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8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Health

Regional Focus

North America, United States

The Dirt on Factory Farms

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  • This short, animated video introduces students to the environmental, health, and moral implications of farming animals in a factory-like manner.
Teaching Tips


  • This is a fun way to teach students about the reality of where their animal products come from.
  • Students are also encouraged to take action by signing a petition to call for climate action by the livestock industry and the downsizing of factory farming.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a general understanding of the contribution of the animal farming industry to climate change.
  • The video advocates for an end to factory farming without reducing meat consumption. Students should be made aware that the latter is critical to addressing the environmental impacts of the meat industry.


  • Have students consider the environmental and health impacts of ending factory farming if meat consumption is not reduced.
  • This video can also be used in health and environmental science classes during lessons about the health impacts of living near industrial sites, and in social studies classes during lessons about environmental justice and environmental racism.
  • Use this video to learn more about the environmental impacts of meat production and this report to learn about the potential of plant-rich diets in solving climate change.
Scientist Notes
This video discusses concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) which are also known as factory farms, and how they and the meat industry impact the Earth’s climate. The welfare of the animals, workers, and communities who live near these farms are also discussed. The video does recognize that eating meat is a part of many cultures and does not try to guilt the individual, but it does encourage individuals to act to improve the conditions of the industry. A link to a petition is included. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, qualitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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