The Issue of CAFOs

The industrial sized livestock operation, which is as known as Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) put a large number of animals into a small confined area, and livestocks are forced live in unhealthy conditions until they slaughtered due to mass production. Industrial food companies should not pursue their own interests, while disregarding the effect their action have on the environmental issue, hygiene issue, and animal welfare. Instead, they should stop using CAFOs and incorporate the idea of sustainable farming system, such as the small scale farmer.

CAFOs are not concerned with environmental destruction. The large-industrial farmer uses an excessive amount of drinking  water for the animals, flushing sheds, and for manure. The farmer consumes most of this water during the slaughter of the animals when cleaning floor and processing animals. This animal sewage and chemical fertilizer, then leaks out from the slaughter, and contaminates the environment around the industrial farmer and destroys the biodiversity of the rural area.

The unsanitary conditions of industrial farms or slaughterhouses do not have an impact solely on the rural environment in their surroundings, it also influences the human body of those who consume the contaminated meat. The food borne illness became a more serious issue in our daily life, and most of casues of contaminated meat is the result of a lack of hygiene management in large, industrial farms and slaughterhouses.

To maximize animal production benefits, industrial farmers feed them a high calorie diet filled with hormones and antibiotics. These animals are not treated as sensitive creatures, they are raised in an unsanitary environment and are stressed constantly. For example, in order to increase milk production, many dairy cows are given hormone injections, which inflicts physical and mental harm on them (Hormone). These debilitated animals are more liable to diseases, that spread and infect viruses and bacteria onto other animals and the human body. Unfortunately, many industrial farmers do not satisfy this welfare condition, and many poor animals spend their whole life in farms with unsanitary conditions.

In contrast, small-scale farmers never use hormones, antibiotics, and any inhumane inputs for their animals. They place more value on a stress-free and healthy environment for their animals and workers because they believe that animal welfare and a clean environment are associated with food safety(Hribar).  Their agricultural system is based on sustainability, which is the principle of inherited the food supply for future generations. However, if Industrial farmer continues using CAFOs, our next generation will face to food shortage issue.  Therefore, industrial farmers should reconsider their agricultural system and stop using CAFOs.

When we are concerned about the sustainability of the current food industry system, we ensure that clean environment, hygiene, and animal welfare are primary requirements. Food companies should not solely pursue; they should learn about sustainability from small scale farmer and incorporate it into their system. Over millions of people consume meats from large industrial food companies these days; thus, large-industrial food companies should practice responsible business behavior and create sustainability in the US.




  1. “Hormones.” GRACE Communications Foundation. Accessed April 18, 2017.
  2. Hribar, Carrie. “Understanding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Their Impact on Communities.” 2010. Accessed April 18, 2017.
  3. Fig 1. CAFOs.