Confined pig

5 Facts About Factory Farming That Will Terrify You



Life on a factory farm is always terrifying. 

Spooky season is upon us and October is the month when we watch horror films, go to haunted houses, get lost in creepy corn mazes, and read nightmare-inducing ghost stories. While this time of year is fun for those of us who enjoy the thrill of being scared, we should feel fortunate that our terror-filled endeavors are not real. Sadly, the scary scenarios that we often watch in movies, like blood, guts, extreme confinement, and fear is what animals raised on factory farms face each day. Don’t believe us? Keep reading. 

Disclaimer: The content below details the graphic and cruel nature of factory farming.  

1. Extreme confinement 

Animals who spend their lives on factory farms are kept in extreme confinement, or cages so small that they’re unable to turn around. These horrifying torture-like devices, like battery cages and gestation crates, prevent these living, breathing animals from behaving naturally, and sadly, many will not see the sun until they are on their way to the slaughterhouse.  

2. Ground up alive 

Being ground up alive is something that seems straight out of a horror film, but it’s the reality for millions of male chicks in the factory farm egg industry. Since male chicks are unable to lay eggs like their female counterparts and do not grow quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat, the industry has no use for them, so they are killed within hours after hatching by being ground up alive in macerators. 

3. Brutal mutilations 

Imagine having your teeth ripped out without the use of anesthetics. What about being castrated with a dirty blade and no painkillers? Well, this is sadly how animals raised on factory farms are treated–not to mention having their horns sawed off or to tails cut also without the use of anesthetics. These horrifying mutilations are business as usual for the industry.  

4. Thumping 

Brace yourself. Thumping, something deemed legal in most states because it’s considered a standard business practice by the industrial pork industry, is how piglets who are too sick, or who are not growing fast enough, are killed. They’re often grabbed by their back legs and slammed headfirst on concrete floors. Again, this is considered an acceptable form of “euthanasia” by the industry and is because on a factory farm profits are put ahead of animal welfare.  

5. Boiled alive 

More than 9 billion chickens are killed for food each year in the United States, one of the countries that consume the most meat. This is a number so large that it’s quite difficult to truly comprehend. More often than not, these birds spend their short lives in terrible conditions on factory farms only to end up at slaughterhouses where they’re hung upside down, stunned by electrified water, and then have their throats cut. However, to keep up with demand, the industry kills these animals at such a fast rate that many times workers miss a bird and they end up in boiling water alive. USDA records have found that nearly 1 million chickens and turkeys are unintentionally boiled alive each year in US slaughterhouses. Imagine being boiled alive? Terrifying.  


For animals raised on factory farms and killed for food, each day is horrifying. These sensitive and intelligent beings are treated as mere cogs in a machine, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If the United States can reduce its overall demand for cruelly-produced meat, World Animal Protection expects factory farming can be phased out. This will benefit not only the health and wellbeing of animals but also the health and wellbeing of us and the planet.  

Change starts with us acting on an individual level. By choosing to eat less meat and more plant-based protein, we can transform our food system, improve our health, safeguard our planet, and improve the lives of billions of farmed animals.

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