Massive fires at factory farms and other facilities happen with disturbing regularity, often producing staggering death tolls. Our spreadsheet is the systematic first attempt to total up these numbers worldwide. While it documents nearly 5 million farm animals killed by fires since the year 2000, the true number is doubtless much higher, for three main reasons:
- We obtained this data solely through English-language searches of journalism databases. Doubtless the overwhelming majority of fires happening in Africa, South America, and Asia are not reported in English, and therefore uncollected here.
- The tally omits many fires that killed fewer than 100 animals.
- There are undoubtedly numerous fires at factory farms that either go unreported, or have no publicly disclosed estimates of animal fatalities.
This project was conceived of by Erik Marcus for inclusion in his “Why Choose Vegan?” essay. The compiling of this data was overseen by Dr. Laura Dilley, with most of the data gathered by Samyuktha Iyer and Daniella Azoulay.
Altogether, between January 1st 2000 and April of 2018, fire-related deaths included 4.47 million chickens, 166,000 turkeys, 221,000 pigs, and just under 12,000 cattle. Complete details including dates of and locations of all fires are featured on the following spreadsheet.
Please note that the first page of our spreadsheet summarizes the death totals for each type of farm animal. You can click the tabs on the bottom of that spreadsheet to bring up secondary pages that offer detail about all data obtained and the methods used to gather this data.