2022: A Year of Progress for Farm Animals!

This past year has been full of exciting progress in the ASPCA’s work to protect farm animals. Not only have we helped nearly 1 million shoppers find more humane food, we also played a key role in establishing corporate and legislative policies that impact billions of farmed animals. Our work is only possible thanks to you and others who also care about creating a more compassionate and ethical food system. Read on for some of the highlights you were a part of this year:

We Expanded the Movement to End Factory Farming

We know that factory farming as a model for food production is horrible for animals, but what might be lesser known are the many other negative impacts factory farming has on the environment, consumer choice, farmer autonomy, rural economies and public health. This year we worked to reach more people with this message.  

  • The problems with factory farming were front and center in an ASPCA opinion piece published on one of the world’s largest information websites dedicated to sustainability, Treehugger, encouraging sustainable farming and animal advocates to set aside differences and work together against factory farming. 
  • For Earth Day (April 22, 2022), we launched a new effort to educate the public on how the mistreatment of farm animals is tied to climate change, offering ways to take personal and policy-level action to help end factory farming.

  • We published an article exposing “Humanewashing” in the journal Food Ethics demonstrating that the overwhelming majority of grocery shoppers want additional higher-welfare food options and are willing to pay more for these products, which is a problem when so many food claims are misleading or meaningless. 
  • To remind folks of the individuals at the center of this system, we supported Farm Sanctuary’s research into farm animal sentience and partnered with The Dodo to film a Facebook Live Video about their research  showcasing the personalities farm animals. 

We Empowered Food Shoppers & Built Pathways to Improve with Industry

No matter what people eat, they can play a part in ending factory farming and building a more humane, sustainable and fair food system. Through our Shop With Your Heart program, we give food companies and consumers the opportunity to be a part of the solution. 

  • We added over 100 new plant-based products to our Shop With Your Heart grocery list as well as new animal welfare-certified products. 
  • We collaborated with Consciously, a web browser extension, on a new tool that offers instant information about brands’ animal welfare practices to those shopping online on Amazon® or Whole Foods Market®
  • We are working with pet food brands to help farmed animals and have supported five brands—Evermore, Campfire Treats, Open Farm, Earth Animal and The Honest Kitchen— improving their animal welfare policies and sourcing standards. 
  • Consumers want food labels to mean something;that’s why we pushed the USDA to improve oversight on misleading animal welfare claims for food labels, resulting in the agency’s commitment to reform and rein in the use of unregulated animal welfare-related terms by food business. 
  • Concerned consumers also came together to support the ASPCA-led campaign to urge the USDA to finalize the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) proposed rule, a much-needed second chance to give the 186 million animals raised on organic farms meaningful protections against factory farm-like conditions. Over 27,000 ASPCA advocates took action in support of a strong OLPS rule!

We Advocated for Stronger Laws

We’re helping to pass laws banning some of the worst factory farming practices, fighting for greater transparency in agriculture, and working to strengthen existing laws so they keep farm animals safe from the most extreme sources of suffering. But the voices that speak the loudest to lawmakers belong to their own constituents—you.

  • In addition to supporting the reintroduction of the Farm System Reform Act, the ASPCA was a driving force behind the Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act, which was just introduced by Senator Cory Booker to help prevent some of the most inhumane industry slaughter practices and increase accountability for corporations and industrial operators that profit most from factory farming cruelty. 
  • In October, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the pork industry’s lawsuit attempting to overturn California’s Proposition 12 (Prop. 12) which requires crate- or cage-free housing for all veal calves, mother pigs and egg-laying hens raised in California and requires veal, pork and eggs sold in California, regardless of their origin, to come from farms meeting these higher-welfare standards. The ASPCA officially weighed in on the case in August 2022, filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of Prop. 12.
  • And it isn’t just at the federal level—your work was making progress in states across the country. With your support we fought against “Right-to-Farm” bills; advanced Good Food Purchasing Programs as well as moratoriums on new and expanding factory farms; and made progress on an ASPCA-led bill to create a Resilient Farms and Ranches grant program in California to help fund on-farm animal welfare improvements.

We Issued Grants to Help Farm Animals and Higher-Welfare Farmers

In addition to corporate outreach, consumer education and legislative advocacy, grant funding is a powerful way that we are working to achieve our broader goal of ending factory farming.

  • This spring, the ASPCA launched a brand new request for grant proposals to support the end of factory farming, seeking new data, evidence and narratives to motivate and persuade key stakeholders to adopt more humane, equitable and sustainable practices. More than 40 diverse groups applied for funding on projects related to animal, environmental or human impacts of industrial animal agriculture, with seven proposals receiving over $200,000 in support. 
  • We continued partnering with Food Animals Concerns Trust (FACT), celebrating our fifth year of providing grants to farmers seeking to improve the welfare of animals and achieve meaningful animal welfare certifications for their farms. Since the ASPCA first began funding FACT in 2017, grants have gone to 93 farms, benefiting an estimated 85,700 animals.
  • We supported  two programs dedicated to helping former factory farmers find new direction and livelihoods in their early stages: Transfarmation is a program of Mercy for Animals that helps farmers transition their industrial animal-agriculture operations to plant-focused farms raising crops for human consumption. The Socially Responsible Agriculture Program also recently launched a Contract Grower Transition program which is helping growers exit the system and use their stories to prevent others from becoming trapped in factory farming. 

We are thrilled that we’ve been able to accomplish so much over the past year, but we know that it couldn’t have been possible without your help. We look forward to many more opportunities to improve the lives of farmed animals. 

Wondering what you can do to help end factory farming? Join our Factory Farming Task Force!

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