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An Argument for the Basic Legal Rights of Farmed Animals


AUTHOR: Steven M. Wise . Harvard University
TITLE: An Argument for the Basic Legal Rights of Farmed Animals
PUBLICATION PLACE: Michigan Law Review, vol 106

Reproduced with express authorization of the author in: dA web Center, July 2010

The most abused beings in the United States are those whom we raise and kill for food. The numbers of dead are staggering. Most are victims of the severe and almost entirely unregulated practices that Americans permit on their factory farms. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2007, a total of 10.4 billion land-based animals were killed by the American food industry. These included 9.4 billion broiler chickens, 450 million laying hens, 317 million turkeys, 121 million pigs, 39 million bovines, 28 million ducks, 10 million rabbits, and 4 million sheep and goats—fifty times the number killed in biomedical research, for sport, as pests, and for all other reasons combined, carrying a value of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. The degree to which animal enslavement is embedded in our society is difficult to calculate or fathom.

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