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11 Facts About Animals and Factory Farms

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  1. 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.^[American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "What Is a Factory Farm?" Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  2. Animals are fed corn, wheat and soy that are grown through intensive industrial farming that use large amounts of pesticides, which can remain in their bodies and are passed on to the people who eat them, creating serious health hazards in humans. Ask your school to create Meatless Mondays in the cafeteria to highlight the hazards of overconsumption of meat. Sign up for Meatless Mondays.^[GRACE Communications Foundation. "Pesticides." Sustainable Table. Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  3. 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.^[The National Humane Education Society. "Farmed Animals: Birds Do not Fly on Factory Farms." 2009. Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  4. A typical supermarket chicken today contains more than twice the fat, and about a third less protein than 40 years ago.^[Lymbery, Philip. "Facts and Figures." Compassion in World Farming, 2012. Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  5. 2 in 3 farm animals in the world are now factory farmed.^[Lymbery, Philip. "Facts and Figures." Compassion in World Farming, 2012. Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  6. 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.^[Food & Water Watch. "How Factory Farms Impact You." Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  7. The pollution from animal waste causes respiratory problems, skin infections, nausea, depression, and even death for people who live near factory farms.^[Organic Consumers Association. "Disturbing Facts on Factory Farming & Food Safety." Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  8. Dairy cows typically live to their third lactation before being culled. Naturally, a cow can live for 20 years.^[Lymbery, Philip. "Facts and Figures." Compassion in World Farming, 2012. Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  9. Hog, chicken and cattle waste has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states.^[Organic Consumers Association. "Disturbing Facts on Factory Farming & Food Safety." Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  10. 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. It’s common for 5% to 10% of hens to die during the forced molting process.^[Lin, Doris. "Forced Molting - What is Forced Molting." About News. Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
  11. Worldwide, about 70 billion farm animals are now reared for food each year.^[Lymbery, Philip. "Facts and Figures." Compassion in World Farming, 2012. Web Accessed March 10, 2015.]
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