Factory Farming Essay
Poultry is by far the number one meat consumed in America; it is versatile, relatively inexpensive compared to other meats, and most importantly it can be found in every grocery store through out the United States. All of those factors are made possible because of factory farming. Factory farming is the reason why consumers are able to purchase low-priced poultry in their local supermarket and also the reason why chickens and other animals are being seen as profit rather than living, breathing beings. So what is exactly is factory farming? According to Ben Macintyre, a writer and columnist of The Times, a British newspaper and a former chicken farm worker, he summed up the goal of any factory farm “... to produce the maximum quantity of edible meat, as fast and as cheaply as possible, regardless of quality, cruelty or hygiene” ( Macintyre, 2009). Factory farmers do not care about the safety of the consumers nor the safety of the chicken, all the industrial farmers have in mind are how fast they can turn a baby chick into a slaughter size chicken and how to make their chicken big and plumped. Factory farming is not only a health hazard to the well-being of the animals, but the environment, and human beings ;thus free range and sustainable farming need to be put into practice.
Industrial farmers see chicken and other animals such as: cow, pigs, and goat as egg and dairy production and not as an intellectual individuals. From the birth of a baby chick to their death on the production line, chicken endure pain and suffer through out their entire short lives. Baby chicks are de-beak then they are move to battery cages that are wired up high in warehouses that are filled with artificial lighten. The cages are so confined that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS, 2009) states that “The cages offer less space per hen than the area of a single sheet of paper. Severely restricted inside the barren cages, the birds are unable to engage in nearly any of their natural habits, including nesting, perching, walking, dust bathing, foraging, or even spreading their wings” (HSUS, 2009).
The chicken are not only being held at a confine filthy environment but they are also being feed cheap grain and antibiotics to promote growth in a fast pace. The chicken will grow so big due to the hormone that their bone cannot support their weight, therefore causes leg problem which in result of bone disease. Consumers like children who love chicken nuggets and chicken wings are also ingesting those antibiotics in their body every time they consume poultry that has been treated with growth hormone.
After being fed daily with antibiotics, the chicken are big enough to go off to the slaughter house. The only federal law in the United States, which first enacted in 1958 is the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (HMLSA). That law was to protects farm animals and requires that the animals be rendered insensible to pain before they are slaughtered to ensure...
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Factory farming is one of the most controversial topics talked about around the world. Most people just believe their perfectly packaged meat from the supermarket comes from a normal farm. Little do they know, it’s much more than that. Consumers have no idea what animals go through just for them to have a great chicken or steak dinner. Jessica Leader of the Huffington Post states, 99% of the meat in the United States comes from factory farms. (Leader, paragraph1). Factory farming according to Webster’s Dictionary is a farm on which large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost. This doesn’t sound so hurtful or damaging, but according to the Huffington Post, these operations cause distress for the animals that live there, and they are given chemicals, antibiotics and sometimes they even have diseases (Paragraph 2). Factory farming, in my opinion is really animal savagery and there is nothing healthy or positive about it.
There are actually many health and environmental problems associated with industrial farming. For example, Jonathan Foer in his book, “Eating Animals” states “These animals are genetically engineered, restricted in mobility and fed unnatural diets.” (Page 34) Anything unnatural obviously can’t be healthy for the animals let alone the people who are being fed these animals after they are packaged and sent away to markets. In addition, factory farms are not healthy for the environment. A farm with 10,000 hogs produces as much fecal waste as a small city with 40,000 people, says Robert Martin of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of public health. (Kristof, Nicholas, page 2). Food people are consuming and fecal waste should not even be in the same association with each other. The hogs in a single country of North Carolina produce half as much waste as all of the people living in New York City. That fact right there clearly shows that factory farms are using very unsanitary conditions just to harm these animals, as well as the environment.
Although not intentional, these farms hurt the animals without a care because people need to eat. Mass amounts of waste is a perfect example of air pollution. Soil used for vast crops as well as the manure are the largest contributors to air pollution from the farms. Another big health risk of factory farming is the use of chemicals/antibiotics. Antibiotics are medicine prescribed from a doctor to humans or animals to kill infections and more then 80% of antibiotics was produced in 2011 to be fed to livestock. (Leader, #2) Factory farmers are giving these to the animals who aren’t sick. Routinely they are given antibiotics, in order to help them grow quicker in small living conditions. Infections can also be given because of antibiotics, which puts Americans at risk everyday because of overuse (Paragraph 13). The animals are fed the medicines to fight disease that they don’t have, pretty much infecting the humans as well. People could be getting sick because of the foods their eating everyday without even knowing it. Taking antibiotics not prescribed to you sometimes allows unwanted bacteria to grow causing a person to get sick when they weren’t going to be in the first place.
Although there seems to be no positive reasons as to why factory farming could benefit anyone, the only benefit besides people not starving really is it’s efficiency. Because it’s a fast and organized system, these farms have no choice but to make a lot of money for themselves and the government. Consumers are obviously buying all things that are being made mainly because they don’t really know what’s being put into the meat they are buying. Because there are not enough reasons to convince me why factory farming is positive to anyone at all, I think that it’s a very negative way to get our food. Kristof states in his article “Is That Sausage Worth This?” that animals, “Live out their adult lives without exercise or meaningful social interaction; it’s like a life sentence of solitary confinement in a coffin…” (Kristof, Nicholas, Paragraph 7).
