Chris Grezo is an opinionated screenplay writer and columnist who believes progressive politics and global justice are inherently linked. He believes there are ethical reasons to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet, along with environmental and economic reasons. In his spare time Chris is active in the animal rights movement, and supports Iranian exiles in their fight for a democratic and liberal Iran.

Teaser: 

Chris Grezo is an opinionated screenplay writer and columnist who believes progressive politics and global justice are inherently linked.

Contributor Image: 

Big agribusiness is funding the Eco Terrorism Act

I’m always a bit sceptical when people claim that politicians are controlled by corporations. Generally speaking, I think Western governments are reasonably trustworthy. So the more I research the individuals and organizations behind the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, the more devastated I am by the blatant corruption I find.

Factory farmed chickensFor those who aren’t aware, various states across the US are introducing bills that would not only criminalize undercover filming of animal abuse in factory farms, but would also place the filmmakers on a terrorist list. When I first heard about this, I assumed there was another side to the story, or that these were exaggerations. But no, if you read the draft bill for yourself, you’ll see what madness it is. What worries me the most is that what starts in the US inevitably spreads to the rest of the world.

What is particularly disingenuous about these bills is that they contain exceptions for employees of the government. Apparently, if a factory farmworker becomes aware of animal abuse and films it on his phone, he should be branded a terrorist and fined or imprisoned, but if someone acting on behalf of local government does the filming, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. This is a bill that claims a certain act is inherently wrong, unfair and terrorist, but then lets you off if you’re not a hippie.

So who is behind these bills? Many of the documents contain wording very similar to the original draft written by the lawyers of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate lobby group posing as a non-profit, ‘non-partisan’ think tank. Until recently, ALEC managed to keep its methods and its membership secret; however, a leak followed by a Freedom of Information Act filing revealed that the organization drafts bills on behalf of transnational corporations, and persuades its legislative members (i.e. conservative Senators and Representatives) to introduce those bills. ALEC has secretly lobbied on behalf of the tobacco industry, the gun industry, and against minimum wage laws, all behind closed doors. The organization is effectively a dating agency which matches legislators looking for donations to their campaign funds with big businesses who want an influence on the law.

Bearing this in mind, it’s interesting to delve into details of the Senators and Representatives who have introduced bills designed to prevent the uncovering of animal abuse.

Such a bill has already been passed in Iowa. It’s worth noting that the Senate bill was introduced by Tom Reily, whose biggest corporate campaign donor in 2008 was the Iowa Farm Bureau. Discussion on the bill was led by Senator Joe Seng, who got a quarter of his 2010 campaign money from the agricultural sector. The bill was passed by Governor Bradstad, who got about a tenth of his previous campaign donations from the agriculture industry.

In Pennsylvania, the bill was introduced by Representative Gary Haluska, whose biggest corporate campaign donor is the Pennsylvania Association Of Deer Farmers. In Arkansas, two similar bills which have just been passed into law were introduced by Senator Gary Stubblefield, whose biggest corporate campaign donor is Mountaire Corp, a huge factory-farming business. And in Missouri the bill was introduced by Representative Casey Guernsey whose biggest campaign donor is Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer and processor, where 25,000 pigs are slaughtered a day and armed guards keep the immigrant workforce in line.

Everything about these bills stink. Firstly, undercover footage has frequently uncovered illegal animal abuse at factory farms; secondly, these investigations often reveal the meat produced by these businesses is not safe for consumption; thirdly, these bills are clearly being paid for by big agribusiness in a thoroughly undemocratic way; and fourthly, they are a brazen curtailment of freedom of speech. From a broader perspective, this sets a dangerous precedent: you may not care about animal rights or food safety, but the passing of these bills is a green flag to all other industries which want to ban undercover investigations. Perhaps the arms industry will try next, or the lobbying industry, or politicians, or finance. What happens in the US affects the rest of the world, and there are already concerns in Britain that factory-farm businesses will try something similar. The endgame of this process is massive curtailment of freedom of speech, and it has to be stopped.

Photo: Matt MacGillvray under a CC Licence

The West’s hypocrisy on whaling

minke whaleJapanese whalers exploit a loophole in international law by claiming that they hunt whales for scientific research. It is well established that they are lying.

