What is Factory Farming?
Everyday you learn more and more about animal agriculture that disheartens you. I had always been under the assumption that animals live a lovely life grazing and roaming fertile land. Clever marketing from leading industry bodies make it seem this way. However that is not the case with factory farming, which in most countries accounts for 99% of animals farmed for consumption. Factory farming is highly intensive that focuses purely on profit. If you view any factory farm footage, you will see the horrendous conditions these animals are forced to live in. Animals are made to live in windowless sheds where they never feel the warmth of the sun or the texture of fresh grass. The only time they experience the outside is the journey to the slaughterhouse to have their throats cut, later being chopped into chunks of flesh for sensory pleasure.
In addition to the shocking environment factory farm animals live in, pressures to meet the increasing supply and demand chain, while keeping costs down has resulted in selective breeding and genetic modification. Dairy cows for example endure immense suffering due to the weight of their oversize udders. The cows are propped up on a cocktail of antibiotics as they produce 30x the normal amount of milk, just so adult humans can drink milk meant for baby cows. They are slaughtered then after 6 years of being a milk machine (where they live the majority of their life on a hard concrete floor, in their own waste, confined for their entire life) simply because their bodies cannot endure anymore suffering. Dairy cows would normally live for 20 or more years.
Factory Animal Life Spans
In fact, all factory farm animals live a significantly short life span compared to their natural life time. Pigs are pushed into gas chambers after 6 months of misery, male dairy calves are killed within 12-24 weeks, chickens who are used for meat are killed within 6 weeks. Uninformed ignorant people say these animals should be grateful to us for breeding them. Would you be grateful as a sentient being if you were born into a reality of confinement, suffering and premature death?
These animals experience reality, they feel pain, sadness and fear. Do you really think that factory farms are a place of happiness for these animals?
Percentage of Factory Farming
In the United States:
We estimate that 99% of US farmed animals are living in factory farms at present. By species, we estimate that 70.4% of cows, 98.3% of pigs, 99.8% of turkeys, 98.2% of chickens raised for eggs, and over 99.9% of chickens raised for meat are living in factory farms. Based on the confinement and living conditions of farmed fish, we estimate that virtually all US fish farms are suitably described as factory farms, though there is limited data on fish farm conditions and no standardized definition. Land animal figures use data from the USDA Census of Agriculture and EPA definitions of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.
In the United Kingdom:
Whilst it is often claimed that the UK has some of the highest welfare standards in the world, the tragic reality is that around 85 per cent of the UK’s farmed land animals live in factory farms. That means that at any one time, more than 80 million animals (excluding fish), live in intensive, unnatural conditions that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy.
Marketing and leading industry bodies make it seem animals live a lovely life. Unfortunately this is far from the truth. Yet, we are so disconnected from the process, we do not consider the suffering these animals endure on a daily basis when buying meat from a supermarket. The majority of humans are good people, guided by morals and ethics. However, for a select few species of animals, our ethics seem to be non-existent. It’s simply unjust that these factory farmed animals are exploited and condemned to a life of suffering and misery just for our own sensory pleasure.
Remember 99% of animals are factory farmed. These farms care about profit. Delve deeper into what happens to these animals and the practices that are used. And then explain exploiting these innocent animals is an ethical thing to do, when you could just eat a plant based alternative.