- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Earth Aware Editions (13 May 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1601090587
- ISBN-13: 978-1601090584
- Product Dimensions: 34 x 30.6 x 3.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,134,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
CAFO Hardcover – 13 May 2010
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CAFO "CAFO" provides an unprecedented view of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations where an increasing percentage of the world's meat, milk, eggs, and fish are produced. As the photos and essays in this powerful book demonstrate, the rise of the CAFO industry has become one of the most pressing issues of our time. Industrial livestock production is now a leading source of climate changing emissions, ... Full description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The images will profoundly affect you, because they're not made up. They're real. Be careful about showing this book to children - the images may bring nightmares. At the least, they'll bring questions that are really hard to answer. How did we let our food system get this way? Where were we?
The series of articles and essays in CAFO bust apart all the myths about our food - literally. There are several chapters devoted to that purpose. All the authors know their respective topics inside and out, they're attorneys who've fought for clean water and clean air and safe food, conservatives who know the true meaning of conserve, people on the front lines of this war that's being fought over our countrysides, our public health, and our economy.
The move toward mass-production of meat from animals has led to the industrialized factory farm, where even the space occupied by each animal has been fastidiously minimized, allowing animals to occupy and utilize only what is consistent with the operation's maximum efficiency and their rapid weight gain. Unnatural crowding is offset by diets laced with antibiotics under the intensely cramped conditions, only to reduce the possible spread of disease.. indeed a growing problem for animals and human populations alike. Other serious problems arise from factory farming, such as waste handling reservoirs that often pollute watersheds and land.
In a typical factory farm, livestock move about in cramped cages and cubicles designed not to provide living space but to merely keep them separated from their own waste. Females and males face equally cruel fates. Males may be immediately "rendered" into meal, even a day after being born (approx 200 million male chicks every year are rendered immediately after birth). Hens are subject to battery cages with as little as one square foot of living space. Female mammals are artificially inseminated and spend much of their lives confined in cement-lined breeding stalls as nothing more than litter-making machines, and rarely have more than a brief period with their offspring following birth. The young, stressed from early weaning, are introduced to feed concentrates, the formulation of which often makes them ill-nourished and sick, although fat and heavy, such that they would not even live longer than the time their processing or "rendering point" arrives. Everything is done to maximize growth and increase an animal's weight in the least amount of time without the least regard for the animal as a sentient being with thoughts, awareness and will and strong feelings and emotions for its young.
The horrors of this method of industrial food production are shocking. CAFO's are places where animals endure a tortured existence before meeting the end of their brief lives, likely often sensing what they have been raised and confined all their lives for. All the while a constant stress and palpable fear must certainly arise from living in such utterly unnatural surroundings.
The fact becomes strikingly clear that there is no chance for any meaningful life whatsoever for an animal under such conditions. Such are the atrocities of life on a factory farm.
The book is deeply moving and an eye-opener, and very much needed to show just how the proliferation of such operations continues, partly because so few of us know of this, while so many of us unknowingly support these facilities by uninformed choices and purchases... We all need to know what pure living hell-holes such "farming" facilities are for the creatures born into them.
When the animals placed in our stewardship are considered little more than meat-making machines we too lose an essential part of our humanity.
Since reading this book, I raise the topic as an issue whenever I can, in attempts to bring people to realize how insouciant and wicked it is to ignore the injustices imposed by human beings upon animals, due to the indoctrination and widespread lack of conscience and knowledge in human carnism.
It would undoubtedly be best if humans stopped eating meat altogether. Yet actually the number of vegetarians in the US is surprisingly low, only about two percent of the population. Short of this we can only hope to stop CAFO methods when we individually demand to know the conditions under which animal-derived food is produced... and choose to avoid that from US factory farms or non-domestic facilities where animals endure such conditions. We should be moved to do so... just as we would be moved to stop the abuses of a pet, or any animal we valued for companionship. There is, in all actuality, very little difference between animals consumed by us and our beloved pets, as many conscientious traditional farmers and 4-H members do readily attest.
If you really mean to change minds about how animals are treated--this book and its images will be a powerful tool...perhaps the most powerful one you'll ever own.
It's an enormous and powerful book that includes essays and large photos. The photos drive the point home that medieval practices towards intelligent animals occur everyday on factory farms.
One of the essays I learned a lot from was "Dismantlement" by Erik Marcus of Vegan.com. While I'm not a vegetarian and I enjoy a good burger, I want animals treated humanely no matter their destination. I suspect many non vegetarians feel as I do.
Erik writes about "Trends in U.S. Meat Consumption", "The Three Existing Movements for Animal Protection" (Limitations of the Vegetarian Movement, Limitations of the Animal Rights Movement, and Limitations of the Animal Welfare Movement), and "Building a Fourth Movement".
The "Fourth Movement" that Erik writes about is "Creating a Dismantlement Movement". I think he's onto something big! His ideas for agri-business reform make perfect sense, financially and from a moral standpoint. I won't give his ideas away as I know you will want to read this terrific book.
Nowhere To Go, Nothing To Do
One other sickening thing I learned from this book, in the page titled "Nowhere To Go, Nothing To Do: Compulsive Behavior, Physical Abuse", is that pigs are held in cage crates where they can't turn around.
Until I started reading this book I naively thought thought that animal abuses like this only happened in third world countries! The way we treat these pigs is as horrific as barbaric bear farming.
Bar chewing is very common with pigs due to extreme boredom from the lack of stimulation. These animals have the right to play, exercise and enjoy the outdoor world and they are denied any decency. Death seems a blessing.
The Food Industry
It seems that many in the food industry either are not aware of these horrors or have chosen to look the other way.
Exempt From Animal Cruelty Laws
Did you know that farm animals are except from animal cruelty laws due to the lobbying efforts of the food industry, making animals more at risk to the cruel treatment on factory farms? Who are these people who work in this industry and come up with these unconscionable strategies!!!???
If you have a pet, dog or cat or other animal, and care about animals, buy this book, keep it on your coffee table and spread the message to others that we need to reinvent how we produce food.