Western governments and their public are outraged by this flouting of international law, and by the barbaric suffering caused by this practice. Whaling is not something that can be done humanely: the explosive harpoons almost never kill a whale outright. Successfully piercing the right spot on a fleeing whale in the tumultuous conditions of the Antarctic waters is extremely difficult. Furthermore, as whalers want to preserve as much of the body as possible, they use smaller amounts of explosive, decreasing the chance of a quick kill. This often results in an agonising and slow death – first the creature is pierced by explosive harpoons, then she is painfully dragged through the water, slowly dying of her wounds.

And yet this suffering is not why the West condemns whaling. Instead, our media and governments impose our beliefs on Japan in the name of ‘conservation’. The worst aspect of this mealy-mouthed justification is that its central tenet is factually false. It is a common misconception that minke whales are an endangered species. They are not. Most other species of whale are endangered, but the minke whales that the Japanese hunt are not ESA-listed.

Even if minke whales were endangered, why would that be a justification for imposing a law on another nation? To impose a law on others requires a moral justification, and what exactly is the moral element to a conservationist law? How, exactly, does the size of a species’ population affect the moral value of an individual being? If, for example, there were an extra 10 billion humans on the planet, would you lose your right not to be tortured because your species was overpopulated? Or what if the population of humans on earth was only a few million – would you be entitled to some extra human rights? To put it another way, if an island were suddenly discovered on which millions of dogs lived, thus massively increasing the known population size, would it be morally acceptable for me to shoot your dog? And if there were only one Greater Potato Beetle left in the whole world, would its life be worth more than an orang-utan’s? When you get right down to it, the number of other beings who are similar to you has no bearing on your moral worth.

The position of Western governments and media effectively boils down to this: exotic animals are nice to look at; it would be a shame if we couldn’t do that anymore. In other words, whales are exotic to us and we like to look at them, so we tell the Japanese that they’re not allowed to hunt them.

Our hypocrisy is laid bare by the fact that a loophole in the law exists in the first place. Do you think a whale is comforted by the thought that her agonising death is in the name of research rather than cuisine?

How on earth does the West think it has the moral high ground when its factory farming methods quite literally result in the needless torture of billions of animals each year? How can the West, which provides EU subsidies for bullfighting, in which the beasts are partially blinded and stunned beforehand in order to allow the ‘brave’ matador to win, find the audacity to impose laws on Japan? The hypocrisy of a culture that will blind, poison and torture dogs, cats and rabbits in order to design shampoo in a slightly cheaper manner is staggering in its thoughtless lack of self-awareness.

All of this excruciating suffering is entirely needless and unnecessary. It exists so that transnational corporations can make slightly more profit. It is not remotely justifiable by any sane moral standard, and yet we turn a blind eye to it, choosing only to notice barbarism in other cultures.

There is an irrefutable argument to ban whaling: it causes unnecessary death and suffering. That’s all that needs to be said. All this vacuous hand-wringing about beautiful creatures and population size is merely a way to hide our own unethical hypocrisy.

Photo by Martin Cathrae under a CC Licence

‘Concern for animal welfare is increasing in Africa’

Chris Grezo talks to a leading animal rights campaigner from Malawi. 

In Europe and the US little is known about the African animal welfare movement. In part this is because the movement there is smaller and younger than on other continents. But just as human rights should acknowledge no borders, so too should animal rights, and many people across all cultures and countries realize this.

In the West, a frequent riposte to animal rights supporters is that there are more important issues, as if it were somehow not possible to simultaneously give to Oxfam while also not kicking a dog. A certain type of Westerner, when asked to boycott factory-farmed meat, will reply that they don’t need to because we haven’t yet solved all the problems in Africa. Of course, no-one ever bothers to ask the Africans what they have to say on the subject.

I spoke to a Malawian animal welfare activist, Rozzie, to get her view on the treatment of animals in Africa.

How big is the animal welfare movement in Malawi, and in Africa more generally?

An LSPCA vet and patient

The animal welfare movement in Malawi is still quite small. The reason behind its size is that it has only been operating for a few years and hasn’t had the chance yet to fully expand. Also, when it comes to donations or volunteering for the Lilongwe Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LSPCA), there is a deficit. The concern in Malawi and in other African countries is more on human rights and thus national and international support tends to be focused on organizations that deal with this problem. However, the concern for animal welfare is increasing, but at a slow and steady pace.

