Factory Farms

Are they the best way to feed the nation?

  • By:Jennifer Weeks
  • Content Type: Report
  • Publisher: CQ Press
    • Publication year: 2007
    • Online pub date:
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/cqresrre20070112


Most U.S. meat, poultry, eggs and milk come from so-called factory farms or CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), where thousands of animals are confined indoors. While they efficiently produce abundant supplies of affordable food, CAFOs also raise questions about animal welfare, public health and environmental degradation. Large livestock farms create huge quantities of animal waste, which produce noxious air emissions and contaminate water supplies when storage facilities leak or overflow. Overuse of antibiotics to keep animals healthy in crowded conditions helps generate drug-resistant bacteria and spread infections in humans. And many critics argue that long-term confinement in small enclosures or cages harms farm animals. Organic and free-range meat and eggs are increasingly popular, but they are more expensive than conventional meat and dairy products, and ...

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