The factory farming industry has recently resorted to mass slaughter, which they callously refer to as “depopulation,” to address reduced slaughterhouse capacity due to recent shutdowns. Their slaughter methods run the gambit from bad to horrific: from blunt-force trauma to ventilator shut down, where animals die from a combination of extreme temperatures and the buildup of toxic gases.
What’s more, even the factory farms that are intent on cutting costs but unwilling to “depopulate” are using feed restriction and increased barn temperatures to slow down the extreme, unhealthy growth rates they’ve spent decades trying to achieve through genetic manipulation. While these practices are inhumane and unacceptable, they’re only a symptom of a larger problem—one that demands the attention of Congress.
The truth is that the industry created this situation, and it was entirely preventable. Their quest to squeeze as much profit out of slaughterhouses as possible by dangerously ramping up line speeds and forcing workers into cramped, unsanitary quarters has resulted in the COVID hotspots that have shut these facilities down.
Now instead of addressing these systemic problems, they want liability protection that prevents workers from seeking compensation when they get sick as a result of the industry’s failure to follow proper public health guidelines.
It's clearer than ever before just how broken and inflexible our factory farm-dependent food system has become. It’s not enough to mitigate this suffering, we must prevent it entirely and we’ll need the help of Congress to do it.
Two weeks ago, US Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reaffirmed their opposition to the factory farming system and introduced legislation to end it. If passed, the Farm System Reform Act would place an immediate moratorium on new or expanding factory farms, ban the operation of factory farms by 2040, and allocate billions of dollars to help farmers transition away from industrial animal agriculture.
If we’re going to build a more just and sustainable food system, it will require embracing big ideas like those in this bill. But these senators can’t undo decades worth of factory farm intensification on their own—they need the help of your senators, too. Will you take 2 minutes right now and use our form to email your senators and ask them to co-sponsor this historic bill to end factory farming?