Factory Farms Issues

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“Where’s the beef?” This once popular catch phrase was coined by Wendy’s in the 1980’s to marginalize the size of the burger patties on competitors’ burgers; but I am afraid that in coming years this phrase will be a not so humorous rhetoric commenting on the bleak state of our food market. One of the greatest challenges that we will face in the 21st century is figuring out how to feed the world population while reducing environmental impact. Factory farms have arisen in the last 25 years to replace small farms in order to meet the demand for meat in the United States. But in recent years these industrialized farms have met a lot of public outcry over environmental and ethical concerns over their agricultural practices. In order to combat …show more content…
Animals are caged so tightly that they often cannot even turn around and they are confined indoors with little access to sunlight and to fresh air. The animals are also often times mutilated in order to adapt them to factory farm conditions. These mutilations can include cutting off the beaks of chickens and turkeys as well as cutting off the tails of pigs and cows (“Industrial Livestock,” n.d.). Deplorable conditions and practices such as these are a large part of why consumers decide to purchase their meat and dairy products from non-industrial farms; however, these farms are not innocent either. Farmers that raise their chickens on pasture use industrial breeds of chicken that are bred to fatten up quickly in confinement and as a result these chickens develop leg injuries from pecking around large pastures. Another example is that farmers will routinely attach nose rings to free range pigs in order to keep them from rooting which happens to be a natural instinct for pigs (Mcwilliams, 2012). As you can see, in both farm settings the animals are subjugated to practices that can be considered to be inhumane which is why I think stopping this inhumane treatment of animals requires another option, or at the very least more federal regulations in the …show more content…
According to a report by the United Nations, the livestock industry is a greater contributor to global warming than the transportation industry (Baur, 2011)! Transitioning to more non-industrial farms would make this problem even worse. Cows that are grass-fed emit a considerable amount more of methane than grain fed cows do and chickens that are pastured organic have a twenty percent greater effect on global warming (Mcwilliams, 2012). Any increase in either type of farm would have an increased negative impact environmentally which I cannot say I am okay with.
As it stands currently, we are running out of land. About one third of the world’s farmable land has been lost in the last 40 years (“Industrial Livestock,” n.d.), and according to an international team of researchers about 75% of the world’s agricultural land is currently devoted just to raising livestock (“Eat Less,” 2011). World hunger is already a prominent issue, our population is growing, demand for more meat is increasing, and there just isn’t enough land to resolve these

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