The four articles comprising this special issue of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS) originally were presented at the conference “Food Animal Husbandry and the New Millennium: Ethical, Environmental, and Societal Impacts,” organized jointly by the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society, and the Center for Animal Health and Productivity at the University of Pennsylvania. Two of the articles explore specific animal welfare concerns associated with modern farming methods; two address the theme of changing public perceptions of animal agriculture in general. Together, they provide an illuminating and critical appraisal of the food animal industry at the dawn of the 21st century.