There’s a lot of talk about the environmental and social impacts of factory farming. But what does it really look like? If you’ve been following the headlines over the past few years, you’ve probably seen pictures of chickens packed into cages or pigs confined to gestation crates.
These images are striking because they represent the extreme end of something that is increasingly common: industrial animal production.
We raise more and more animals for food every year and we have done so at an alarming pace since the 1950s. Today, more than half of all livestock in the world is raised in industrial conditions. This is leading to a number of bad consequences for human health, wildlife, ecosystems and our climate.
Whether it’s from a restaurant or grocery store, we’re exposed to countless sources of animal products. However, most people are unaware of the cruelty and suffering behind the cheeses on their plates, the meats in their fridges, and the eggs in their nests.
Farm animals are raised in industrial settings where they live their entire lives indoors and don’t have access to natural sunlight. These confined spaces result in a high degree of stress and anxiety which causes many animals great pain and distress.
Moreover, factory farming results in extremely poor standards of hygiene which can lead to dangerous diseases like salmonella or E. coli. If you think about it, no other industry requires such a large amount of resources for such small output as an animal-based farm does.
This is why factory farms are bad for our environment as well as other creatures who don’t have any say over where they end up after death. Read on to know more reasons why factory farming should be eliminated from our society ASAP!
Water Usage is Out of Control
In our efforts to produce more food, we’ve come to rely on our ability to grow crops on a massive scale. However, our reliance on this one resource has resulted in its overuse. Even though it’s estimated that we’ll need 70% less water to produce the same amount of food, the industry is moving in the other direction.
One of the main reasons why water usage is out of control is the excessive use of pesticides, which are made with harmful chemicals. Similarly, the excessive use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and other chemicals have contaminated our water sources and have resulted in a water shortage for many nations.
Due to the fact that we have overused our water sources, we are now experiencing adverse effects like rising sea levels, extinction of many species, as well as diminishing of fresh water resources.
Another problem that has arisen because of overuse of water is the contamination of underground water sources. As a result, many farmers are now switching to irrigation systems that don’t require excessive amounts of water. However, we should not forget to mention that these systems don’t result in less food production and are bad for environment as well.
Animal Cruelty Is a Common Practice
No matter how much we try to conceal it, the truth will always come out. This is exactly what has happened to animal cruelty. Many people have become aware of the fact that some animals are raised for food and cosmetics, while others are used in medical research and testing.
Although this practice has been banned in many countries, it’s still going on in others. Even though meat and dairy consumption is down in many Western countries, it’s still an essential part of many cultures. To produce the same amount of meat that humans consume, an entire herd of cows is killed.
And this is just one example of animal cruelty. There are many more cruel practices animals are subjected to. These include the use of animals for entertainment, the training of animals for fighting, and experiments on animals.
Factory Farming Results in Poor Stature and Health
Like any other industry, there is a huge amount of competition in the meat and dairy production sector. It’s not surprising that most of the farmers are focused on increasing their output to stand out in the crowd as opposed to pursuing better quality products.
As a result, most of the livestock end up being raised in unhealthy conditions. Due to the fact that most of the animals are kept in confined spaces, they’re unable to perform natural behaviours like walking, grazing, and swimming.
Also, they’re fed high-calorie and unnatural diets, which result in obesity and other health issues. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the average American consumes approximately 35 pounds of antibiotics each year.
As these antibiotics make their way into rivers and groundwater, they promote the overgrowth of harmful bacteria that can cause serious health problems like antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
Factory Farming Causes Dangerous Diseases
In order to maintain high productivity of the livestock farms, animals are fed with high-calorie and unnatural diets. As a result, many of the animals develop health issues like heart disease, cancer, and chronic pain. Furthermore, the unhygienic conditions in which the animals are raised cause the spread of dangerous pathogens.
The excessive use of antibiotics and hormones in the feed supply of livestock has resulted in the mutation of bacteria, which makes them resistant to antibiotics. Moreover, the animals are kept in unsanitary conditions, which makes them a source of bacterial infection.
Factory Farming Results in Waste Disposal Issues
In the modern society, humans are expected to help the natural environment. However, the practices followed in the production of meat, dairy, and eggs have led to a great deal of waste. It’s estimated that we produce approximately 1.3 billion tons of garbage every year and only 18% of it is collected.
Out of this, only 9% is recycled and the rest is thrown away. As a result, we end up polluting our environment with harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases, which pose a serious threat to the future of our planet. Traditionally, the waste from farms was used as fertilizer. However, with the advent of chemical fertilizers, this practice has been discontinued.
Factory Farming Causes Air Pollution and Noise Intolerance
As the livestock farms have become more productive over the years, air pollution has also become a problem. It’s estimated that around 1.5 million deaths are caused due to air pollution each year.
Industrial farming has led to the emission of greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide, which have contributed to global warming. In addition to this, the livestock farms release ammonia and particulate matter, which negatively affect the health of humans and animals.
Factory Farming Results in Pain and Suffering for Animals
Animals are great source of entertainment for humans. However, there’s a serious issue with how animals are being treated in the meat and dairy farms. Animals are given unnatural diets, which result in obesity.
This leads to pain and suffering due to broken bones, open wounds on their bodies, and even heart disease. In addition to this, they’re subjected to violence and psychological stress due to their living conditions.
It’s a well-known fact that the more animals are abused, the less they are allowed to go through, themselves. It is not natural for any creature to spend their whole lives in a cage, often without enough food or water to survive. This is why factory farming is bad for both animals and the environment.
We encourage you to consider the following guidelines when deciding how to eat. Choose organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meat, and raw dairy products whenever possible. If you eat non-organic, factory-farmed animal products, consider adopting a vegetarian diet. Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts with us in the comment section below!