The Impact of Factory Farming on the Animals

Most of us at some point find ourselves curious about what’s involved in the production of meat, dairy and eggs. Below are just a few facts that might answer your questions about what farmed animals such as pigs, cows, ducks and chickens go through on a daily basis in these industries.

What happens to chickens in the meat & egg industry


  • The majority of chickens on factory farms have their beaks cut off without any anesthesia to prevent them from pecking eachother to death due to the stress of living in the horendous conditions they are put in. This is accomplished be pressing the chicks beak into a hot metal cutter that shears off the beak whcih are highly sensitive with many nerve connections

Ground up alive

  • All male chicks serve no purpose to the egg industry and are ground up alive, suffocated, drowned or burried alive when they are born

Life Span

  • Chickens raised for meat are slaughtered at 2 months of age, their natural life span is 10 years

Living Conditions

  • 97% of farmed birds are raised in industries that house more than 100 000. They are so over crowded that they cannot even open their wings, standing on or walking through layers of excrement. Uric acid in the waste causes burns and ulcerations to their feet and breasts
  • In addition to the over crowded cages they are kept in, the industry uses artificially light 24 hours a day to discourage the chicks from sleeping – less time sleeping means more time eating. This leads to aggression, more stress and chickens that are so heavy their legs often break.
  • Hens are shoved into tiny wire “battery” cages, which measure roughly 18 inches by 24 inches and hold up to 10 hens, each of whom has a wingspan up to 36 inches. The light in the sheds is constantly manipulated to maximize egg production. For two weeks at a time, the hens are fed only reduced-calorie feed. This process induces an extra laying cycle. They are considered “spent” after 2 years and slaughtered. 30% of them have broken legs by this time due to osteoperosis, neglect and rough treatment.
  • Free-range does not mean chickens living a normal outdoor life. It means that when eggs or chicken meat is labeled as free range the chickens were not kept in cages. They were however, kept inside big warehouses cramped together so tightly that they can barely spread their wings

Production (Slaughter)

  • In many industrialized animal factories, the killing lines move so quickly that many of the chickens are not properly stunned. The next station consists of automated blades that cut each chicken’s throat as they pass by, causing them to slowly bleed to death. Some of them do not bleed to death before reaching the next station, the scalding tank, where they are burned alive.
What happens to cows in the meat & dairy industry

Branding & Dehorning

  • Cows are branded with hot irons causing third degree burns, and their horns are ripped or burned off – without anesthesia

Artificial insemination & separation from babies

  • Dairy cows are arteficially inseminated year after year, and kept on milking machines, fed GMO corn, have their babies taken away within 12 hours of births (cows form intense bonds with their babies that last a lifetime) and are killed for meat at the average age of 5. Their natural life span is 20 years.
  • Baby calves are stolen from their mothers the day they are born, forced to live in spaces so confined they cannot move and fed nutrient deficient formula in order to keep their meat pale and tender for the consumption of veal. They are slaughtered at 20 weeks.
What happens to pigs in the meat industry


  • Pigs and calves have their testicles ripped off when they are babies – without anesthesia

Tail docking

  • Piglets have their tails ripped off without anesthesia


  • Millions of pregnant sows are kept in cages that are referred to as “gestation crates.” These crates are a cost cutting measure that keeps the pregnant pigs immobilized
  • After giving birth the new mothers are then moved to what is referred to as “farrowing crates,” which are very similar to the gestation crates except that there is a bit more room to fit the small piglets so that they can nurse. The entire lifespan of a sow is in a tiny cage just big enough for it to fit.

Did you know?

  • Pigs are smarter than dogs with an IQ the equivalent of a 3 year old child
What happens to ducks in the meat industry

Foie Gras

Foie gras is made from the livers of only male ducks, therefore all female ducklings—40 million of them each year in France alone—are useless to the industry and are tossed into grinders, alive, so that their bodies can be processed into fertilizer or cat food

  • Ducks and geese raised for foie gras are pumped with up to 2.2 pounds of grain and fat into their stomachs in a process called gavage. The force-feeding causes the birds’ livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Many birds have difficulty standing because their engorged livers distend their abdomens, and they may tear out their own feathers and attack each other out of stress and pain. Feeding is accomplished in several ways, one of which is by holding the duck or goose by the neck and forcing it towards a long metal pipe that goes all the way down the neck and then large quantities of feed are forced int the birds stomach.
  • Some ducks die of aspiration pneumonia, which occurs when grain is forced into the ducks’ lungs or when birds choke on their own vomit



Cows In the Dairy Industry Have Their Tails Cut Off Without Anesthesia


of Hogs From Factory Farms Test Positive for Pneumonia


Male Chicks Ground Up Or Suffocated the Day They Are Born By the Egg Industry

Why Isn't Anyone Speaking Up? We are!

Million Calves Are Slaughtered Globally Each Year

Days of Life a Chicken Gets Before Slaughter

Million Pigs Die in Transport Each Year