What’s causing the expansion of animal welfare in Malawi?

The expansion of animal welfare in Africa is due to the determination of animal rights organizations within those countries. The LSPCA (Malawi) continuously goes into towns and other districts to educate the community on the mistreatment of animals. A lot of the mistreatment occurs due to the lack of education on the matter. A lot of the population live in isolated areas and thus they have not been subjected to the increased modernization occurring at the centre of the country. This modernization has brought in new values from abroad, amongst these being that of animal welfare. Therefore, the LSPCA is concentrating its efforts on educating those townships that have escaped this change.  

In Europe, animal welfare is quite a recent idea, but in Asia the concept is very old. How old is the animal welfare movement in Malawi?

Animal welfare in Malawi is very recent. This, I feel, is due to how society, both national and international, perceives the needs of the country: poverty and human rights. There is and has been a huge economic problem within the country and as a result thousands upon thousands of Malawians live below the poverty line. International and national focus has thus been on improving this situation. Animal rights did not come top of the list, or even make the list. However, a few years ago the government realized that the rabies situation in Malawi was quite bad and was showing no signs of improvement. The number of roaming dogs was increasing and therefore rabies was on the rampage; this caused the unwarranted loss of too many lives. The development of an animal welfare movement came about as the organization offered not only to rescue mistreated animals, but to educate the public on rabies and make regular visits to villages to vaccinate the animals.    

Is the treatment of animals fairly similar from country to country in Africa, or are some countries hugely better than others in their compassion for animals?

I would say that the treatment of animals varies between the different African countries. You will find that less economically developed countries in Africa have poor animal welfare, as the availability of education is poor and as such the majority is not taught that animals can serve for more than just killing rats. Also, people do not have the money to keep animals as pets and look after them in the correct manner. South Africa is a more economically developed country and society there perceives animals more as pets. It has the disposable income to provide the basic living necessities for the animals.   

What are the biggest issues in the treatment of animals in Malawi?

Two main issues: the majority of society is not taught how to treat animals [properly]. They exist as they have always done from the start – as rat-catchers and crop protectors. Secondly, the lack of disposable income in society. People cannot afford to look after the animals they have. Some people can barely afford to feed themselves.

Is there much international co-operation between animal welfare groups in Malawi and organizations overseas?

There is quite a bit of co-operation, especially between the RSPCA in Britain and the LSPCA here. They donate all their older equipment to us when they receive newer supplies. This has greatly helped the services offered by the LSPCA concerning the treatment of rescued animals and people’s pets. For example, they recently donated an oxygen machine, an ultra-sound machine and suture kits. This has greatly improved the vets’ ability to perform high-risk surgery along with lesser risk ones. Without this type of international support, the growth of the LSPCA would occur at a much slower rate.   

Is there anything you think European or Asian animal welfare groups could learn from Malawian animal welfare groups?

Pure determination in the face of adversity. The [African] organizations do not get as many donations as welfare groups that have been firmly established in places like Europe or Asia. They are continuously finding ways to keep going, and giving the animals the medical treatment they need. No matter how hard it gets, I see all the vets, members of management and volunteers keeping up their motivation and performing their tasks to the best of their ability with what they have available. With that much heart dedicated to an animal welfare organization, anything is possible.

Photo: copyright Lilongwe Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Reproduced with permission.

Visit LSPCA's Facebook page.

Go cold turkey this Christmas: cut out the meat!

Christmas should be all about kindness and giving. It should not be about sleep deprivation, mutilation, broken legs, stress or cramped, unhygienic conditions, which is what the vast majority of Christmas turkeys have to go through. Such is the stress caused by the modern living conditions of domesticated turkeys that many of them succumb to what is called a ‘starve out’ where they refuse to eat and consequently starve to death. These ones probably suffer the least.

Turkeys are far more intelligent than they are given credit for, and deserve better treatment.  Research has shown that turkeys in the wild have a vocabulary of 30 different vocalizations for communicating with each other. These include distinct vocalizations for different species of snake, calling the flock to assemble, or warning that a young chick has been lost.

