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The Coalition to Abolish Factory Farms

If you care about sub-standard working conditions, the oppression of women and animals, our environment, world hunger, or the increasing corporatization of the United States, then you should be concerned about factory farming. We have started an inter-group, multi-pronged attack against factory farming, called the Coalition to Abolish Factory Farming (CAFF). CAFF consists of representatives from several student groups, including WARN, E3, SUN, USLAC, EAC-STARC, QA, and FemNet, as well as other interested individuals.

Why abolish factory farms? The following is a condensed list of the platforms from which we will argue for their abolishment:

WORKER EXPLOITATION: Meatpacking is the most dangerous job in the U.S., with more than 5 times the number of serious injuries to workers as those incurred by workers in the second most dangerous job. In some slaughterhouses two-thirds of the workers are not native English speakers; many cannot read any language. Slaughterhouses have the highest job turnover rate in the U.S. (roughly 100%).

ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION: The meat production industry is the second largest destroyer of the environment in the United States. Ninety percent of the water pollution in streams and rivers is caused by animal waste and poisonous residues from feedlots and slaughterhouses.

OPPRESSION OF WOMEN: Many feminist philosophers have argued that factory farms, meat eating, and the exploitation of women are linked by their foundation in patriarchal oppression.

CORPORATE CONTROL: Thanks to the Reagan and Bush administrations, „just-4- beef‰ companies own roughly 85% of the meat producing industry. These 4 companies essentially control the USDA. And while the agribusiness firms have grown more powerful, the unions have become weaker.

NON-HUMAN ANIMAL ABUSE: Almost 10 billion non-human animals are tortured each year in factory farms. The profit-oriented nature of the industry often leads factories to ignore existing animal welfare laws.

WORLD HUNGER: 20,000,000 people will starve to death this year. If Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%, 100,000,000 people could be fed using the land, water and energy that would be freed up from growing livestock feed.

HEALTH CONCERNS: A plant-based diet is often healthier than one including meat. For instance, the average American man has a 50% chance of dying from heart attack, whereas the risk is only 4% for the average American man consuming a pure vegetarian (vegan) diet.

CAFF helps to provide students with the education they need to make informed consumer decisions. If any of the above issues interest you, or you would like to approach factory farming from another angle, we invite you to become a part of CAFF.  Contact Joel Bartlett at jsbartlett@wesleyan.edu.

On November 6th CAFF held a showing of the film "American Dream"