Arsh Momin Crystal Wright English 1102 17 November 2008 Factory Farming Today, life on the farm isn’t what it used to be a few decades ago. The lively green landscape and peaceful barnyard outlook depicted in children’s books have been substituted with unventilated shacks, petite crates, chained pens, and other confinement units central to what is now known as “factory farming. ” Factory farming is a term used to describe a method of farming where animals are deprived of space, food, shelter and natural breeding patterns (Flynn 202). This is a form of large-scale, industrialized agriculture.
The primary aim of factory farms today is become to maliciously torture, damage, mutilate, or brutally kill the animals for mass production and profit. This is inhumane because it imposes torment on living creatures. The meat intake of Americans has significantly increased in the past few decades. As a result, more humanitarian treatment of farm animals and efforts to stop the spread of diseases are needed immediately to ensure the safety of all. The farmed birds and cattle used for meat are kept captive in dreadful conditions with layers of dead chicken or cattle as a carpet for other animals to step upon.
This causes the initiation of disease, and not only that, but also the vast expansion of it due to congested space affecting meat eaters in a deadly manner. The effects of mass factory farming includes the increase of disease multiplication, food poisoning, crime rate, domestic violence, and a crush of moral values in hopes of gaining a fortune at the expense of torture. The chickens used for meat are distorted genetically in order to boost their growth rate to twice their innate size and structure.
Due to this push, which exceeds their biological margins, millions of chickens are slaughtered before reaching the desired slaughter weight at six weeks (Chen 25). Chickens are kept in confined areas where locomotion is almost impossible, causing them to develop crippling feet disorders. This weakness of the legs makes them unable to support their unusually large bodies, causing an even greater malfunction of their body. These animals call home a diseased factory farm, which is restrained and unhygienic. Even before the slaughter, the chickens ften surrender to the blazing heated atmosphere, contagious diseases, and cancer. Similar to this situation are turkeys, whose genes are also manipulated to advance their growth to abnormal limits. In addition to the extremely quick growth and large bodies, the turkeys are specifically maneuvered genetically to grow large breasts to meet the increased demand of breast meat (Flynn 202). As an effect, the turkeys cannot accumulate and reproduce naturally. The only answer to this that farm owners have is reproduction by the means of artificial insemination.
With these alteration in the meat we consume, the industrial animal agriculture becomes a launch pad for some of the deadly disease that humans indure. After their period of the induced abnormal growth of size and structure, the birds are then transported to the slaughterhouse for the brutal killing. They are transferred in petite crates mounted upon one another on the rear side of open trucks. During this transport, the animals are unguarded from harsh weather conditions, and some are even expected to die due to strain and suffering (Smith 36).
Some solidify to ice in winter while others throttle to death from heat trauma. But this issue is of little or no concern with the factory farmers because this type of transportation, using crates without safeguard, maximizes their profit and almost doubles the production. The other animals who do actually reach the slaughterhouse, are jerked separately from the crates or for the ease of unloading, the crates are dispatched from the truck using a crane or forklift, and the animals are cast off onto a conveyor belt.
During delivery, some birds fall off or fail to spot the conveyer belt, only to suffer the harshness of the delivery person to wrench them back on. Birds who reach the inside of the slaughterhouse also endure the similarly horrific fortune. As they enter the slaughtering area, the completely awake birds are suspended by their feet to metal chains on a progressing railing. This violates the federal Humane Slaughter Act which obliges that the animals be stunned before the butcher (CQ Researcher 36).
But following this act, some slaughterhouses shock the birds in water which is electrified to halt their movement which, in turn, accelerates the assembly line murder. The slaughterhouses usually keep the current lower than what is mandatory just to make the animals unconscious because they are concerned that high voltage can harm the body and lessen the bird’s worth. These birds, while being slaughtered, are able to feel the pain and some even come out still being conscious. After the electric shock has been passed, the birds’ throats are slit by a mechanical blade.
Unfortunately, the blade sometimes fails to go over some birds that may be struggling and moving after the odious stunning. Moving on next in the assembly line, the birds reach the scorching hot water tank. The animals are finally sunk in the burning water. Those that have escaped the blade are promised to be boiled alive (Sims, et. al 253). This method of killing leaves a sharp impact on the factory workers as they witness the brutality and then go out in the society and impose it on humans. They loose perception of what cruelty is as they are observe it everyday, making them blind to their invective behavior.
This only harms the society by increasing crime rate and other criminal activities, which can be limited by the strict monitoring of the slaughterhouses. Hens that lay eggs are confined in a series of miniature wire cages piled in layers and lined continuously throughout enormous warehouses. They are usually crammed four to a sixteen inch cage with less than four inches of feeding space. To decrease the harm caused by pecking, the hens undergo a peculiar behavior alteration resulting in the cutting of their beaks. This process of debeaking is painful as it involves incision through bone, cartilage, and soft tissue.
