The Factory Farm Detox Takes a Bite Out of Farm Animal Cruelty

February 18, 2020

Happy pig

At the beginning of 2020 the ASPCA launched our second Factory Farm Detox, and we’ve been blown away by the response. In January alone, over 38,000 people signed up to replace factory farmed foods with more humane and sustainable alternatives. That’s more than double the number of participants of our first Factory Farm Detox! The goal of the detox is for participants to spend one week making more welfare-conscious choices (with the help of the ASPCA’s Shop With Your Heart consumer resources—including our welfare-certified and plant-based brand listlabel guide and new text message-based ShopKind Helpline). 

Many of us are shocked and saddened by the steady stream of news stories and videos exposing farm animal abuse, dangerous meat and poultry recalls, and environmental devastation. But we can turn this sadness into action. As animal advocates and consumers, we have the power to be compassionate and kind through our food choices. The Factory Farm Detox was created to give consumers a way to eat in alignment with their values, and fight back against the negative impacts of the industrial operations that raise 95% of farm animals across the U.S. in intensive confinement and deplorable conditions.

“Every food purchase is a vote for how animals should be raised, and consumers have the power to show that there is no market for farm animal cruelty,” said Kara Shannon, Senior Manager of the ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare Department. “The Factory Farm Detox provides consumers with the tools to make informed purchases, cutting through misleading claims and helping people support farmers who are actually raising animals in more humane systems.”

During the detox, former New York Times food writer Mark Bittman and celebrity chefs like Bill Telepan and Naama Tamir contributed their tips, recipes and inspirational adviceWe also worked with organizations addressing the non-animal-related problems caused by factory farming, such as pollution, antibiotic abuse and unjust employment practices. 

“Despite a busy work schedule and social life, I was able to meet the challenge,” said one Detoxer. “I chose vegan/vegetarian recipes when dining out and was able to share with others why I was making this choice.” Another participant added, “My motto is progress and not perfection, but one week of zero animal products has been amazing. It’s a true lifestyle change for me.” 

Small actions, when taken by a large group of compassionate people, can make a HUGE difference: If each Detoxer went meatless for just one day, that would save nearly 3,000 animals’ lives! To keep your detox going, you can find and cook up some delicious recipes on our Factory Farm Detox Recipes page.

2020 may be well underway, but the challenge remains open year-round. Sign up now to participate in a Monday-through-Sunday detox during the week of your choosing.