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99% of Farmed Animals in the US Live in Factory Farms, Says New Study

Factory Farm
Image: Unsplash/Kameron Kincade

Despite many Americans claiming that they only eat free-range meat, a new study estimates that 99% of farmed animals in the US are actually living in factory farms.

A study conducted by the Sentience Institute (SI), using data from the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture, estimated that 99.9% of chickens raised for meat, 99.8% of turkeys, 98.3% of pigs, 98.2% of chickens raised for eggs, and 70.4% of cows are raised in factory farms.

The study also described all fish farms in the US as factory farms, “though there is limited data on fish farm conditions and no standardized definition.”

Additionally, around 95% of farmed animals around the world are chickens and fish, which usually endure the “most intensive animal farming methods” — even in farms that claim to be “humane” and “free range.”

Speaking about the 2017 poll​, Executive Director Kelly Witwicki said in a statement: “Despite public outrage at the animal welfare and environmental consequences of factory farming, it is still the predominant system of animal agriculture.”

“The public has been able to push the industry to make some changes in the right direction, for instance by starting to move egg-laying hens out of cages, but we have unfortunately seen little change in the percentage of animals living in factory farms in recent years.”

“Between the suffering of these animals and the devastating impacts of animal farming on our climate and on the sustainability of food system, this is a moral catastrophe that we can’t afford to neglect any longer,” Witwicki concluded.

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Roxanne Libatique

Written by Roxanne Libatique

Roxanne is a vegan journalist and advocate for animal rights and mental health. She tries to live consciously and spends her free time traveling, enjoying vegan food, volunteering, and speaking up for all animals. Connect with her at @roxlibatique on Twitter and Instagram.

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