The meat, egg, and dairy industries in the United States slaughter over ten billion land animals each year. The majority of these animals are raised on capital intensive factory farms. Large farming operations use factory farms to cut production costs and thereby increase their profit margins. Although this industrialization of the animal agriculture business reduces monetary costs, it causes immense suffering to the farm animals and raises significant costs to society, including a reduction in the number and profitability of family farms, an increase in the health risks related to meat consumption, a proliferation of damage to the environment, and a rise in threats to farm workers’ health. Current federal and state legislation fails to protect farm animals from the cruel, inhumane conditions common on factory farms. This paper discusses changes that could be made to the tax code to provide incentives to farms to treat farm animals more humanely.
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