The Five Freedoms

The European Union currently leads the world in CAFO reforms. These changes are rooted in a seminal report produced in 1997 by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), an independent advisory body established by the British government that adopted a previously conceived set of principles known as “the five freedoms.” Originally developed in the 1965 Brambell Committee report on animal welfare, the five freedoms have become guideposts for various animal rights, animal welfare, and humane organizations around the world. They include:

1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.

2. Freedom from discomfort
by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

3. Freedom from pain, injury, or disease
by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

4. Freedom to express normal behavior
by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animals’ own kind.

5. Freedom from fear and distress
by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering. [i]

[i] Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, “Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Animal Production in America”, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2008, p. 35.


Social and Economic Justice for Farming Communities

Center for Rural Affairs
(402) 687-2100
Works to establish strong rural communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship, and genuine opportunity for all while engaging people in decisions that affect the quality of their lives and the future of their communities.

Corporate Agribusiness Research Project
(425) 258-5345
A public interest project reinstituted in 1996, sponsored by Voice for a Viable Future; seeks to provide a central, accurate, in-depth source of information about corporate agribusiness’s economic, social, and environmental impacts on family farmers, rural communities, ecosystems, labor, and consumers.

Farm Aid
(617) 354-2922
Raises public awareness about the plight of the American family farmer and provides assistance to families whose livelihood is dependent on agriculture.

Farmer’s Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG)
(651) 223-5400
A nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services to family farmers and their communities to help keep family farmers on the land.

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
(612) 870-0453
In 1986 began documenting the underlying causes of America’s rural crisis and proposing policies to benefit farmers, consumers, rural communities, and the environment.

National Family Farm Coalition
(202) 543-5675
Represents family farm and rural groups whose members face the challenge of the deepening economic recession in rural communities.

Socially Responsible Agriculture Project
(208) 315-4836
Educates the public about the problems caused by factory farms, and works to help communities protect themselves against the devastating impacts of these facilities.

Diversity Protection

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
(919) 542-5704
Founded in 1977, the pioneer U.S. organization working to conserve historic breeds and genetic diversity in livestock.

Rare Breeds International
+ 00 (3) 023109-98683 (international)
The only international nongovernmental organization working to prevent the loss of diversity in global farm animal genetic resources through encouraging and supporting relevant activities and research by NGOs and governments; offers information on events and links to national organizations.

Rare Breeds Journal
(308) 665-1431
A complete guide to the alternative livestock industry covering a variety of rare and minor breeds of livestock.

Slow Food: Ark of Taste
List of Ark foods:
Local producers of Ark foods:

Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity
+ 39 0172 419 701 (international)
Supports projects in defense of food biodiversity in more than fifty countries and promotes a sustainable agriculture that respects the environment and the cultural identity of local people and promotes animal well-being.

Finding Sustainable Animal Products

American Grassfed Association
(877) 774-7277
Protects and promotes true grass-fed producers and grass-fed products through national communication, education, research, and marketing efforts.

American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA)
(888) 662-7772
Website lists members to help consumers find pasture-raised poultry.

Chefs Collaborative: Local Food Search
(617) 236-5200
Culinary organization that provides its members with tools for running economically healthy, sustainable food service businesses, with a special focus on seafood.

Eat Well Guide
(212) 991-1858
A free online directory of thousands of family farms, restaurants, and other outlets for fresh, locally grown food.

Eat Wild
(866) 453-8489
A source for information about the benefits of raising animals on pasture; links to local farms that sell all-natural, delicious, grass-fed products; and a marketplace for farmers who raise their livestock on pasture.

Food Routes
(570) 673-3398
A national nonprofit dedicated to reintroducing Americans to their food—the seeds it grows from, the farmers who produce it, and the routes that carry it from the fields to our tables.

Grass-Fed Livestock Producer Contacts
A listing of grass-fed beef, sheep, pig, bison, and goat producers compiled by the University of California Cooperative Extension Service and California State University, Chico, for the purposes of providing scientific information on grass-fed livestock.

Humane Farm Animal Care
(703) 435-3883
Offers Certified Humane Raised and Handled certification, the only U.S. farm animal welfare and food labeling program dedicated to improving the welfare of farm animals from birth through slaughter for the 10 billion farm animals raised for food each year.

Local Harvest
(831) 515-5602
An organic and local food website, maintaining a public nationwide directory of small farms, farmers’ markets, and other local food sources.

Seafood Watch
(831) 648-4800
A Monterey Bay Aquarium program designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources; recommends which seafood to buy or avoid and helps consumers to become advocates for environmentally friendly seafood.

Smart Seafood Guide
(202) 683-2500
A guide created by Food and Water Watch to help consumers find sustainable seafood and make informed choices.

Vegetarian / Vegan Eating

FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement)
(301) 530-1737
A nonprofit, public interest organization promoting vegan, plant-based diets to save animals, protect the environment, and improve health.
A website created by PETA to provide information and resources for vegetarian eating.

