1. A factory farm is a large-scale industrial operation that houses thousands of animals raised for food—mainly chickens, turkeys, cows and pigs—and treats them with hormones and antibiotics to prevent disease and maximize their growth and food output.
2. Feeding animals antibiotics on a consistent basis may cause the humans that consume them to lose some of their ability to fight certain strains of bacteria.
3. The beaks of chickens, turkeys and ducks are often removed in factory farms to reduce the excessive feather pecking and cannibalism seen among stressed, overcrowded birds.
4. Animals are often force bred to produce young at unnaturally accelerated rates, causing them exhaustion and stress.
5. Animals headed for slaughter who become too sick or injured to walk unassisted are forced onto slaughter trucks, often with a bulldozer.
6. Confining so many animals in one place produces much more waste than the surrounding land can handle. As a result, factory farms are associated with various environmental hazards, such as water, land and air pollution.
7. People who live in close proximity to factory farms often complain of high incidents of illness.
8. To make Foie gras, one of the most popular and well-known delicacies in French cuisine, birds are force-fed enormous quantities of food three times daily for four weeks via a pipe that is inserted into the esophagus. This leads to enlargement of the animal's liver and possible rupturing of the internal organs, infection and a painful death.
9. From birth to slaughter at five months, calves used to produce "formula-fed" or "white" veal are confined to two-foot-wide crates and chained to inhibit movement. The lack of exercise retards muscle development, resulting in pale, tender meat.
10. Egg-laying hens are sometimes starved for up to 14 days, exposed to changing light patterns and given no water in order to shock their bodies into molting, a usually natural process by which worn feathers are replaced. It’s common for 5-10% of hens to die during the forced molting process.
11. After one or two years of producing eggs at an unnaturally high rate, female fowl are classified as "spent hens.” No longer financially profitable for factory farmers, they are slaughtered.