Not all farming practices were created equal. While one hundred years ago, much of the nation’s animal agriculture production occurred in open fields, today most animals raised for human consumption live in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or factory farms. CAFOs threaten public health, animal health, the health of the operations’ workers, water quality, air quality, and soil health.
Animals in these operations live indoors, often without access to adequate space to stretch their limbs or turn around. These animals live in barns, often by the thousands, making it easy for sicknesses to transfer quickly throughout the herd if one becomes ill. Given that these animals do not roam open fields, they excrete their waste right inside the barns. With so many animals in one confined space, the amount of waste generated is substantial. These operations transfer the animal waste into large pools called lagoons, where the waste is then regularly applied on adjacent farm land or exported to other landowners could will apply the waste on their land. Learn more below about the threats associated with these operations through the following resources.