Half a century ago, family farms were prevalent. Animals grazed on pasture, breathing fresh air, and feeling sunshine on their backs. During inclement weather, they were sheltered in straw-bedded barns.
In contrast, the rearing of farm animals today is dominated by industrialized facilities that maximize profits by treating animals not as sentient creatures, but as production units. Raised by the thousands, at a single site, animals are confined in such tight quarters that they can scarcely move, let alone behave normally. Such production creates what appears to be “cheap” meat, eggs, and dairy products. But what at the cash register appears inexpensive in fact costs dearly to farm animals, the environment, rural and traditional farming, human health, and food quality.
Over 9 billion chickens, pigs, cattle, turkeys, sheep, goats, ducks, and geese are bred, raised, and killed for food annually in America. Each is a social, feeling individual capable of experiencing pleasure but realistically the vast majority are familiar with deprivation, fear, and pain.
AWI works in myriad ways to halt the inhumane and irresponsible practices intrinsic to industrial agriculture, and seeks to replace them with methods which are both humane and economical. These alternative methods take the feelings of the animals into account, and they ensure each species can express normal behavior.
AWI is also committed to connecting compassionate consumers with likeminded farmers, as well as revealing disingenuous labeling schemes and companies engaged in contradictory methods of animal production.