As a very small hobby farmer (the farm is small, not me) who is a sustainable ag nut I am quite pleased to read this thread. We used to have a CSA group but quit after the new organic laws went through and we had an incident w/ some PETA folks.
Our chickens roam where ever they please all day long. Our pigs are raised in pastures not concrete pens.
Another factor not mentioned is breeds. Todays pigs, chickens and just about everything else (unless you seek heirlom breeds, see website below) are engineered for production NOT taste. My chickens don't raise chicks...it has been bred out of them. In six years, we have had ONE single hen that raised chicks. http://www.albc-usa.org/
Most pigs are not what was available years ago. Very lean w/ almost no fat. The processors want them delivered at between 220# and 230#...all the equipment is sized for them. Chickens are pretty much the same...standards are the rule. BTW, both pigs and chickens are usually fed antibiotics in their feed from birth to death.
Beef is a bit different. They get a growth hormone implant just after having their goodies removed. http://www.mindfully.org/Farm/2003/RALGRO-Implant-Advertising28dec03.htm
These steers will weigh an extra 60-80 pounds at slaughter...the difference between profit and loss for a rancher. The markets demanded these changes.
Americans want meat delivered under plastic. "Easy peasey, nice and easy". A steak in a meat counter doesn't relate to a doe eyed steer.
On the flip side my Latino, Oriental and Muslim customers want the animal alive. They want to kill it and clean it. Whole new meaning to fresh meat.