As an example, chickens have now been genetically manipulated in such a way that allows for greater poultry production. This is done by shortnening their lifespan, while engineering them to grow bigger, and faster thus doubling their weight every few days. Most chickens are full-grown and slaughtered within six weeks of their birth - less than two months. All the time being force-fed in small 1-square foot cages.
And though these animals suffer such horrific conditions, the impact to the climate is just as shocking. Factory farms produce more pollution in a year than all forms of transportation in the world combined.
Factory farms are part of a large corporate infrastructure whose influence isn’t just felt on farms. Corporate agriculture has a significant influence on government (both through campaign donations and relentless wining and dining), and rural communities (through increased local inequality and land grabbing). Putting a spotlight on widespread animal abuse, land abuse, and worker safety violations is already difficult in most jurisdictions, and the agricultural lobby has gone so far as to convince some US state governments to make it even harder – rendering it illegal to document animal abuse. Even taking a photo from a public road is an indictable offense.
While these laws are now being successfully challenged on constitutional free speech grounds, there is little comfort for the billions of suffering animals raised and slaughtered every year.