How Big Is Big Beef?

By jacob dickson

So how big is Big Beef and our industrial agriculture system, you might ask? Just thought I’d share some interesting (read: scary) numbers on where your beef did notcome from.

Nicholas Lampert

According to the USDA’s data for APRIL 2008:

  • Beef production: 2.25 billion pounds. Cattle slaughtered: 2.96 million animals
  • Pork production: 2.02 billion pounds. Pigs slaughtered: 9.99 million animals

You might wonder how it is possible to slaughter and process nearly 3 million cows and 10 million pigs in one month completely out of view of the American consumer?

The secret lies in huge factory slaughterhouses. At the largest of these operations, 400 cows are processed each hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The scale and speed of these facilities often leads to poor working conditions, inhumane handing practices, and contamination of the food supply. When so many animals are handled in a factory-like fashion, one sick animal can taint thousands of pounds of meat, as weíve witnessed with the huge beef recalls in recent years.

All of the meat at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats is processed by small, independently owned facilities. These are facilities where, during a busy day, 10 cows are slaughtered. This scale allows for the safe and humane handling of all animals. Great care is taken and the risk to your food is greatly diminished.

We are proud of the dedication and commitment of our small-scale processors, and we believe in complete transparency in this system of production and distribution. We want you to meet the people who bring you your meat. If you’d like, we will schedule a visit for you at any of our facilities (though it is not for the squeamish).

To Learn More About Factory Farming :

The Meatrix : Award Winning cartoon spoofs on The Matrix movie series that highlight factory farming practices and their evils.

Factory Farm Map : Put together by Food and Water Watch. Has an interactive map showing number of factory farms and animals by region and county. Lots of other great info as well on water quality issues and sustainable agriculture practices.


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