The Omnivore’s Dilemma QotD

From The Ethics of Eating Animals, p. 317

To visit a modern Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) is to enter a world that for all its technological sophistication is still designed on seventeenth-century Cartesian principles: Animals are treated as machines–“production units”–incapable of feeling pain. Since no thinking person can possibly believe this anymore, industrial animal agriculture depends on a suspension of disbelief on the part of the people who operate it and a willingness to avert one’s eyes on the part of everyone else.

Terminology: does CAFO = factory farm?

Do the definitions of “CAFO” and “factory farm” differ?

According to, BloggerNews, and others, a factory farm is an AFO (animal feeding operation), and the largest, as determined by EPA guidelines, are CAFOs (concentrated or confined animal feeding organizations). But many sites, such as Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, use “CAFO” and “factory farm” interchangeably.

The Wisconsin Sierra Club site lists the baseline numbers of animals for a facility to be considered a large CAFO. It’s pretty horrifying.