End Factory Farming!

  • by: Silas Conlon
  • recipient: Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture


Meat is a big part of our life, but do you know how meat animals are raised? If you do not then you should. Many animals are raised in horrid factory farms. They get fed from the same trough, they are each in a cage and most never turn around in their whole life. Isn’t that a terrible way to live? How can we live knowing about this gargantuan problem. I know that I cannot and in this essay I will persuade you to not. We can stop this madness by banning factory farms.

   
    You might say that factory farms should not be banned because they are cheap. Reasons why they are cheap are land costs and management costs. Also there are costs to our health. As I mentioned before, factory farm meat is very unhealthy so eventually after countless hospital bills, people would get tired of having to pay them. Small scale farms require lots of land to let the animals go wherever they want. The average price per acre of farmland in 2010 was $2,140. This may make the production of the meat cost more, but in Iowa where the most factory farming happens, the highest fine for animal cruelty is $7,500 and that is for a Class D Felony. Many undercover investigations in factory farms show workers doing Class D Felonies. These felonies are for animal torture. So factory farms should ask themselves what’s $2,140 compared to $7,500.

People that are in favor of factory farms say that getting rid of them would put many people out of jobs. This would happen but all of the animals a factory farm raises would be raised by a small farm. This would require more jobs in the farms. So when you think about it, nobody is losing a job. In fact small scale farms employ 10% more people than factory farms. Also, if factory farms are banned there would need to be more small scale farms in many different locations around the country. This would make it easier for people to find a job close by. Finally, we would be eating local. When we’re eating from local farms chances are that we know the farmer and we would thrust them and feel better about the meat we are eating. The situation is not just a win-win but it is a win-win-win.

One reason why factory farms should be banned is that they are not humane. Factory farms have animals being put shoulder to shoulder with no area to walk. Small scale farms let the animals roam wherever they choose and graze as much or as little as they would like. Imagine if you were just put shoulder to shoulder with thousands of random other people. Is that how you would want to live you life or would you want to go anywhere you please? In factory farms they debeak chickens to keep them from pecking at each other and cut off the tails of cows and pigs to keep them from biting each others tails because of such close proximity. There is a much simpler solution to these problems. Get rid of factory farms! Animals should have the same rights that humans have. That is where the word humane comes from, human. The dictionary definition of humane is “characterized by compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, especially for the suffering or distressed”. Factory farms do not follow these main components of the definition but instead are just the opposite. I hope you follow in the footsteps of many of the other intelligent, forward-thinking people that want factory farms banned because they are not humane.



   

Another reason why factory farms should be banned is because they do not produce healthy meat. It is not okay for people to get sick just from the meat they choose to eat. Inside of those factory farms there are countless germs being passed around from the animals being so close together. To keep the animals from getting a disease from all the other animals, they are all injected with antibiotics. This may sound good to you but when we eat these injected animals, it reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics on human patients. Also, these antibiotics build up in our bodies. The food these animals eat is also dangerous. Beef cows are fed with animal byproducts which increases the risk of mad cow disease. All the animals also share the same trough of food. If you think that 3 people sharing a plate is disgusting, imagine that multiplied by a thousand. Then when the meat is made, for example burgers, they do not just use meat from just one cow, but they use meat from 100 cows. Health is one of the major problems our Earth faces and when there are so many people eating factory farm meat, that meat becomes a big health problem.



Factory farms also affect the environment. One bad way they affect the environment is deforestation. To provide the food the animals eat, people have to cut down forests. This also exterminates many species. Also the 500 million tons of manure that is produced by factory farm animals creates runoff that pollutes land, soil, and air. It can also slide into a stream or river and kill marine life. Manure also produces methane and when it is spread on a field it releases nitrous oxide which creates nitrogen pollution in land and water. Once on June 21, 1995 25 million gallons of pig urine and feces spilled when a sewage pit on a factory farm exploded into the New River in North Carolina. Immediately 10-14 million fish died. Despite them not making it to the press these spills happen many times throughout the year.



    The time is now to put an end to factory farms! Why wait another moment? We do not have to raise animals in this horrific way. Instead we can switch to smaller scale farms that let the animals roam the green grass wherever they like. This is simply not humane. They are also very unhealthy and hurt the environment in many ways. Without a doubt we have to get rid of these animal prisons called factory farms.

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