The idea that birds are worthless objects that we can treat as we please needs challenging. New Caledonian crows have been documented making and using tools such as levers and hooks, each one custom-made for the particular task ahead. Indeed, some scientists believe these crows make more complex tools than chimpanzees. Meanwhile, some parrots are able to solve mathematical problems, and cormorants have demonstrated that they can count up to eight. These examples are a tiny fraction of the evidence for bird intelligence.

Dove and monkeyAs well as intelligence, birds also possess empathy, and can care for other beings outside their species: one of the better known examples being the adoption by a white pigeon of an orphaned macaque monkey. The pigeon nurtured the distressed monkey, taking on the role of mother and helping the baby develop. If a ‘simple’ pigeon can show this much empathy for a being from another species, shouldn’t we be able to do the same? Is electrocution, scalding, mutilation, drugging and slaughter really all these creatures deserve?

The living conditions of the majority of Christmas turkeys are so cramped that in order to stop them attacking each other in the crush, they have their beaks, toes and snoods cut off with pliers. No anaesthetics are used.

Modern turkeys are over-bred and drugged so that they grow as fast as possible, and this often leads to organ failure, leg disorders and heart attacks. The turkeys that don’t grow fast enough are killed after a few weeks, having never seen sunlight: this ensures maximum profitability.

The turkeys that survive this process are shipped off to be slaughtered, sometimes up to 2,000 of them in one truck, literally thrown in like baggage at an airport. Of course, this often results in broken legs, but when an industry is based around treating sentient beings as objects, this kind of abuse is bound to happen. The conditions on the trucks mean that every year millions of turkeys die of heat exhaustion or exposure to the cold or accidents during transport.

Once at the industrial slaughterhouse, the birds are hung by their legs (even if their legs are broken), and have their heads electrocuted to stun them. Some of the birds manage to dodge the electric field, which means they are still conscious when their necks are cut with mechanical saws, or when they are blasted with scalding hot water to remove their feathers.

It has been scientifically established for a long time that there is absolutely no need to eat meat. It is an entirely unnecessary lifestyle choice. Is all this death and suffering really necessary just for the difference in flavour between turkey and a nut roast? Do the right thing this Christmas, and have another slice of pudding instead.

Factory farms make antibiotics weaker


ESBL E coli infections are increasing. Photo: Nathan Reading, under a CC License.

The animals raised in factory farms are bred to grow faster, and a result of this over-breeding is weakened immune systems and lower genetic diversity. In order to increase profits, thousands of animals are crammed into tiny cages in which they can barely move. As a result, vast quantities of antibiotics need to be pumped into the suffering creatures to keep them alive long enough to be turned into a product. Figures released by the US Food and Drug Administration show that 80 per cent of antibiotics used in the US are consumed by livestock.

It’s fairly well known that antibiotics are becoming less effective as bacteria become resistant to them. The cause of this is natural selection: the few unusual bacteria that happen to be resistant to antibiotics survive the large-scale use of the drugs, and pass on their genes more often than the ordinary bacteria. The more antibiotics are used, the faster this happens, which is why antibiotics should only be used sparingly.

The connection between factory farming and resistance to antibiotics is pretty obvious, but it doesn’t get the media attention it deserves. To give a concrete example of the dangers of factory farming’s reliance on antibiotics, let’s look at the case of ESBL E coli in Britain.

ESBL E coli is a strain of the bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics and is virtually untreatable. It only became a significant problem in human medicine as recently as 2003, and the first case of ESBL E coli in British farm animals was found on a cattle farm in Wales in 2004. ESBL E coli infections are increasing annually and now affect approximately 30,000 people each year in England and Wales. They cause about 2,500 cases of blood poisoning, about half of which are fatal.

The rise of ESBL E coli on farms has been linked by a recent study to the increasing farm use of modern antibiotics. A study by the VLA found that farms which had used third- or fourth-generation cephalosporin antibiotics in the previous year were four times more likely to have ESBL E coli than farms which had not. The use of these antibiotics on farms has itself increased fourfold since 2000. Scientists have confirmed that the bacteria have spread to more than one in three of all dairy farms in England and Wales.

If you want less statistics-based evidence, a recent study mapping the genome of an antibiotic resistant strain of staphylococcus found that it gained its resistant properties while hosted in the bodies of livestock, before jumping back to humans.

This is not just a fringe opinion; the US Food and Drug Administration’s position is that, ‘[I]t is well established that all uses of antimicrobial drugs, in both humans and animals, contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance...’

