Factory Farming defined

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Factory Farming defined

According to Wikipedia, “factory farming” is defined as:

Factory farming is the practice of raising farm animals in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory — a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses.

On factory farms, animals are treated as machines, or “production units” rather than as living beings with instincts and desires. These farms are designed to maximize profits, almost always at the cost of animal welfare.

Farms have become larger and larger over time, and the animals have become more and more crowded. The behvioural issues of this intense confinement (tail-biting, fighting, canibalism) have been dealt with not by reducing density, but by modifying the animals (breeding smaller in the case of egg-laying chickens, tail docking, beak and toe trimming).

With all of this intensive confinement and unnatural living conditions comes disease. MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph infections – a flesh eating disease that doesn’t respond to most antibiotics and kills more people each year in the US than AIDS), avian flu, and the latest swine flu are examples.

Because of this system, we also have an increase in contaminants and dangerous bacteria in our food. Salmonella, E-coli, and more are increasingly present in meat and vegetables.

We are also starting to become more and more aware of the environmental impacts of these large farms. Manure containing chemicals and antibiotics makes its way into the water, methane and other gasses along with particulate matter pollute the air, the stench of farms becomes unbearable and pushes long-time residents of these communities to sue to protect their own well-being.

Our website has more information about the issues associated with factory farms.

[Thanks to Kelly for suggesting this topic]


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