Factory farming is big business. Since the "products" of factoryfarming are living, breathing, sentient creatures, particular ethical issues are raised in a market system based on efficiency, productivity, costs of production, and profit. This paper focuses on the question of weather food animals in the American market system are subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering before they make it to our dinner plates. The single most important consideration, then, is an exploration of the extent to which economic considerations render factory farming not only lucrative but also necessary under present market conditions. The concern for "unnecessary suffering" moves the paper into an exploration of the extent to which the practices and effects of factory farming raise spiritual concerns which believers ought to address.