You Are What You Eat: Pictures Of Factory Farms.

April 26, 2010

I have been on a real “clean up my food” kick lately, after watching Food Inc. and King Corn and reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, and Eating Animals. I mean, I knew about how our food is being grown and genetically screwed with, and how factory farmed animals are treated brutally prior to us eating them, but until you start really seeing these things it is very easy to push them aside and continue eating the way that you always have. And while it is sometimes hard to eat out at restaurants and know where the food came from, it’s quite simple to do it at home – where the majority of my meals are eaten. I have not given up eating meat altogether yet, but I do buy chicken from the happiest and most local of them that I can find (Can you really be happy if you are awaiting death? Doubt it – I know I wouldn’t be!) have stopped eating red meat entirely. Is it enough? Probably not – and I don’t want to turn this post into an article pitting one side against the other. That’s not what this is about at all. Everyone has to make their own decisions about what they eat. I basically just wanted to show what the inside of factory farms looks like to those of you who don’t know yet…and it ain’t pretty. Caution – I am warning you right now that there are a few somewhat graphic pictures below of the way we treat animals prior to us eating them. Factory farming is not pretty.
























If we are going to eat animals, it’s time we demand better and safer farming methods for them, don’t you think? After all, we would never treat our dogs and cats like this – and in many countries people eat dogs just as we eat cows. An animal is an animal, right?

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Comments (21)

  1. Nancy says:

    Veal is the worst! Poor calves are tied down not able to move and fed goop to keep their muscles soft.

    This is such a polarizing issue for ppl just as much as talking with mothers about formula.

    I commend you for making the decision..it’s not an easy one.

    I stopped eating meat 3 years ago after watching HBO Peta special and right after that I watch Earthlings. I have to watch that one every so often just to remind me why I dont eat meat because I do miss it once in a great while. (full feature film available to watch online at http://www.earthlings.com).

    ~nancy

  2. Ingrid says:

    We’re all awaiting death….
    Still, I’m with you on (trying to not) not eating tortured animals.

    If we put our money down for happy farm animals, more people are going to raise them!

  3. david says:

    “Mmm, the sweat tears of caged animals”¦”

    That could possibly be the most ignorant, arrogant comment ever left on this site in 4 years, Andrew. Even if you eat animals, which I do, you have to be a pretty heartless person to even whisper those words. Wow.

  4. Andrew says:

    Mmm, the sweat tears of caged animals…

    I eat meat shamelessly. I aknowledge what happens at some factories is not ideal.

    But.

    Maybe I am a little brutal here, but I understand where my food comes from. Our family orders a side of beef about every 8 months, and I like to go to the farm and look my dinner in the eye. Arguably, the conditions at that farm were better than some of the pictures, even for the cows they were raising for veal, but its just the way things work – some farms try to maximize profit, some are just trying to pay the bills.

    Also, for some animals, like chickens, it is more humane to seperate them in small cages – because if they are not seperated, they will fight.

    I also dont like how the only pictures that get shown are the worst of the worst. I would also like to see side by side some operations, that although fully intend to kill the (poor – for you animal lovers) animals, do a fairly decent job at providing a good quality of life.

  5. Thanks for the reminder! I was a vegetarian for 17 years, but recently started eating meat again (the story goes that someone stuck a pork chop in my mouth and I seemed to grow fangs). In any case, I am not interested in supporting factory farming, but with my intense focus on not using plastics, I tend to “forget” many other ethical considerations. I will be more mindful. I mean, “kind” just tastes better, as does plastic-free.

    On the knowing-where-your-food-comes-from track, you might be interested in my friend Anthony’s story. He is going a year with only eating foods that he knows the source of. And I mean ALL foods. Crazy. His blog is http://blog.foodtree.com/

  6. Jennifer says:

    If you’re fully aware of the inhumanity and environmental cost of factory farmed meat and continue to buy it anyway, you’re even more a part of the problem than the people who are simply ignorant.

  7. Nancy says:

    I really encourage everyone to watch Earthlings. If you can eat factory farmed meat after watching it I would love to hear your reasoning.

    http://www.earthlings.com

    ~nancy

  8. Adriana says:

    Good post, people should be reminded every day. It is disturbing and sad but majority of people are like Andrew. If someone points out what horrors lurk behind their meat, they will simply shrug it off. At least the cows that Andrew goes to check out are kept in presumably better conditions. Still, I will never understand such level of detachment. I respect a hunter who respects animals and kills to survive but what about those who personally mistreat and torture other living creatures just because they can? What do they deserve? Saying they don’t deserve respect has a hollow sound to it.

    To add an insult to this horrible injury, think how much food gets thrown away in this country. Tortured flesh comes at cheap price and the ignorant fatsos don’t care.

    I “watched” the trailer for the Earthlings and I don’t think that I am capable of watching the whole movie. Still thank you Nancy for the link, I will pass it on to people who shrug. I know quite few of them.

    One last thing. Andrew have you experienced a rush hour in New York City subway? If not, let me tell you men will elbow women out of their way and vice versa, you can feel the aggression as you try to get to the subway. Do you think that it would be more humane if those aggressive people were separated and put into small cages?

  9. Sarah says:

    Wow Andrew. It’s amazing that chickens managed to survive all these years without being separated. Oh wait, that’s right. It’s b/c they had the God given right to roam free, therefore no need to fight one another for space like they do when they are shoved into a confined space. Let a chicken roam, and there will be no fighting.

