Essay Summary of Factory Farming
December 4, 2012 Factory Farming With the rising population growth in the United States, food production has greatly changed. Factory farming was developed in the 1920’s; soon after the discovery of vitamins A and D, these vitamins were added to the feed, eliminating the requirement for exercise and sunlight for growth. But what exactly is a factory farm? Factory farming is the dominate source of livestock food for the U. S. Harsh and cruel conditions are inflicted towards the animals which are confined in small cages, the factorys are inhumane and morally wrong.
Simply put, it is a farm that runs like a factory. The dangers of this kind of agribusiness inflict not only the animals but the environment, communities and our health. Should factory farming be banned? The government refers factory farming as; concentrated (or confined) animal feeding operations (CAFOs). So what are the conditions of these ‘concentrated animal feeding operations? These facilities house hundreds or thousands of cows, calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and other animals that live in extremely stressful conditions.
They are confined in small cages, Jam packed in rooms with little to no room to move around or lay down comfortably. They are fed drugs to fatten them faster and keep them alive in conditions that could otherwise kill them. Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are used to make the animals grow faster or to produce much more milk or eggs than they naturally would. (Sorensen, 2009) When animals raised for food are large enough for the slaughter houses they are transported in crowded trucks with often no water or food. The animals that survive this grotesque trip are often slaughtered alive.
Practices such as altering animals bodies are common in all factory farms, practices such as; debeaking, A process that nvolves cutting through bone, cartilage and soft tissue with a blade to remove the top half and the bottom third of a chicken’s, turkeys or ducks beak. This measure is taken to reduce the excessive feather pecking and cannibalism seen among stressed, overcrowded birds in factory farms (ASPCA). So why aren’t factory farms banned? There are many reasons as to why these facilities flourish in the United States and other countries. Factory farms are an efficient way to produce food for the large demand of meat, at a low cost.
The large amount of Jobs it entails. They also ensure that huge cities will always have food. Factory farming has also promoted the development of vital amenities like good roads and hospitals among others (Harri). Corporations such as McDonalds and others alike are some of the largest consumers of the factory farming business. Without these farms it would be difficult, or impossible to provide chain restaurants with the amount of meat necessary in order to run efficiently. The people, we nourish this business by our desire for low priced food. Are these advantages actually positive or are we overlooking past the downsides?
The number of factory farms in the U. S. s undefined, but according to the Factory FarmMap. org; in 2007 there were 571 ,210 livestock units in New Mexico. New Mexico nas extreme levels ot dairy tactory farms. One of them being along interstate 10 southeast of Las Cruces, there are 30, 000 dairy cows on 11 back to back dairy farms. How are factory farms dangerous? Factory farms pollute our land, air, and water by the extreme amount of waste generated by the vast amount of animals being raised in one place. Land and water have been poisoned by decades of use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers for mass production of livestock feed.
According to the New Mexico Environment Department (Burnett, 2009); two thirds of the state’s dairies are contaminating groundwater with excess nitrogen from manure leaking from lagoons or being over applied to fields. Nitrous oxides are being released from farms in large quantities due to manure application and are among the leading causes of acid rain (Grace). Can we ban factory farming? It is irrational to think factory farming can be banned, although changes can be made. We can bring awareness to others about factory farming, and by buying local organic food at either farmers markets, or organic produce stores.