These hens used for egg production are pushed to produce about two hundred fifty eggs per year per hen. (Coleman, et al 23). Due to this maximum limit push, the animals suffer from diseases such as the fatty liver syndrome which occurs as a result of their liver cells mounting up extra fat. This fat is accumulated because of the excessive work of the hen to generate the fat and protein for egg yolks. They also become a victim of cage layer fatigue and become so overworked with egg production, that their body eventually gives up to deliver another egg.
The hens also develop osteoporosis which is a disorder in which the bodies of the egg-producing hens lose more calcium to outline egg shells than they can digest from their food (Chen 20). After the hens are in the egg assembly business for about a year, they are called “spent hens” and are transported to the slaughterhouses. Some cruel methods noted for disposal of these “spent hens” is throwing them alive into a wood-chipping machine and burning them. Other farmers, whose replacement hen cost is high, simply energize the hens to produce even more eggs, now rigorously exceeding their limit. This is done by keeping the birds in a ark environment, and starving them of food and water for up to 18 days, which upsets their bodies into another egg-laying phase (McCarthy 19). The chicken breeds have now been genetically altered for utmost profit, so they are unable to grow large and sturdy enough to be harvested for their meat. Hence, the male chicks of the egg-laying breeds are of minimal to no economic value, resulting in the cheapest and easiest way of disposal the day they are born. Typically, this method included tossing them into large trash cans where they are crushed or smothered under the weight of millions others around.
Another method includes grinding them up while they are still alive, all of which just add to the horrors of factory farming (Knickerbocker, Wood 2). The anatomy of a cow is such that it must give birth in order to produce milk. In today’s cow farms, the animals are strained to produce a calf every year. This is shocking because cows, like humans, have a nine-month development period and giving birth once a year is stressful to the body (Monaghan A7). The cows are synthetically re-impregnated while they are still lactating from their preceding delivery.
As a result, the cow’s body is still generating milk for seven months into the nine month pregnancy. By the aid of genetic alteration and mass manufacturing advances, the cows are commonly expected to deliver a hundred pounds of milk per day, ten times more then their natural lactation rate. Due to this, the cows undergo physical stress and are vulnerable to various heath risks. A cow who consumes natural grass for food is in no capacity to produce milk at these strained levels so the factory farms today fed the cows high energy supplies to enlarge milk accumulation (Sims, et. l 253). This artificially rich feed causes diseases such as ketosis, which is a state in which the blood contains high levels of appetite-suppressing substances, and laminitis, which brings lameness in the animal (Sims, et. al 253). In a normal free farm setting, the cows are expected to live more than twenty-five years, but in dairies, the cows are killed and molded into ground beef in just four years of their age. The abuse inflicted upon the animals causes them to be staggering on their legs while sickened with disease.
These cows are collapsed to the ground and to move them to the slaughterhouses, requires them being beaten or hauled with bulldozers (Whitcomb 13). With the dairy industry being aware of the health concern and strain linked to excessive milk collection, the cows are only subjected with even more burdened abuses for the profit motive. A synthetic hormone known as Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) is being injected into the animals to elevate milk production to more than it has ever reached. This adversely affects the cow as well as increases the chances of their offspring having a genetic defect (Whitcomb 13).
The baby cows are immediately detached from their mothers after their birth. The females are raised in the dairies to substitute for the aging dairy cows in the milking business. The males are shifted to slaughterhouses where they will be raised for beef. These are mutated cows are going to be the same ones to be on your lunch plate tomorrow. How would you like steroids and hormones for dinner? Even the thought of this is scary, but the issue of factory farming is suppressed to such a depth that society is blind to it and becomes victim of millions of deaths.
Unfortunately, the exhaustive animal agriculture reduces valuable natural resources for humans. Instead of people consuming it, most of the grain grown in the US is used to feed farm animals. This practice is unproductive and wasteful as grain has more nutrition value than meat. It has also required that the factory farming business utilize immeasurable vicinity of land at the expense of destroying the trees and the habitat of animals that thrive in them. It has altered natural ecosystems to devastation because the land has been transformed into grazing land for the animals.
Along with this, the amount of waste created by farm animals in the U. S. is more than 130 times greater than that created by humans. The agricultural runoff compost has destroyed millions of sea water animals and is also the primary reason why 60% of the US water bodies are damaged (CQ Researcher 36). In areas with intense animal farming, the water has been contaminated with the pfiesteria bacteria. This, in addition to killing the fishes, causes vomiting, open sores, exhaustion, memory loss, and a state of mental imbalance in humans.
Even worst, is that groundwater, which takes thousands of years to purify, is being tainted by the waste (Keana 633). Some areas have also reported having more nitrates and other pollutants than actual water from sewage management facilities. As an alternative to animal meat and products, plant food actually helps humans in many ways with very less side effects. Many studies have proven that people with diets rich in animal-derived food products are at risk to developing diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even cancer. Cathleen Wood’s nfluential research in The China Study found “a pure vegetarian diet to be healthiest” (3). Dr. Wood also estimates that “80 to 90% of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other degenerative illness can be prevented, at least until very old age – simply by adopting a plant-based diet” (29). Animal products such as poultry, meat, eggs, and milk are harvested using technological advances such as hormones, drugs, and other harmful chemicals to yield greatest production. As a result, new dangerous pathogens that are antibiotic resistant are forming.
