Factory Farming_

1. Contemporary animal agribusiness is the greatest evil ever perpetrated by humanity. There have been many horrors that were evil acts, but in scope and brutality perhaps none exceeds factory farming.

2. In the United States, over 1 million land animals are killed per hour. The vast majority endured lives of unrelieved suffering and abuse in factory farms. Humans have abused humans and non-humans for millennia, but in terms of numbers, no human atrocity comes close to the contemporary institution of factory farming.

3. Genocides usually end with the extermination of the victims. In contrast, non-humans are continually being bred in response to an insatiable appetite for flesh.

4. Of course, there have been times when human slavery has persisted for centuries, so the perpetual nature of factory farming is distinctive but not unique.

5. In general, when humans have killed or abused fellow humans, the intended reasons (however misguided or flatly incorrect they might be) related to important concerns. For example, many of the perpetrators of the Holocaust against the Jews, the Rwandan genocide of Tutsi, and the American extermination of most of the Native Americans believed that their crimes were necessary to preserve societies against major threats.

6. In contrast, factory farming serves only to meet a food preference. Moreover, the extreme brutality of factory farming reflects a desire to obtain flesh and other animal products as cheaply as possible. If people were willing to pay a little more for these products, their procurement would still entail abuse, but the degree of abuse could be far less.

7. Factory farmed animals are totally innocent. They never intentionally harm anyone (though, in their effort to escape pain or death, they do occasionally hurt farm workers).

8. Humans can often struggle on their own behalf, arguing against institutions that mistreat them or even fighting against their tormentors. In contrast, non-humans have no effective means of resisting their human oppressors.

9. The preference for flesh is a leading cause of human-caused misery. Consuming flesh and other animal products has contributed heavily to global warming, squandering of limited natural resources, and reducing food security.

10. Farming has been drastically changed over the last 25 years. Small farms have been replaced by large, industrialized factory operations, and animals and the natural world have become mere commodities in the process.

11. While agribusiness has mastered the art of “growing” and killing animals faster and on a larger scale than ever before, the costs and negative results of this so called “cheap” food system are severe for us all.

12. Factory farms confine animals by the thousands in massive warehouses, treating them like production units rather than as living, feeling individuals. Millions are packed in cages and crates so tightly that they can’t walk, turn around or even stretch their limbs.

13. Mahatma Gandhi was correct when he said, “The moral progress of a nation can be judged by how it’s animals are treated.”

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