In no way, shape or form is that fair to an innocent animal. Animals shouldn’t have to be kept prisoners in small places just to be poisoned, killed and eaten. All of the various drugs and chemicals are harming the animals and humans that it touches. More animals are being slaughtered and fed different chemicals that aren’t safe for people to be eating all the time. If the government truly cared about societies health, they would try to stop unsanitary and unhealthy conditions such as this. In 1906, a situation just as similar to this had risen with the meat packing industry.
In that year, Upton Sinclair a reformer/socialist released his book The Jungle which told a horrible story of Chicago’s meat packing industry. Because of this book, society started to change severely. The issue of the unsanitary and unfair working conditions got to the president and he knew he had to make a change. President Theodore Roosevelt had a bill signed on June 30th of that same year, called The Meat Inspection Act. This banned packers from using unhealthy dyes, chemical preservatives and adulterants. By studying what happened to improve the industry in the 1900’s I believe that our food system could then make some changes.
This act should still be in effect, but the way it’s been worked around, it seems as if factory farming really isn’t harming people at all. It’s an undercover system. Obama already started trying to fix these problems by undertaking a push beginning in 2010 to strengthen antitrust of the meat industry. Kristof, Nicholas, Paragraph 4). I still believe that overtime they could find better products to give the animals that are safer and healthier for both them to live a little longer, and us to be healthier.
Personally, I believe that if people including myself start to buy more healthier, organic foods, and less meat, producers will start to realize that maybe people are seeing the truth. Organic foods are just made in a safer way, without really harming animals and they’re also more nutritious as well. Also, in some way people need to be informed of what’s really being put into their food and actually try to make a difference instead of sitting there and watching themselves be harmed by things that should be giving them a better well being. Over time, hopefully factory farms die out and there will be a better system to produce our foods.
Analysis of Sources Form
Give the following information for each source that you
use in your research paper.
Title of Source 9 Facts About Factory Farming that Will Break Your Heart . Name of Author Jessica Leader . Date of publication March 17, 2014 . Publisher: The Huffington Post . Where did you find the source? Online . Type of Source (Is your source a book, magazine, newspaper, journal, etc?) The source is an online article from a newspaper. Credentials of the author: Check your source for information about the author or google his/her name) Jessica Leader is the Huffpost Green associate editor.
Publisher: How long has the publisher been in business? What other publications does the publisher publish?____Not sure how long the publisher has been in business, but she wrote several articles in the Huffington Post . Reasons why this source is reliable:____Real information and real live pictures to show how gruesome factory farming is. Reasons why this source may be unreliable: There may be some opinions listed, not all people may be heart broken from this.
Title of Source Eating Animals . Name of Author Jonathan Safran Foer . Date of publication 2009 .
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company . Where did you find the source? I was told to read this novel last semester in English 12. Type of Source (Is your source a book, magazine, newspaper, journal, etc?) Source is a book . Credentials of the author: Check your source for information about the author or google his/her name) Foer is most known for his two novels Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Known especially for his storytelling in non-traditional ways . Publisher: How long has the publisher been in business?
What other publications does the publisher publish? His first novel was published in 2002, and he’s written many other books as well. Reasons why this source is reliable: first hand source, someone who has experienced and studied factory farming on his own. Reasons why this source may be unreliable: The novel includes a lot of his opinion and a reader may interpret those things as facts. Source 3)
Title of Source Is That Sausage Worth This? Name of Author Nicholas Kristof . Date of publication February 19, 2014 . Publisher: The New York Times . Where did you find the source? CUNY online library . Type of Source (Is your source a book, magazine, newspaper, journal, etc?) Online, newspaper article.
Credentials of the author: Check your source for information about the author or google his/her name) Columnist for The New York Times since 2001, writes op-ed columns that are in the paper twice a week. Mr. Kristof won the Pulitzer Prize two times, in 1990 and 2006. Publisher: How long has the publisher been in business? What other publications does the publisher publish? He joined the Times in 1984, and as well as columns in the paper he is the author of a chapter in a book on George W. Bush. Reasons why this source is reliable: He has been in the business for a very long time, so he is clearly smart and speaks facts. Reasons why this source may be unreliable: Newspaper columnists can too make mistakes when writing. Source 4)
Title of Source The Unhealthy Meat Market . Name of Author Nicholas Kristof . Date of publication March 12, 2014 . Publisher: The New York Times .
Where did you find the source? CUNY online library .
Type of Source (Is your source a book, magazine, newspaper, journal, etc?)
Online, newspaper article.
Credentials of the author: Check your source for information about the author or google his/her name) Columnist for The New York Times since 2001, writes op-ed columns that are in the paper twice a week. Mr. Kristof won the Pulitzer Prize two times, in 1990 and 2006. Publisher: How long has the publisher been in business? What other publications does the publisher publish? He joined the Times in 1984, and as well as columns in the paper he is the author of a chapter in a book on George W. Bush. Reasons why this source is reliable: He has been in the business for a very long time, so he is clearly smart and speaks facts. He wouldn’t continue to be working with the Times if he wasn’t knowledgable. Reasons why this source may be unreliable: Sometimes there are errors in breaking news.
Leader, Jessica. “9 Facts About Factory Farming That Will Break Your Heart (GRAPHIC PHOTOS).” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/factory-farming-facts_n_4063892.html
Foer, Jonathan Safran. Eating animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2009. Print.
Kristof, Nicholas. “Is That Sausage Worth This?.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/opinion/kristof-is-that-sausage-worth-this.html
Kristof, Nicholas. “The Unhealthy Meat Market.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/opinion/kristof-the-unhealthy-meat-market.html