Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America

Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America

Current systems of U.S. food animal production are neither economically nor environmentally sustainable, a new report from the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production argues. Based on a thirty-month investigation into industrial farm animal production, the report, Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America (124 pages, PDF), provides a detailed overview of the risks such systems pose to public health, the environment, and animal welfare. Funded by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the report found that large-scale corporate operations involving intensive confinement of animals depend heavily on energy, water, and chemical inputs; produce concentrated waste and other contaminants; and weaken rural economies. To improve the nation's food production systems, the authors recommend regulating the use of antimicrobials, developing disease-monitoring programs, enforcing environmental regulations, creating new waste-handling systems, setting animal welfare standards, and implementing zoning and siting guidelines for new facilities.