Imitation Meat Resources (includes taste testing and rankings)

Vegetarian Protein Sources

Sustainable and Healthy Animal Agriculture

Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA)
(617) 636-0966
Aims to strengthen society’s defenses against infectious disease by promoting appropriate antimicrobial access and use and by controlling antimicrobial resistance on a worldwide basis.

ATTRA (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service)
(800) 346-9140
Formerly Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas; provides information and other technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, extension agents, educators, and others involved in sustainable agriculture in the United States.

Center for a Livable Future (CLF)
(410) 502-7578
Engaged in research, educational outreach, and community action in its program areas of farming, eating, and living for our future.

Center for Food Safety (CFS)
(202) 547-9359
A nonprofit public interest and environmental advocacy membership organization established in 1997 to challenge harmful food production technologies and promote sustainable alternatives.

Clean Water Action
A 1.2-million-member political action group working to protect the environment, public health, economic well-being, and community quality of life; several state offices are involved in factory farm issues. See website for regional office contact information.

Clean Water Network
(202) 547-4208
A coalition of more than 1,200 U.S. public interest organizations representing more than 5 million people working together to strengthen and implement federal clean water and wetlands policy.

Environmental Integrity Project
(512) 637-9479
A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in 2002 by former Environmental Protection Agency enforcement attorneys to advocate for more effective enforcement of environmental laws.

Food and Water Watch
(202) 683-2500
A nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food.

Holistic Management International
(505) 842-5252
A nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the health of degraded private, public, and communal grasslands worldwide.

Institute for Environmental Research and Education (IERE)
(206) 463-7430
Provides a Sustainable Agriculture Program designed to help farmers produce meat, dairy, and other farm products that are safer for people and for the environment and that use that improved quality as a marketing tool.

Keep Antibiotics Working
(773) 525-4952
A coalition of health, consumer, agricultural, environmental, humane, and other advocacy groups with more than 10 million members dedicated to eliminating a major cause of antibiotic resistance—the inappropriate use of antibiotics in food animals.

Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture
(918) 647-9123
A nonprofit education foundation whose mission is to assist in developing sustainable food and farming systems.

Land Stewardship Project
(612) 722-6377
Works to create a food system that protects soil, water, and wildlife resources; that promotes fairness and economic opportunities for family farms and rural communities; and that provides safe and healthful food for all people.

National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
(212) 727-2700
One of the nation’s most active environmental action groups, combining the grassroots power of 1.2 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists, and other professionals.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
(202) 547-5754
One of the nation’s most active environmental action groups, combining the grassroots power of 1.2 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists, and other professionals.

Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP)
(301) 379-9107
Independent commission formed to conduct a comprehensive, fact-based and balanced examination of key aspects of the farm animal industry - through the lenses of veterinary medicine, agriculture, public health, business, government, rural advocacy, and animal welfare.

Stockman Grass Farmer
(601) 853-1861
Since 1947, a publication devoted solely to the art and science of making a profit from grassland agriculture.

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
(914) 366-6200
A nonprofit farm, educational center, and restaurant in the heart of Westchester County that works to celebrate, teach, and advance community-based food production and enjoyment.

Sustainable Table
(212) 991-1930
Celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers on food-related issues, and works to build community through food.

Union of Concerned Scientists
(617) 547-5552
Combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Animal Feeding Operations:
CAFO Effluent Guidelines:
Government agency working to protect human health and the environment.

Waterkeeper Alliance
(914) 674-0622
Connects and supports local Waterkeeper programs to provide a voice for waterways and their communities worldwide, championing clean water and strong communities.

Wild Farm Alliance
(831) 761-8408
Promotes agriculture that helps to protect and restore wild nature.

Animal Welfare / Animal Rights

American Humane Association
(800) 227-4645; (303) 792-9900
Created the first welfare certification program in the United States (American Humane Certified) to ensure the humane treatment of farm animals.

Animal Welfare Institute
(202) 337-2332
A nonprofit charitable organization working to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans—with an emphasis on cruel animal factories that raise and slaughter pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals.

Compassion in World Farming
+ 44 (0)1483 521 950 (international)
Founded in 1967 by a British farmer who became horrified by the development of modern intensive factory farming; campaigns peacefully to end all cruel factory farming practices.

Farm Sanctuary
(607) 583-2225, ext. 221
Works to end cruelty to farm animals and promotes compassionate living through rescue, education, and advocacy.

Humane Farming Association
(415) 771-2253
Protects farm animals from cruelty; the public from the dangerous misuse of antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals used on factory farms; and the environment from the impacts of industrialized animal factories.

Humane Society of the United States: Factory Farming Campaign
(202) 452-1100
As the largest animal protection organization in the nation, takes a leadership role on farm animal advocacy issues.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
Animal cruelty hotline: (757) 622-7382
As the largest animal rights organization in the world, focuses its attention on four areas: factory farms, laboratories, the clothing trade, and the entertainment industry.

Shed Your Skin
A campaign promoting alternatives to wool, fur, and leather:  “Join kind people everywhere and shed your skins—wear only compassionate, animal-free clothing.”

World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
(800) 883-9772
Has promoted animal welfare for more than twenty-five years, concentrating on regions of the world where few, if any, measures exist to protect animals.

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