  10. BeTrueSeekTruth says:

    Its evident that we live in a truly degraded society. Money and profit are no excuse. We live in a world of brutal liars and killers whom our media brainwashes us to emulate even as they emulate the demon seed whose power and prestige they covet. Why do I say this? One of the key ways to guage the degredation of a culture is to look at how they treat their animals.

  11. Laura Jobe says:

    I stopped eating meat over 12 years ago and I have learned more reasons to quit since I quit than before. I believe that an animal is an animal is an animal and if people think it is all right to eat one animal then there is no reason not to eat them all. In Europe they eat horses, in Japan they eat monkey brains and shark fins, some people eat goats, in Korea they eat dogs and cats. If you don’t eat meat you do not contribute to this travesty.

  12. Lauren says:

    Great article, thank you for sharing. I too, watched Food Inc., however I’ve been a non-meat eater for quite some time prior to that. Even as a child when my mother would put dinner on the table and it would be meat, all I would do is picture the animal. I could never bring myself to eat it.

    Factory Farming is horrible, disgusting, inhumane, etc. It should be illegal. I never understand how they cannot get fined or jailed for animal cruelty. Am I missing something here? Not only is it cruelty to animals, it also brings food-borne illnesses into our lives, in addition to contributing to global warming. Let’s hope that someday soon factory farming will come to an end.

  13. Nancy says:

    My partner and a neighbor and I have about 8 beef cattle on our land each year for our freezer. Some of our neighbors also buy into this so all the beef is sold before it goes away in the fall. It’s very difficult to let them go when it’s time. We get so used to their innocent faces and the lovely picture on the landscape. However, it’s good to know they had a good life while here, happily grazing and traveling around the pasture.
    We also have committed to purchase about a dozen free range chickens for our freezer each year. They are also raised humanely by a local farm, no hormone, no antibiotics and allowed to graze. We have a local sheep farm that processed about 5 lambs a week, so we get our lamb fresh, but could put in the freezer as well.
    All of this food (and the organic and local produce) seems to cost a little more, but it’s actually good for you, good for the earth, raised humanely, and NOT TRUCKED all over the country side. All of this is so important. If only more people would realize this.

  14. Beverly L. Darwin says:

    Let’s persuade our representatives (we, as a group) to: (l) Stop factory farming, by using local foods (meat and/or vegetables & fruits, preferably organic.; 2) Prohibit genetic engineering of field crops: 3) Prohibit irradiation of foods; 4)Eliminate the use of hormones and antibiotics as a routine for cattle and poulry; and 5)Encourage organic and local farmers with stimulus funds and other rewards; and
    6) sanction food destroyers (e.g., users of excess pesticides on crops). Let’s PLEASE GET ORGANIZED BY LOBBYING, BOYCOTTING, BUYING LOCAL AND ADVERTISING THAT WE ARE DOING SO (PUBLICIZING), ETC.

  15. Ask a Doctor says:

    The pictures are just disgusting. How can man treat other animals even though it is going to be eaten, with such cruelty and disregard for their condition. The factory manufactured meat should be condemned and boycotted, so that these corporate bosses wake up and change for the good.

  16. Tammy McInnes says:

    AGAIN AN ATROCIOUS VIEW…ARE OUR FARMERS COLD HEARTED, IS OUR GOVERNMENT, ARE WE???…WHERE ARE OUR ANIMAL ACTIVISTS???.. HOW LONG MUST THESE INHUMANE ACTIONS CONTINUE??? I AM THOROUGHLY DISGUSTED!!

  17. BeTrueSeekTruth says:

    Forget about “persuading” representatives. Step one is to realize the endgames that are being played out. Keep in mind that those who control who we perceive as the world leaders view us as stupid cattle. Really think about this and assimilate it into your being. The endgame of the controllers is an 80 percent reduction and global population. The way to get there is through financial crisis, government staged terrorism, and chemical and biological warfare against US! When you consider all of this, then their action make sense. The ONLY way out is MASS ENLIGHTENMENT. Don’t rely on governments, especially the coroporo-fascist US government. Exposing the criminals and the complicit media that supports them by propagating their mythology is the only way to stop them.
    The real day to day choices we make when purchasing food and supplements as well as our decision to cut ties from the sick care industry when possible speak volumes. Do the research and you’ll see how it all fits together. Their motivation is “spiritual”, to serve lucifer. This is what motivates and enables them to rationalize their criminal behavior.

  18. Diane Allman says:

    Those horrific pictures are exactly why I don’t eat meat!

  19. SANDRA ROCHA says:

    Stop all acts of barbarian cruelty against innocent animals!!!

  20. Stephen says:

    @ Andrew – “Mmm, the sweat tears of caged animals”¦”

    Yes, I’d agree with David. But I’m not surprised but the mentality of people out there any more. Andrew is one of the billions around the world who answers life with a shrug. The shallowing thinking view of the world summed up in “its just the way things work” is both pathetic and frightening. I’m sure there were Nazis who said that same thing so they would not have the inconvenience thinking too hard about life.

  21. minty marsh says:

    It all comes down to overpopulation at the end of EVERY day, it’s supply and demand.
    People are setting up businesses, running businesses, working in businesses that involve meat sales or the by products…this is to provide for their families or intended families….and so the cycle continues.
    Until we curb our ‘birthright’ to give birth and the inbuilt nature to nurture the human species, the animal death toll will continue to rise and so will the cost cutting production of those animals.
    Until every human understands that they are the reason the world is savaged, this inhumanity will continue and get worse as the population rises.
    No one thinks that their own family could be responsible….but on mass everyone is responsible.