Beacon Press: Environment and Conservation
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Environment and Conservation



Recommended Reading In Environment and Conservation

As Long as Grass Grows
Junk Raft
What We're Fighting For Now is Each Other
The End of Animal Farming

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Jacy Reese

Jacy Reese

Jacy Reese is the research director and cofounder of Sentience Institute, a nonprofit think tank researching the most effective strategies for expanding humanity’s moral circle. He previously served as board chair and a researcher at Animal Charity Evaluators.
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The End of Animal Farming:How Scientists, Entrepreneurs, and Activists Are Building an Animal-Free Food System

few years ago I wanted to visit the best egg farm I could find. I had been inside an egg factory farm. I had seen a dozen sheds, each with a dozen rows of wire cages stacked two high and 150ft deep. Those cages were so small the birds inside couldn’t even spread their wings. They were half-starved, diseased, and undeniably miserable.

Factory farming was clearly wrong, so I wanted to instead find a farm that represented an ethical and humane way to raise animals for food.

Fortunately some small farms, such as those who set up stands at farmers’ markets, are willing to let people visit their facilities. So in March 2016, I drove from my home in San Francisco up California’s northern coast, through towering redwoods and past crashing waves, to one of the best egg farms in the state.

The award-winning farm was nestled in a landscape of bucolic green grass and rolling hills. It looked like it came straight out of an advertisement. I saw a charmingly rundown-yet-functional mobile chicken coop standing in a football-field-sized pasture peppered with free-roaming chickens. I thought to myself, why couldn’t all farms be like this? I had seen what happened behind the locked doors of factory farms, but here I seemed to be witnessing a better way. I would soon learn just how wrong I was.

Americans care about farmed animal welfare. In fact, last week California passed a ballot measure for cage-free eggs with 61% of the vote, a rare level of agreement in these divided times. In 2016, a similar initiative in Massachusetts succeeded with 78%.

Finish reading this adapted excerpt from The End of Animal Farming in The Guardian.

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