Imagine a chicken. Picture her downy white feathers and small, intense eyes. Maybe she’s sitting on a nest, softly clucking. Perhaps she’s scratching in the dirt, a quaint red barn in silhouette behind her. Cows graze contentedly nearby; a pig snuffles in the mud.
It’s an idyllic vision, familiar from children’s books and songs. It’s also, for the majority of animals raised in the meat, egg and dairy industries, a complete fiction.
In the United States, almost all farm animals spend their lives inside factory farms, large-scale operations that turn lives into commodities by “processing” huge numbers of animals as quickly as possible. They’re bad for animals, bad for us and bad for the planet we share. Here’s why.