What is the Humane Society of the United States doing to help farm animals?

Because animals raised for meat, eggs and dairy represent more than 95% of the animals killed by humans in the United States, protecting farm animals is a major priority of the HSUS. Whether it be waging campaigns to persuade corporations to raise their farm animal welfare standards, partnering with the food service industry in offering more plant-based meals, acting as a scientific resource on farm animal welfare issues, successfully campaigning to pass farm animal protection legislation or pursuing litigation to improve the lives of farm animals, the HSUS is a movement leader when it comes to farm animal advocacy.

What are some of the biggest problems farm animals face?

The vast majority of the more than 9 billion land animals raised for human consumption in the United States are subjected to a number of abuses—many of which would be illegal if forced on dogs or cats. Most farm animals are intensively confined in crates, cages or pens so small they can barely move or are overcrowded in filthy, barren sheds. Painful physical mutilations are commonly inflicted on farm animals without any anesthesia and most farm animals are selectively bred for unnaturally high rates of production which dramatically decreases their well-being.

Aren't there laws that protect farm animals from abuse?

From life on a factory farm to death at a slaughter plant, animals raised for meat, eggs and dairy suffer immensely. And, as shocking as it may be, much of the abuse these animals endure is completely legal. There are no federal animal welfare laws regulating the treatment of the billions of "food animals" while they're on the farm. Further, while all 50 states have cruelty statutes, most explicitly exempt common farming practices, no matter how abusive—but the HSUS is working to change all that. With your help, we’ve passed laws in over a dozen states banning one or more of the worst forms of extreme confinement. We’ll keep fighting until there isn’t a single farm animal crammed into a cage.

View State Farm Animal Protection Laws

What are ag-gag bills?

Undercover investigations and whistleblowing employees have long played a vital role in exposing appalling animal cruelty, unsafe working conditions and food safety threats in the meat, egg and dairy industries. But instead of working to solve those problems, factory farming lobbyists pressure state legislators nationwide to pass “ag-gag” laws aimed at intimidating and punishing the people exposing these issues. These bills take various forms, including banning photos or videos of a factory farm taken without permission from the owner and making it a crime for an undercover investigator to get work at a factory farm.

You can help by sharing undercover investigations the industry doesn't want the public to see and pledging to reduce your consumption of animal products. The less we support the factory farming industry, the less powerful it will be!

Don't animals have to be treated well to be productive?

Animal agribusiness representatives often claim that it's in their own interest to treat animals well and a common defense of factory farming is that "only happy animals produce." But even suffering pigs grow bigger, abused cows produce milk and neglected hens lay eggs.

What can I do to help farm animals?

Each one of us has the ability to help farm animals every time we sit down to eat. Whether it be avoiding the most abusive animal products, such as eggs from caged birds, reducing the amount of animal products we eat or replacing our animal consumption with plant-based foods, we each can use our consumer dollars to improve the lives of farm animals by eating humanely.