Animal factories endanger workers, who are subjected to horrible work conditions and hazardous chemicals. Due to large scale production practices, animal factories have become places with dangerous working conditions for handlers and factory workers.

No other industry suffers as many trauma related injuries as the meat processing industry. Trauma-related injuries at animal factories occur at 6.5 times more than the rate at all other manufacturing jobs.


In pork processing plants, workers who harvested pork brains, a grueling process, suffered from severe neurological diseases. High demand for meat products has led to an increase in the speed in which workers produce it, which creates hazardous working conditions and leads to limb loss.

Proximity to manure pits and irritants released from large quantities of animal carcasses expose animal factory workers to toxic chemicals and fumes. Manure pits produce lethal gases like ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide to which workers are routinely exposed. Chronic exposure to these gases can lead to serious health problems within the respiratory, cardiological, and neurological systems. Compared to small livestock production systems, animal factories produce significantly greater toxic gases and particulate matter emissions that collectively endanger workers.

The excessive and routine use of antibiotics in animal factories has led to higher rates of antibiotic resistant bacteria in food workers than any other industry. Due to this increased exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria, studies have shown that workers at animal factories are more prone to catching methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Many employees at animal factories are undocumented, and a lack of U.S. citizenship status and accompanying legal protections significantly hinders their power to demand better working conditions, putting them at greater risk of severe health conditions. Migrant workers in animal factories are more likely to remain silent about health problems and dangerous working conditions due to their precarious immigration status. Increasing this fear, workers at processing plants can be fired at any moment, discouraging employees from speaking out, and that burden is even greater for the manipulated immigrant work force. There have been several instances of undocumented workers who were fired after filing compensation claims for health problems as a result of the hazardous working conditions.

Reducing overall consumption of meat and poultry proteins, sourcing certified humane, organic, and/or pasture-raised meats, and increasing portions of plant-based proteins in your diet can play a critical role in offering safe, beneficial, and legitimate working opportunities for food workers.

  • Organic production of plant proteins is safer for farm workers due to reduced exposure to toxic synthetic chemicals common in conventional crop production, many of which are known to result in endocrine disruption, birth defects, and respiratory problems.
  • Conventional farmers and farm workers had increased genetic damage, as compared to farmers and farm workers at organic farms, indicating safer working conditions for organic crop production.
  • Farmworkers and their families on conventional farms experience moreexposure to pesticides than  any other group in the U.S. due to the excessive use of these dangerous chemicals.
  • Studies show that animals in animal factories are kept in such confined spaces with uncomfortable positions that their levels of happiness are decreased and their aggression is increased. This increase in aggressive behavior puts livestock handlers in grave danger of injuries from angered animals.
  • Comparatively, organic livestock production emphasizes access to the outdoors and enough space for each animal, enhancing their overall wellbeing and reducing the danger to handlers.
  • Organic farm workers aren’t at a higher risk of contracting antibiotic resistant bacteria because certified organic animals may not be raised with antibiotics.