Humane Educator's Toolbox: Map of Factory Farm Investigations

Attention to factory farms only continues to grow in the media, from the recent announcement that several groups are suing the FDA to halt the use of certain antibiotics in livestock feed, to animal cruelty charges brought against workers at a Texas cattle farm. With proponents of industrial animal agriculture insisting that what undercover investigations have revealed at their farms and slaughterhouses are isolated and rare incidents, and calling for legislation to make it illegal to document such animal cruelty, Mark Middleton, founder of Animal Visuals, has created a map that documents numerous undercover investigations conducted by animal protection groups that have revealed horrific acts of animal cruelty, including, as Mark says, "animals living in filthy conditions, animals intensively confined for their entire lives, animals mutilated without painkillers, sick and suffering animals left to languish for extended periods, violations of animal welfare and food safety regulations, and egregious criminal acts of animal torture."

The map tracks investigations by state, type of animal(s) involved, and what group led the investigation. There are also links to video and news stories related to the investigations.

Additionally, the map notes which states have tried or are trying to pass "ag-gag" laws, which would make investigations of cruelty and abuse like those featured illegal.

Since food is such an integral part of all our lives, and since an awareness about our skewed relationship with nonhuman animals is growing, tools like this one serve as an important component of a thoughtful, critical exploration of the impact of our food choices, as well as whether practices like the ones exposed in these types of investigations reflect our values regarding how animals should be treated.

~ Marsha

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