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Most of us are distanced from what takes place on factory farms, and the travesties that animals undergo in the meat industry's efforts to maximize production, where humane treatment is often viewed as costly and unnecessary.


  1. 94% of Americans agree that animals raised for food deserve to live free from abuse and cruelty. Yet animals raised for food are among the least-protected animals in our nation.

  2. Most of the nearly 10 billion land-based animals (plus countless more aquatic animals) that are farmed for food each year in the U.S. live in small cages or crates, or are crowded together in pens (also known as Concentrated / Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).

  3. Food labeling is confusing at best: "natural" means virtually nothing; "free range" is vastly different from "pastured."

  4. Positive animal welfare is not just good for animals, it's good for rural communities, food industry workers, and the environment.

  5. Positive animal welfare is good for farmers too: animals raised in stressful, unhealthy situations gain less weight and are less productive.

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  1. Talk to your retailer / grocery store. Retailers are major drivers of animal welfare standards enforcement and they respond to pressure from consumers as well as from activists.

  2. Choose USDA Organic: these standards require that animals are raised in living conditions that accommodate their natural behaviors (along with organic feed, and no hormones or unnecessary antibiotics). When in doubt, consult the ASPA's Label Guide.

  3. Better yet, buy from your local farmer: when possible, buy meat from farmers whose fields and operations you can visit to personally assure healthy, humane conditions.

  4. Best of all: consider shifting to a vegetarian or vegan diet to avoid eating animals and contributing to the overall problem. 

  5. If you learn about factory farms / CAFOs in your area, join with others to oppose them.

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