At the Second Annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival held the first weekend in March, factory farms were repeatedly called out for their farm animal cruelty. Animal rights educators Zoe Weil of the Institute of Humane Education and Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary both hit on the same theme. If you stop the demand for animals and animal products as a food source and factory farms will slowly go away.
According to Farm Animal Rights Movement’s analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports for 2010, 875 million farm animals died outside the slaughterhouse. Of these, chickens made up over 800 million of the dead. The causes include among them disease, injury and starvation.
For those not willing to give up consuming meat and dairy but are still offended by factory farm animal abuse, there is another strategy: support their local organic cage-free farms. Michael Makinajian and the rest of his family care for their assorted fowl at the three-generation Makinajian Poultry Farm in Huntington, N.Y. They animals have the run of a large gated yard and are brought in during bad weather to prevent disease.