This policy paper explores how US policies and practices regarding intensive animal agriculture are contributing to a worldwide environmental crisis.

This policy paper explores how US policies and practices regarding intensive animal agriculture are contributing to a worldwide environmental crisis.

The Animals and Society Institute (ASI) publishes a series of Policy Papers on specific animal issues and their impact in the public policy arena. Six Policy Papers have been published since 2006:

  • Dog Bites: Problems and Solutions by Janis Bradley, which was made possible with the generous support of the Animal Farm Foundation and is now in its second printing.
  • Animals in Disasters: Responsibility and Action by Leslie Irvine, PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder. This policy paper was made possible with the generous support of The Humane Society of the United States.
  • Elephants in Circuses: Analysis of Practice, Policy, and Future by G. A. Bradshaw, PhD.
  • Human-Animal Studies: Growing the Field, Applying the Field by Kenneth J. Shapiro, PhD.
  • Dolphin-Human Interaction Programs: Policies, Problems and Alternativesby Kristin L. Stewart, JD, PhD and Lori Marino, PhD
  • The CAFO Hothouse: Climate Change, Industrial Agriculture, and the Lawby David N. Cassuto

The Policy Papers are available for purchase through the ASI Web site.

The paper by David N. Cassuto, a professor at Pace School of Law and the director of the Brazil-American Institute for Law and Environment, is the latest to be published. It explores how industrial livestock operations contribute significant amounts of greenhouse gases while receiving little criticism but extensive financial incentives. Professor Cassuto writes,

When one factors in the environmental and social costs of factory farming (which consumers pay in the form of taxes, subsidies, clean-up costs and more), the price of those products increases dramatically. Nevertheless, agribusiness has made full use of its advantageous political and legal position. Few traditional farms remain; factory farms have married themselves fully into the nation’s infrastructure even as the realities of climate change make that relationship unsustainable and potentially catastrophic.

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