Last month Crate Free Illinois hosted Chicago’s first factory Farmed animal welfare town hall, an event to raise the public’s awareness of the major issues with factory farming—the documented inhumane treatment of farm animals (especially the millions of confined pigs and chickens), the huge environmental impacts, and the plethora of health issues related to eating meat or even living near a factory farm or CAFO (concentrated Animal Feeding Operation).
Our state is the fourth largest pork producer in the country. It is home to millions of mother pigs that churn out the piglets that grow into food for over 12 million people in Illinois, as well as for consumers around the world.
But we believe it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We subscribe to the “three Rs:”
- Remove meat and animals from your diet
- Reduce meat and animal products in your diet
- Reject any products from factory farms and work toward only buying meat from local and humane farms
It’s about making more humane food choices. It’s about holding every grocery store, restaurant, and farmer accountable to humane animal welfare practices.
It’s about our grassroots activism. Help empty the cages at factory farms by consuming less meat and buying from local farms where the animals are pastured-raised. Support organizations (like ours) that are working to ban the extreme confinement of farm animals.
Panel and Town Hall
During our event, we had a robust dialogue and panel led by Mike Nowak of The Mike Nowak Show with Peggy Malecki, featuring:
- Marc Ayers – Humane Society of the United States, Illinois State Director
- Josh Richards – The Humane League, former Chicago Grassroots Coordinator
- Tyler Lodbell – Food and Water Watch, Staff Attorney
- Erin Kwiatkowski – Mercy for Animals, Corp. Partnerships Manager
- Jessica Chipkin – Crate Free Illinois, Founder
Watch the livestream of our entire town hall here:
Welcome to Chicago’s First Factory Farmed Animal Welfare Town Hall – An evening of food, film, and focus on the plight of animals on factory farms, hosted by Dovetail Brewery. Please join us for the panel discussion that followed the showing of the documentary, Carnivore’s Dilemma. The open forum discussion is led by Mike Nowak and includes Jessica Chipkin of Crate Free Illinois, Erin Kwiatkowski of Mercy For Animals, Josh Richards former grassroots coordinator of The Humane League, Marc Ayers of The Humane Society of the United States and Josh Lobdell of Food & Water Watch.
Posted by The Mike Nowak Show on Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Preceding the panel we screened the documentary, “Carnivore’s Dilemma.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Benoît Bringer questions what we give our children to eat. To feed a growing population, the world has embarked on a race to frenetic productivity that generates cruelty against animals, but also major health and environmental issues. Bringer reveals the terrible excesses of industrial breeding and meets women and men who invent another way of farming, respectful of nature and animals. “The Carnivore’s Dilemma” puts together positive and concrete initiatives that are already working and that could be our way of consumption tomorrow.
Chicagoans who want to help be a part of the solution turned out to learn about factory farming and its impact on animals and what ways we can all help.
How Can I Help?
First, we need your help in encouraging Aldi to ban gestation crates from their supply chain. Aldi is on pace to be the third largest grocer in the U.S., so them changing this would make a huge impact on our mother pigs.
We have also added a new page to our website, dedicated to giving you other tools and ideas in how you can help and change your behavior. From deciphering product labels, to recommendations on specific ways you can take action to help factory farmed animals, we hope you will find this page to be a helpful resource.
Thanks to our generous donors!
- Dovetail Brewery
- The Mike Nowak Show
- The Chicago Diner
- I Dream of Falafel (IDOF)
- Dimo’s Pizza
- Ste Martaen
- Beyond Meat
- La Kai Veganry
Composting provided by The Urban Canopy.
Photographer: Sam Damiano
About the Author: Lisa Lubin is an Emmy-award winning video producer and consultant, and writer and photographer. She’s a life-long animal lover from New Jersey who’s been living in Chicago for 20+ years. Lisa has also volunteered at PAWS and Feline Friends Chicago as a cat foster. She joined the Crate Free Illinois team in August 2016 and is now the executive director, website editor, and volunteer coordinator.