Food and Water Watch just released this amazing interactive factory farm map of the United States, which is fascinating and terrifying at the same time – I can’t stop clicking through it. Below “the fold” are some eye-opening numbers that come attached to the map. I’ve been doing some digging of my own, but it’s (quite literally) tons of, shall we say, waste to wade through.
Take the map for a spin, and if you find anything interesting, or surpising, or frightening, or hopeful – please post it in the comments section.
- There are 4 factory-farmed chickens for every single American.
- U.S. hog factory farms added 4,600 hogs every day between 1997 and 2007.
- U.S. factory-farm dairies added nearly 650 cows every day between 1997 and 2007.
- Between 1997 and 2007, U.S. factory farms added 5,800 broiler chickens every hour.
- U.S. industrial feedlots added nearly 1,100 beef cattle every day between 2002 and 2007.
- The number of factory farmed broiler chickens doubled to 1.1 billion between 1997 and 2007.
- The average size of U.S. hog factory farms grew by 42 percent to 5,144 between 1997 and 2007.
- The average size of U.S. egg factory farms increased by half to 614,000 hens between 1997 and 2007.
- The number of U.S. cows on factory-farm dairies nearly doubled to 4.9 million between 1997 and 2007.
- The number of U.S. hogs on factory farms grew by more than a third to 62.9 million between 1997 and 2007.
- The number of U.S. factory farm egg-laying hens increased by 24 percent to 266.5 million between 1997 and 2007.
- The number of U.S. beef cattle on industrial feedlots grew by 17 percent to 13.5 million between 2002 and 2007.
- Excess livestock manure applications to fields of crops is the fastest growing large source of the greenhouse gas methane.
- There are more than one billion broiler chickens in the United States — more than three birds for every person in the country.
- Nearly half of factory-farm egg-laying hens are located in just five states — Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, California and Pennsylvania.
- The Government Accountability Office reported that the number of large livestock operations tripled from about 3,600 in 1982 to 12,000 in 2002.
- A 2003 study found that living downwind from industrial hog operations reduced the property values of neighboring residential homes by approximately 10 percent.
- Commercial confined livestock and poultry operations produce half a billion tons of manure each year, more than three times as much as that produced by the entire U.S. population.
- The Government Accountability Office reported that storing large quantities of livestock manure on factory farms can emit “unsafe quantities” of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and particulate matter.
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