These can be titled “machogerms” as they are a direct result of the antibiotic abuse in animal farming causing suffering and death to humans alike. New diseases have emerged from these malpractices such as the BSE or commonly known as mad cow disease (Keana 633). This disease of the brain was a direct result of the dead cows being fed to living cows which endured staggering, nervousness and loss of milk. People who ate beef infected with this disease developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) which causes sponge-like holes to develop in the brain eventually causing death (Flynn 202).
Another of these factory farming diseases was avian influenza also known as bird flu in which wild birds and poultry were sickened. Hundreds of people died from this disease due to meat consumption and millions of birds were killed in the dread to stop the spread (Flynn 202). When factory farms move into communities, the pollution that they bring causes increased rates of neurological disorders, respiratory diseases, miscarriages, bacterial infections, diarrhea, and stomach ailments. Sometimes, the contamination leaves people permanently disabled or even dead.
Studies show that areas with industrial farms are less advanced economically as well as socially than areas with largely family farms (CQ Researcher 36). Family farms are a better alternative to factory farming as it opens the prospect to connect with the land and live in adjustment with the animals. These types of farms limit their production and do not exceed the carrying capacity of either the animal or the land. Small independently owned farms also help to build strong communities and aid a prosperous local market (Knickerbocker, Wood 2).
In support of this practice are numerous rural organizations, from banks to food suppliers, who promote family farming by employing and buying foods locally rather than importing from an outside factory farming supplier. The money earned from this trade is put back in the same local economy by buyers and producers which only assist the economy. On the other hand, large factory farms divert the local market as they import and export with other industries outside their community.
This type of farming also tends to counteract the traditional style of farming because it overlooks the values and interest that people of a community share. Factories create extremely dangerous and filthy low paying jobs instead of promoting healthy lifestyles (Smith 36). Workers work long hours with the animals in the dreadful confinement areas where they are a target of disease. The expansion of factory farming is occurring at the expense of rural community depletion. The notion of factory farming is expanded for the purpose of short term effectiveness and prosperity instead of long term persistence.
This is because it overrides health precaution such as pollution limitation and medical services for the workers as well as the farm animals. Reported studies have shown that, “neighbors of industrial operations have experienced health problems ranging from chronic asthma to neurological damage, and they have watched property values plummet” (McCarthy 27). Owners and workers of factory farms show signs of psychological problems. The brutality they impose upon the animals is carried with them to their homes and wherever they go, making them vulnerable to commit neglectful acts (Colleran 30).
The act of animal abuse is easily associated with bullying which is elevated even further by family conflict. The similarities are obvious in the definitions itself of animal abuse and bullying, with both behaviors being characterized by a range of negative acts and outcomes varying from to mild to rigorous. This definition shows that animal abuse and bullying both occupy a desire to impose physical, emotional, or psychological harm on the opposition, showing a supremacy difference where the executor is more potent than the victim (Gullone, Robertson 29).
Most people are unaware of the relationship between animal abuse and domestic violence and crimes, making them infer that the abuse is a subtle topic. People who abuse pets are very much likely to commit murder or other violent crimes. Each day more and more children are becoming se-sensitized to violence because they learn that demonstration of power is essential so it has no effect on them weather to endure or it or inflict it. Today, the animals are being neglected and treated more as stress reliever victims rather than as helpful companions.
Each year, thousands of Americans are sickened with animal products and some even die due to it. After years of concern and advice, the USDA’s meat inspection is still abhorrently effortless as consumers are given advice to expect animal foods to be stained. On the other hand, the factory farming business, rather then counseling consumers to limit their animal product intake, have developed acute measures such as overcooking and antibiotics to assist consumers avoid the danger of animal products while promoting their exceeding intake of meat and dairy.
Manufacturing farms are menacing the conditions of rural areas across the U. S. , but the citizens are progressively functioning to halt their construction to avoid toxic waste and guard the quality of life. Safer slaughterhouse rules and more inspectors in the facilities are immediately needed to ensure fair treatment of farm animals as well as food safety for consumers. Animals too have certain rights which should not be abused when they are alive because most of their suffering is due to our eating them. But even more concerning is the welfare of the world.
The effects of factory farming include the increase of disease multiplication, food poisoning, crime rate, domestic violence, and a crush of moral values in hopes of gaining a fortune at the expense of torture. By working together with veterinarians, law enforcement officers, legislatures, social workers and the general public, all of us can fight the problem of animal abuse as it is the foundation for a corrupt and undermined society. Bibliography Chen, Michelle. “Giant Factory Farms Encroach on Communities, Evade Regulation. ” The New Standard 3 (2008): 19-25.
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