The deaths caused by antibiotic resistance in the West are dismaying, but things are about to get a lot worse elsewhere. Only rare species of bacteria have become resistant in the West, whereas in Africa and Asia common forms of bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics, meaning that doctors are struggling to treat common infections. Many more people are going to suffer and die because of this, and, as usual, it’s the world’s poorest who will suffer the most.

I have a lot of faith in technological progress, and I believe at some point an alternative to antibiotics will be found. The two problems are that this technology will take time to develop, and it will initially be very expensive. The world’s poorest will not gain access to it in time.

There are a number of contributing factors to the spread of resistant strains of bacteria: overuse in human medicine, lack of regulation in the developing world, counterfeit drugs, a lack of medical knowledge, and factory farming. We need to be addressing all these causes.

Due to the money involved, and the powerful industry lobbying groups, no governments are going to properly regulate the meat and dairy industry any time soon. All that can be done for now is for individuals to boycott the meat industry and get involved in activism. In the meantime, the CEOs and shareholders will continue to get richer, and the poor in the developing world will die in their thousands. An all-too-familiar tale.

Animal abuse leads to human abuse

cow peering over hedgeThe appalling exploitation and brutalization of workers in the meat industry is well documented – from brutalization in the Global North to slavery in the Global South – but what is the best response? Should we boycott the industry, or just call for reforms? After all, the clothing industry exploits workers in the developing world, and the appropriate response seems to be to improve and regulate the industry, not call for its destruction.

Unfortunately, there is startling evidence that the vast majority of the modern meat industry is unreformable. More and more academic studies are showing that the animal abuse that is inherent in an industrialized meat industry will inevitably lead to human abuse.

What is the inherent nature of the modern meat industry? We might get a clue from Bill Haw, CEO of Kansas City’s National Farms, which operates one of the US’s largest feedlots, where thousands of animals are slaughtered everyday:

‘Animals come there to die, to be eviscerated, to be decapitated, to be de-hided – and all of those are violent, bloody and difficult things to watch. So your first and foremost impression of at least the initial stages of the packing house are a very violent, very dehumanizing sort of thing.

‘As you progressively go down the chain... it becomes a less violent, a less bloody, a less difficult thing to watch, and really becomes kind of a miracle of efficiency as that live animal is reduced to a carcass and the carcass is reduced to parts that we're very familiar with in eating. […] The economies of scale, the mobilization of capital – all of those things that drive businesses are very much at work in the packing industry... It’s essentially very dehumanizing work.’

I admire this man’s honesty, if not his business model. His words give a clue as to one possible explanation for the terrible treatment of slaughterhouse workers: perhaps the very nature of the industry is having an effect on the people who run it.

This theory is termed ‘the Sinclair Hypothesis’, and an academic study from 2010 appears to confirm it. The study shows that when slaughterhouses are introduced to communities as a source of employment, domestic abuse and child abuse increase. What is interesting about the study is that it shows the same effects are not observed when a different type of factory is introduced. Another recent study shows that slaughterhouse workers are more likely to suffer from somatization, anxiety, anger hostility and psychotism than other workers. Other studies have come to similar conclusions, but the subject attracts little interest.

At first I found these studies surprising, but the more I thought about it, the more obvious it became that witnessing the killing and dismemberment of hundreds of animals a day might affect people.

It is well-documented that people who torture animals for pleasure are more likely to turn out to be psychopaths who pose a threat to humans. There are also studies that show there is a link between the abuse of family pets and domestic violence. In other words, the kind of person who is willing to abuse an animal is more likely to abuse a human. And, as the studies linked to above show, if you force a human to desensitize themselves to the suffering of animals, they become desensitized to the suffering of humans.

What the industry has become is a sector where the employers abuse their workers, and the workers themselves are more likely to abuse their families. Then, of course, there is the appalling abuse of the animals: up until 1999, many of the slaughterhouses used by companies such as McDonald’s would begin the dismemberment of animals while the creatures were still conscious. It was only undercover footage and a media campaign that managed to decrease the frequency of this abuse. But unspeakably cruel animal abuse continues to be discovered by undercover investigations.

