February 20, 2024
Industrial food animal production (IFAP) consists of a complex set of interconnected components and processes, which include the factory farm but also extend far beyond it. The scale of the system, and the number of animals it consumes, are vast. The problems caused by IFAP are varied and global, affecting people, animals, and ecosystems around the world. A system of this nature requires a comprehensive and coordinated response.Momentum towards such an informed, strategic, and coordinated effort has been growing in the farmed animal advocacy movement in recent years. Prompted by this momentum, and in support of further progress, this report makes several contributions. First, it provides a relatively concise but holistic explanation of how IFAP works, written with animal advocates in mind. Focusing on land animals in the US, the report outlines the mechanics of IFAP, from industrial feed crop production through the factory farm and onto the consumer. It explains how the system is shaped by a desire for profits, and how it is supported by the social and cultural environment in which it exists. The report then shows how different aspects of the system are responsible for the wide range of social, environmental, and animal welfare problems that IFAP causes. Building on this understanding of the problem, the report goes on to examine the wide variety of interventions used by the farmed animal advocacy movement, and the elements of the system they address. The report organizes these interventions in terms of several frameworks for approaching system change. These frameworks address what needs to change, how to achieve change, and how different roles within the movement contribute to change, and they act as tools for understanding how a broad movement can transform a system. The report groups the interventions used by the movement into 15 categories. It describes what each category is intended to achieve, and shows how they fit into the frameworks for system change. This big-picture overview of IFAP as a system, pathways to system change, and the interventions available to advocates, is intended as a foundation for improving broad-scale, movement-wide coordination and strategy. For those who are newer to farmed animal advocacy, the report can be used as a primer on IFAP and methods for resistance, helping advocates see how their own work contributes to the movement as a whole. For leaders in the movement, we hope that this work provides some new tools and approaches for orchestrating the coordinated, multi-faceted response that IFAP deserves.