Just How BIG Is Big-Ag?
By CIWF / ciwf.org.uk
Feb 2, 2015
Many people talk about Big Ag, but it’s hard to get across just how big “big” can be. This infographic lets you size up some of America’s biggest factory farms against a handful of world-famous landmarks – prepare to be staggered.

big ag

Satellite image of factory farm in North America (Copyright Google earth)

When most of us think of a factory farm, it’s likely that images of big, warehouse-like barns spring to mind – sprawling, windowless and without an animal in sight. And while that’s not a million miles from the truth, it’s only half the story: it ignores the unimaginable scale of some of America’s largest industrial-livestock operations. Many of these are feedlots, which cram cattle into vast outdoor pens instead of inside buildings.

And while scale alone is not necessarily a concern in farming – after all, you can have a sustainable, extensive farm that rolls on for miles – when it’s combined with an intensive approach, you have a serious problem. Generally speaking, the more intensive the farm, the higher the threat to animal welfare and the environment (and the larger the farm, the greater the threat).

America’s “mega” farms

The most immense industrial-livestock farms are wastelands of truly epic proportions. They are foul, ruined landscapes, where putrid lagoons of animal waste lie stagnant, poisoning the air and submerging the soil.

In recent years, the Manchester-based artist Mishka Henner has done a lot to draw attention to these vast, annihilated landscapes of America. His best-known pieces are this series of feedlot images – grey-and-brown satellite images of factory farms enhanced with splashes of colour.

Using the same satellite images (thanks to Google Earth), we decided to put the scale of these vast farms into focus, with the help of some world-famous landmarks.

factory farm scale

0.0 ·
0
Featured Pay Per View Films
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min
Within Reach (2013)
87 min
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min
Trending Today
Being Crazy in a Sick Society Is Actually Healthy
Sofo Archon7,405 views today ·
What Happened When One Family Decided to Go Outdoors Three Hours a Day for a Year
Hannah Alexander6,170 views today ·
Depression-Busting Exercise Tips for People Too Depressed to Exercise
Sarah Kurchak5,998 views today ·
Depression Is a Disease of Civilization: Hunter-Gatherers Hold the Key to the Cure
Sara Burrows5,572 views today ·
Born Sexy Yesterday: Another Gendered Hollywood Movie Trope That Needs to Die
18 min4,552 views today ·
The Cultural Sickness That Needs to Be Named
Joe Brewer4,464 views today ·
The Demoralized Mind
John Schumaker3,588 views today ·
Empire Files: A Massacre of Farmers in US-Colombia ‘War On Drugs’
30 min3,415 views today ·
The Myth of Romantic Love May Be Ruining Your Health
Susanne Vosmer2,490 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

If you feel like you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today. Every little bit helps.

Join us on Facebook
Just How BIG Is Big-Ag?