A Meat and Dairy Article from All-Creatures.org

Brave New Farm?

From Jim Mason
May 1985

The first mass-producers of animals were able to turn out larger flocks all the year round once poultry experts discovered the role of vitamins A and D. When these were added to the feed, chickens could be raised indoors because they no longer needed sunlight and exercise for proper growth and bone development... Factories come, farms go.

egg factory farm

In our mind’s eye the farm is a peaceful, pleasant place where calves nuzzle their mothers in a shady field, pigs loaf in the mudhole, and chickens scratch and scramble about the barnyard. We comfort ourselves with these bucolic images — images that are implanted by calendars, coloring books, and the countrified labelling and advertising of animal products.

The reality of modern animal production, however, is starkly different from these scenes. Now, virtually all of our poultry products and about half of our milk and red meat come from animals mass-produced in huge factory-like systems. In some of the more intensively managed ‘confinement’ operations, animals are crowded in pens and cages stacked up like so many shipping crates. On these factory farms there are no pastures, no streams, no seasons, not even day and night. Health and productivity come not from frolics in sunny meadows but from syringes and additive-laced feed.

The new factory systems allow operators (not all farmers operate them and not all who operate them are farmers) to maintain a larger number of animals in a given space, but they have created serious problems for consumers, farmers and the environment, and they raise disturbing questions about the degree of animal exploitation that our society should accept.

The factory farm is one of the more inappropriate technologies of this century: it requires high inputs of capital and energy to carry out a simple, natural process; it causes a costly chain of problems and risks; and it does not in fact produce the results claimed by its proponents. Moreover, the animal factory pulls our society one long, dark step backward from the desirable goal of a sane, ethical relationship with other beings and the natural world.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.


pig factory farm

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