(ANIMAL ACTIVISM/FACTORY FARMING) There is a new epidemic sweeping across the globe, but it seems nobody is doing anything about it. That’s probably because this epidemic doesn’t affect people–it affects animals. Millions of helpless animals are tortured, abused, and mistreated just so we can feed our faces. Factory farming is big business, and it’s destroying our world.

Factory farming is the process of raising a high number of animals for the purpose of food, in the most efficient way possible–and treating them less like living beings than like a resource to be maximized, whatever the cost to their, and our, quality of life.

According to the ASPCA, over 99 percent of farm animals in the United States are raised in atrocious factory farms. To help show how terrible these factory farms are, here are five documentaries that will make you want to change your diet.

1. Indigestible: The Film (2014)

Colorado dairy farm is being investigated for it's cruelty towards calves.
Of all the agricultural land in the U.S., 80 percent is used to raise animals for food and grow grain to feed them. That’s almost half the total land mass of the lower 48 states. Photo credit: foodnavigator.com

There are quite a number of films dedicated to factory farms, but not many manage to bring the point home as strongly as Indigestible. It does this by making viewers think about what they are eating. Interviews with a variety of different workers and experts do more than just tug at heartstrings. These experts bring logic, science, and reason to an emotionally charged cause.

2. Farm to Fridge (2011)

Photo Credit: Mercy For Animals
Ag-gag laws make it illegal to expose the activities of factory farms. Photo Credit: Mercy For Animals

Farm to Fridge takes a different approach than Indigestible, but the end result is equally effective. The filmmakers use hidden camera footage and gut wrenching images to show what life is like for the poor animals stuck (and often mistreated and abused) on factory farms. Follow along as closed doors are opened for the first time on film. The Farm to Fridge Tour, which recently came to an end, brought the film to more than 40 cities across the country and was a huge success.

3. Cock Fight (2015)

Of all the agricultural land in the U.S., 80 percent is used to raise animals for food and grow grain to feed them. That’s almost half the total land mass of the lower 48 states. Photo Credit: PETA
Cock Fight documents one man’s battle against the chicken industry. Photo Credit: PETA

The only way to really understand what life is like on a factory farm for both animal and human is by talking to a factory farmer first-hand. In Cock Fight from Fusion TV (check here for details), we get to see life on a factory farm from the farmer’s point of view. Many farmers just want to do what they love and be able to feed their families. Unfortunately, this is not the case more often than not. One farmer speaks out against chicken giant Perdue, and he faces extreme retaliation in return. For the first time, we get to see how big corporations are forcing the small farmer into factory farming and lying to the public.

4. Food, Inc. (2008)

Photo Credit: Food, Inc.
From the creators of An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc. lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry. Photo Credit: Food, Inc.

Not the first documentary to open our eyes to the abuses of factory farms, but Food, Inc. is definitely one of the most effective. The film influences us through interviews and shocking truths about the farms, companies, and food. The true gem in this film is the insight into how the American government, through the USDA and FDA, actually promote and cover up these atrocities. This documentary helped to start a huge movement and backlash against our current way of living and eating, one that has only grown stronger with time.

5. Vegucated (2011)

In this documentary, three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Photo Credit: GetVegucated.com
In this documentary, three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Photo Credit: GetVegucated.com

If you’re not necessarily in the mood to be shocked and disgusted, but still want to learn a bit and broaden your horizons, Vegucated was made for you. Unlike other films on this list, this film uses humor to help show the truths behind our favorite foods. Three non-vegans agree to go vegan for six weeks. As they are educated and enlightened, so are we.

Every one of these films does an amazing job showing how the food we take for granted is processed. The animals on these factory farms have no protection or rights, yet they live, breathe, and feel just like we do. If you are ready to change the world, taking a stand against factory farms is a great first step.

— Maria Ramos, exclusive to Global Animal

Maria is a writer interested in comic books, cycling, and horror films. Her hobbies include cooking, doodling, and finding local shops around the city. She currently lives in Chicago with her two pet turtles, Franklin and Roy. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaRamos1889.

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