The levels of abuse and violence that saturate the meat industry are astounding. No matter how profit hungry an industry is, the dismembering of live, suffering animals is something you would expect decent human beings with a basic moral conscience to refrain from. But something about the meat industry changes the people who work in it. And this is why the majority of the industry is unreformable: if you institutionalize violence, a systematically ethical industry becomes impossible.

For the sake of the exploited workers, the abused children, the beaten wives, the slaves in the developing world and the tortured animals, we have to stop this industry.

Photo: Denis McLaughlin under a CC Licence

 Further reading:

Live export and factory farming

The No-Nonsense Guide to Animal Rights


Factory farms are the new sweatshops

Poultry factory farm in IsraelIf you’re interested in global justice, you may be aware that there are strong arguments to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet – the prime reasons being the environmental impact of eating meat, and world food prices. Another reason, which often gets overlooked, is the appalling treatment of workers by the international meat industry and the effect of this on communities.

A Human Rights Watch report from 2005 on the state of the meat industry in the US documented that slaughterhouse workers lose limbs, suffer from massive repetitive motion injuries and frequent lacerations, and sometimes die in horrendous accidents, often as a result of extreme production-speed demands and lax health and safety protocols. The country’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has documented that in the last decade the rate of illness and injuries for slaughterhouse workers was over twice as high as the national average, and the rate of illnesses alone was over 10 times the national average. And these are ultra-conservative estimates, as the industry has been shown massively to under-report injuries in order to avoid fines. One of the reasons that slaughterhouse companies get away with such appalling working conditions is that the workforce is often made up of illegal immigrants. These illegal immigrants are threatened with being exposed and deported if they kick up a fuss.

Equally, illegal tactics are used to prevent unions forming that would push for safer working conditions. One example of such tactics is the case of Smithfield Foods in North Carolina1. At this huge, industrialized slaughterhouse 5,000 workers kill, cut and package 25,000 pigs a day. As well as firing union supporters, Smithfield Foods created an internal security force with ‘special police agency’ under North Carolina law, which allows the force’s officers to wield police-like powers. The security force arrests union supporters, and patrols the factory with guns to keep workers in line.

The unethical nature of the modern meat industry stretches across the globe. One particularly unjust example is the use of slave labour by the beef industry in Latin America. Many Brazilian cattle farms use the old trick of debt bondage to trap workers. These young men are generally used to destroy areas of the rainforest that can then be used for cattle farming. In a chilling parallel to Smithfield Foods, some farms employ armed guards to watch over the workers and threaten to murder anyone who tries to escape these isolated hell-holes.

In August 2010, Brazil’s High Labor Court declared that a company running a number of ranches had been keeping 180 workers in slavery and making them work up to 24 hours a day. There were even teenagers as young as 14 among the slaves.

Factory farming, with its propensity for terrible working conditions and negative environmental impact, has spread from the West to India, China, Brazil, Ethiopia, Argentina, Mexico, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines. It is perceived by some as beneficial: it’s more efficient and potentially more profitable, proponents say, and therefore offers the chance for developing countries to increase their income. However, it rather depends on who within the country is actually benefiting. Studies by both the World Bank and Britain’s Department for International Development argue that the spread of factory farming in the developing world is harming the poorest and reducing food security. It seems paradoxical that a process that increases the efficiency of meat production would result in communities having less secure access to food, but the evidence is mounting.

The introduction of factory farming reduces the number of farms and farmers: smallholder farmers go out of business as they can’t compete with factory farms, and the rural poor are undercut, so not only do they lose income but they stop producing food. If there is then a disease outbreak at the local factory farm, or it closes for some other reason, or there are transport problems, or there is a change in the global food markets, the rural poor will face extreme hardship since there are no longer alternative local food sources. This scenario is not unlikely: epidemics at factory farms are common, thanks to the combination of appalling conditions and over-bred livestock, which mature quickly but have poor immune systems.

Factory farmers themselves lose their autonomy as they are at the mercy of transnational companies that control both the technology and the franchises.

Workers in the international meat industry, whether in the Global North or South, suffer exploitation and terrible working conditions. Factory farms are the new sweatshops.

1 Human Rights Watch 'Abuses against workers taint US meat industry'; Human Rights Watch 'Blood, sweat and fear'; The American Prospect 'Unions come to Smithfield'

Photo: A poultry factory farm in Israel, by Reem Bar under a CC Licence