Ominous splotches of burgundy, salmon, and peach are usually reserved for maps illuminating the presence of sex offenders, spiraling crime rates, and dangerous pollution levels. Upon pulling up Food & Water Watch's interactive Factory Farm Map, some people will see that magnitude of foulness along with the fowl: broilers in Sonoma County and egg-laying chickens in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, all crammed into warehouses the size of shoeboxes and treated with a degree of indelicacy usually reserved for war criminals.

Dig the charts and streams of pertinent facts. The number of factory farm-raised animals rose between 1997 and 2007. The number of animals per factory farm grew during the same period. When you zoom in on a particular state, the information gets more specific, as you toggle between hogs, cattle, chickens, and dairy. For example, we just learned that half the egg-laying chicken factory farms are housed in just five states, one of which is California. The color-coded density levels are like cup sizes at Starbucks. “Extreme” is reserved for the most factory farm-plagued regions, followed by “Severe,” “High,” “Moderate,” and, finally, “None.” Naturally, there is no “Low.”

LA Weekly