Last week Crate Free Illinois and the Humane League-Chicago partnered to host, Reduce Farm Animal Suffering in Illinois: “Eating Animals,”  an event to raise the public’s awareness of the major issues with factory farming and put an end factory farming cruelty — from the documented inhumane treatment of farm animals (especially the millions of confined pigs and chickens) and the huge environmental impacts to the plethora of health issues related to eating meat or even living near a factory farm or CAFO (concentrated Animal Feeding Operation).

Eating Animals Screening


Nearly 100 people turned out to learn about factory farming and its impact on animals, people and our environment. We can’t thank you enough for your support!

Introducing Crate Free Illinois & The Humane League


Watch the Facebook live introduction and this important information from Crate Free Illinois founder, Jessica Chipkin and The Humane Leagues Chicago Grassroots Coordinator, Josh Richards.

Eating Animals, the Film


Farm Animal Suffering


During the event, guests watched the eye-opening documentary film Eating Animals. A feature length Sundance film, narrated and produced by Natalie Portman; followed by a panel discussion on farm animal welfare.

Eating Animals Film screening


About the movie:
Over the past 40 years, factory farms have polluted our environment, endangered our health, forced traditional farmers out of business, and caused us all to be complicit in the inhumane treatment of animals. Eating Animals tells the story of the beginning of the end of factory farming and helps us picture a future where traditional farming is no longer a distant memory, but instead is an important part of the solution to fix our broken farming system.

Panel on Factory Farming and What We Can Do


Factory Farm Panel


After the film, we had a robust panel so attendees could learn more about how this affects us locally here in Illinois and what we can do to help our farm animals — the least protected and most exploited animals on the planet.

Cliff McConville Farmer


Panelists included:

• Marc Ayers – Illinois State Director, The Humane Society of the United States
• Cliff McConville – All Grass Farms, Humane Society Illinois Agricultural Advisory Council
• Ilana Braverman – Program Manager, Farm Forward
• Josh Richards – The Humane League, Chicago Grassroots Coordinator
• Jessica Chipkin – Crate Free Illinois, Founder

The informative panel was moderated by Chicago radio personality, Bill Turck of Playtime with Bill Turck & Kerri Kendall.

End Factory Farming Panel

Here is our Facebook video from the panel:


How can I Help?

We have added a new page to our website, dedicated to answering this question. 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.


We encourage you to share the link with others as well, to help create awareness about how our everyday choices really can make a difference in the lives of factory farmed animals.

Our state is the third largest pork producer in the country. We’re 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.

This doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We prescribe 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 us!) that are working to ban the extreme confinement of farm animals.


We’re very grateful to our sponsors and those who donated time, food and money.

Beyond Meat Burgers Chicago

Beyond Meat plant-based burgers


Thanks to our main sponsors:


Dovetail Brewery Loft

Thanks to our Food Donors:

  Ste Martaen

Composting provided by The Urban Canopy.

Photographer: Sam Damiano

The Urban Canopy Beyond Burger

Food line

Thanks to all for your support!


About the Author:  Lisa Lubin is an Emmy-award winning video consultant, producer, 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 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.  

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We are now Crate Free USA!


We have some news to share that we are pretty excited about…

We have changed our name to Crate Free USA!

But our mission remains the same: to reduce the suffering

of animals on factory farms.


We are still based in Illinois and will continue our grassroots efforts to support local farmers who pasture raise and treat their animals and the environment with respect. And, we’ll be as vocal as ever about the growth of factory farms in Illinois and beyond and all of the negative impacts on animals, the environment, and rural communities.


That said, we have also been working on national campaigns for a few years now — starting with our success in 2018 in getting Trader Joe’s to commit to a largely crate-free pork supply chain.  And now we are deeply engaged in two other campaigns, both national in scope, to get Aldi and Costco to take a strong stand for pig welfare and commit to a public timeline to go 100% crate-free.  


Our new name more clearly reflects the scope of our work and we are excited to continue our work on behalf of farmed animals across America. We hope you will continue to support us in this important work. Onwards!

Thank you!