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Animals have been farmed by humans for thousands of years, but the way in which we reproduce, house, feed, and handle these animals has changed dramatically over the past century.

The rise of the factory farm has meant that billions of animals have had to endure a life which can only be described as cruel and barbaric. A life without ever feeling the sun on their back, fresh air in their lungs, and without the freedom to fully extend their limbs, flap their wings, or exhibit their natural behaviors.

A deeper look into the lives of factory farmed animals reveals that we have created a huge prison system for animals where they are no longer considered sentient beings, capable of feelings, thoughts, and pain, but instead are treated as products on an assembly line from the moment they are born to the moment they are murdered.

Here are 10 alarming facts about the lives of factory farmed animals:

1. More than 80 percent of pigs have pneumonia upon slaughter

The cramped dirty conditions which pigs are forced to live in on factory farms causes numerous serious health problems which are never treated. Dangerous gases from manure, including high levels of ammonia, cause pneumonia in over 80 percent of the factory farmed pigs entering U.S. slaughterhouses.

2. A battery chicken lives on space smaller than your iPad

Each chicken in a battery farm has to spend its entire life in a cage which has a floor space smaller than an iPad, no room to turn around, and certainly not enough space to stretch its wings. They also have to spend their entire lives standing on metal mesh flooring, which causes pain, discomfort, and injury to the feet and legs.

3. Animals are forced to grow up to three times faster than nature intended

Due to selective breeding and the use of weight gaining drugs in feed, animals are forced to grow at an alarming rate. Chickens reach the weight desired for slaughter after just 35 days on a factory farm today, when this should normally take 90 days. They are also reaching that weight on less food, as in the 1950s it took three pounds of feed to produce a pound of meat, now it’s just 1.7 pound of feed. The same is true in the pork industry, as pigs are usually killed at just six months of age.

4. Dairy cows are killed after just three lactation cycles

The natural lifespan of a cow is between 20 to 25 years. However, in factory farms, dairy cows are often considered to be “spent” by the time they have gone through just three lactation cycles. They are aggressively bred, fed, and drugged to produce as much milk as possible in the shortest amount of time, and this has a detrimental effect on their overall health and long term milk production. In the modern farming world, it’s more cost effective to send them to the slaughter at this early stage of life and have them replaced before their milk production decreases.

5. Forced molting processes kill 5 to 10 percent of hens

In many egg production farms, the practice of forced molting is used to trick the hens into higher levels of egg production. When their natural laying cycle ends, they are forced into another cycle by being placed into darkness for up to eight days and denied water and food. A huge number of hens die in the process, but is still considered to be “good practice” as it increases overall egg production on the farms.

6. New born animals are routinely mutilated

Piglets are mutilated within the first two weeks of life by having their teeth clipped, tails cut off, and testicles removed. This is done without anesthetic, and is incredibly painful to the animals. It is done to prevent the pigs from damaging themselves and each other when they become agitated and distressed due to their cramped living conditions. Chickens have their beaks clipped for the same reason.

7. Genetic manipulation has left 90 percent of broiler chickens unable to walk properly

The obsession with creating as much meat as possible in the shortest space of time, with the least outlay on food costs, means that as many as 90 percent of broiler chickens are unable to walk properly at all. The bones and muscles in their legs are unable to cope with the sheer weight of their bodies.

8. Mothers are separated from their babies at birth

In the dairy industry, calves are taken away from their mothers at birth and are sent off to veal farms where they will spend the rest of their short lives. The calves are not allowed to stay with their mothers as they would drink their mother’s milk, which is desired by the industry for human consumption instead. In the pork industry, piglets are weaned from their mothers after just two weeks so that the sow can be made pregnant again, as this increases the amount of litters she can produce each year.

9. Veterinary care is almost never administered to sick and injured animals

Factory farming is all about economics. The life, feelings, and desires of the individual animals bred into these awful places are never considered to be important. It is common place for very sick and injured animals to be left untreated in the hope that they will survive until they reach the slaughterhouse. Illness due to environmental conditions in the farms are so common that farmers simply feed antibiotics to all animals as a form of damage limitation, but veterinary fees to treat sick and injured individuals is not economically viable.

10. Ninety-nine percent of U.S. farm animals never get to express natural behaviors

In the U.S., an incredible 99 percent of farmed animals are now bred in factory farms. This means that due to current accepted regulations on animal welfare in these farms, 99 percent of farmed animals in the U.S. will never get to exhibit their natural behaviors. Pigs love to bathe in the sun, snuffle in the mud, and create complex social relationships, yet in factory farms, they are confined to tiny concrete pens for their entire lives. Chickens love to flap their wings and clean themselves in a dust bath, yet they never leave a cage which is so small, they cannot even stand up straight or extend their wings, ever. Cows are very maternal creatures who enjoy grazing in fields, yet they are also confined to concrete pens where all they can do is sit or stand.

Image source: Wikipedia Commons

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79 comments on “10 Alarming Facts About the Lives of Factory Farmed Animals”

Click to add comment
17 Days ago

i hate vegans

1 Years Ago

hi buttcheeks

Russ Mathis
4 Years Ago

Are you people all vegan or did you vote in Obama? I like to eat meat and dairy. Its an animal that gets feed to a human. Get over it.

Timothy Kinsman
13 Apr 2014

Glad to see people like you contributing to progress like you Russ.

Courtney N
15 Apr 2014

Big applause for this genius. Keep eating these disease infested, antibiotic filled, genetically modified animals and you\'ll be dead soon enough anyway. The funniest part of your comment is the part about voting in Obama. Like the government doesn\'t support this? They shoulder rub with big Ag and all the other corrupt companies who foster crap like this. Wake up dude.

Barbara Njos
4 Years Ago

Encourage veganism. that's the only thing that will stop the cruelty.

Jeff Tucker
4 Years Ago

You say it is cruel to kill a animal what about the plants that you eat are they not killed to hmmmmm

07 Feb 2017

stop your crippilingresion you wallrussss

07 Feb 2017


07 Feb 2017


Keadie Lowe
11 Oct 2018

Wrong, plants actually do not feel pain, nor do they care, but animals do, so ur comment doesnt make much sense, because plants dont feel pain or anything so..

Jeff Tucker
4 Years Ago

Maybe you can stop the farming of meat. . Why not stop farming of all vegetables while you at it see how long before you beg for something to eat

13 Apr 2014

This post is nonsense. Why are you so hostile to those trying to reduce suffering? There are ways to raise many animals without keeping them in these conditions. It\'s been done for all of recorded human history until now.
Not to mention it takes vegetables to feed the animals you eat, so you\'d be out of luck also if we stopped farming vegetables.

Jeff Tucker
4 Years Ago

Where do you think that the bacon and sausage and pork chops come from not everyone can raise there own pork or beef

Douglas D Eden
4 Years Ago

I am all for living green, less pollution , protecting endangered species etc etc BUT this particular issue doesn't bother me one bit,. . . . GOOD luck ever getting beef, chicken, deer, sheep, pork, or other meats , NOT TO mention my daily 3 quarts of milk and cheese and chocolate and eggs , out of my kitchen .

13 Apr 2014

Take a look at how factory farming contributes to pollution and maybe you will care (if you actually care about the environment).

Robert Bolton
4 Years Ago

Wow...some people get right off on this topic...

Michelle Kelly
4 Years Ago

Yup, and so many people in the world know this information and don't care. I just don't understand how so many people are capable of being so selfish.


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