Factory farming, with its “CAFOs” (concentrated animal feeding operations … aka “animal concentration camps”), is the stuff of horror movies. It’s a threat to the environment and a threat to public health. It’s also the basis for our dominant national food system.
Watch documentaries like Food Inc (see trailer to the right ->) and you’ll never be the same. You’ll understand some of the motivation behind the current “locally-grown” movement.
The Factory Farm Map (below), created by Food And Water Watch, allows you to explore the growth of factory farms nationwide, and by state and county.
Here are some stats from Food and Water Watch about the growth of factory farms in California:
- The total number of livestock in California grew by nearly 15 percent between 2002 and 2007.
- The number of factory-farmed dairy cows in California increased by nearly 50 percent between 1997 and 2007, adding more than half a million cows.
- The number of factory-farmed broiler chickens increased by over 19 percent and the average operation doubled in size over the decade. By 2007, the average broiler operation in California housed 1.4 million chickens.
- The average size of an egg-laying hen operation in California grew dramatically as well. In 1997, the average factory-farmed layer operation housed nearly 400,000 hens; by 2007, the average operation housed over 530,000.
- California was the fourth-largest factory-farmed egg producing state in the nation in 2007.
- In 2007, all the dairy cows, beef cattle, hogs, broiler and egg-laying chickens on factory farms in California produced as much untreated manure as 456 million people — more than the entire U.S. population.