into the water we use to irrigate our crops. [1]

Besides the fact that I cannot conceive of actual human beings (for they are the ones who run the corporations and the actual farms and slaughter houses) torturing an animal by forcing it to live so close to others it cannot move; forcing it to stand, lie or sit in its own waste; forcing it to grow faster or give more milk than nature intended by injecting it with hormones; forcing it injured, sick and dying to slaughter; besides all of that that I cannot bring myself to truly imagine from the perspective of the animal, I cannot conceive why we are still eating this: both the marketing and the product, as food.

- Jocelyn Broyles

[1] FactoryFarmMap.org, a project of Food & Water Watch

Learn more about how the farm bill and other policy changes can help rein in factory farms.

Nearly Half of U.S. Meat Contaminated


Michele Wilkinson

Factory farming is cruel. It is unhealthy for the animals, (apart from the cruelty!) and therefore not healthy for humans to eat.

Luisa A.
Luisa A6 years ago

oNE OF THE MANY REASON i DONT EAT ANIMAlS! This massisve breeding and killing of animals needs to stop, we wont dye if we dont eat meat. Dont know how people after knowing the awful situations this animals live and the awful treatment they edure in their life can still eat meat. Go vegan or vegetarian, dont contribute to this awful thing that is done to our farm animals! poor animals........

Andrea S.
Andrea S6 years ago

Vegans ftw :D

Kristin W.
Kristin W6 years ago

I love this article and wish that lots of people read it! If only the masses knew what factory farming really and truly is... animal cruelty unhealthy and unsanitary. Most turn their heads the other way because "they don't want to know". How can you not want to know about what your putting into your body? I dont get it! @ Catsy D.Never let anyone tell you that being vegetarian or vegan is stupid! It takes a lot of courage and even discipline for some! It's one of the best decisions I ever made! Anyone who tells you that is ignorant.We are growing in numbers and I hope more see it this way, what is right for humans, animals and our planet. I agree with Marilyn and Maria though! Watch what your eating even if it is not meat or animal products. GMO's are very bad!

James S.
james S6 years ago

humans need meat? Prove that.

Catsy D.
Catsy D6 years ago

:'( :'( :'( And ppl call my stupid for being a Vegetarian... It makes me so DEVASTATED:'( :'( :'(

Kip Mapes
Kip Mapes6 years ago

we are what we eat, and we are killing ourselfs for the sake of convenince.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B6 years ago


Maria S.
Maria S6 years ago

Didn't copy correctly.

Maria S.
Maria S6 years ago

I'm quoting Marilyn as I agree with her thoughts and I couldn't phrase it any better myself. Also, if you Care please read, sign and share the petition below. There are many out there who don't know and should be aware.

"Here is a petition to help clean up our food supply.
If you CARE, then please sign it and share it so we can get enough signatures to be able to even send it.

Factory farming is horrible and disgusting.
For the veg people.... think about this.....when you sip soy milk or eat tofu, do you really think they use the best organic soy? More than 93% of the soy in this country is GMO. That last 7% is probably not being mashed and mixed with water (from what source is the water?) or used to make processed veg foods.

SO, that means you are supporting Monsanto...the monster responsible for the death of the small organic farms all around the country.

Stopping factory farming animal cruelty might be cutting the head off the commercial agriculture monster, but until you kill the heart, it will just grow a genetically modified new head.