Autumn 2010
Factory Farming

Want to learn more about the ethical treatment of farm animals? Check out the following resources


Visit the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals. The organization runs several campaigns, including advocating for decreased transportation times for animals, and the abolition of sow stalls and battery cages in Canada. It provides excellent practical information on how to pressure your MP, the minister of agriculture and agri-food Canada, and the president of McDonald’s. It provides pre-written postcards to send to them, as well as petitions and information on starting your own campaign.

Gracie, the Yorkshire pig, has had a nice life, thanks to Snooters Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Thinking of going vegetarian or vegan? Check out the Toronto Vegetarian Association


Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals is life-changing. He focuses on the factory farming situation in the United States, but, unfortunately, the situation is eerily similar here in Canada.

Read the book that kick-started the entire movement: Animal Liberation by Peter Singer.

Marc Bekoff has written a slew of books, including The Emotional Lives of Animals and his latest, The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint.

Another compelling read is The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals, by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson.


Watch the Canadian documentary, No Country for Animals. It underscores how much Canada lags behind the European Union in the area of animal rights: throughout the EU, animals can be transported for only 12 hours without food or rest – not up to 52 hours like here in Canada! – and sow stalls will be banned entirely by 2013. U of T adjunct law professor Lesli Bisgould is also interviewed in this documentary.


Our U of T Magazine article states that “According to an international animal protection agency, between two and three million animals die during transport every year in Canada and another 11 million arrive at their destination injured or diseased.” These are not exaggerated numbers – in fact, they are hyper-conservative. The World Society for the Protection of Animals based the numbers on the federal government’s own reports. Read the WSPA findings.

Reader Comments

# 1
Posted by Debbie Eaton BScN%201988 on October 23rd, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

I appreciated the article about farm animals and the poor conditions that factory-farm raised animals have to live in. However, I would encourage people to read the book “The Vegetarian Myth,” by Lierre Keith. This is not an indictment of vegetarianism, although the author believes she permanently damaged her health by living as a vegan for 20 years. She was a vegan activist, but she began to question her beliefs and has done some really good research on the issue. She advocates farming the way that a fellow by the name of Joel Salatin who owns Polyface Farm in Virginia runs his farm. Essentially, she states that if we continue to farm the way that some vegetarian populations advocate, we will destroy the planet.

# 2
Posted by Tan 2007 on January 18th, 2011 @ 7:10 pm


For every former vegan, how many former meat-eaters are there? How many vegans permanently damaged his/her health from being on a vegan diet?

Lierre Keith’s issues may not be from her vegetarian diet, but instead, her diet overall and other variables. It would be more fair for her to title her book, “My Experience on a vegan diet” or something like that. By the way, some of Keith’s research includes citing wikipedia.

You said: “Essentially, she states that if we continue to farm the way that some vegetarian populations advocate, we will destroy the planet.”

I’m pretty sure the way these factory farms are running isn’t very sustainable.

See this link for a review of Keith’s book.

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