To what extent is factory farming beneficial to humanity? Intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production, also commonly known as factory farming, is a production approach towards farm animals in the effort to maximize production output, all-the-while minimizing production costs.
The effects of factory farming on humanity have caused negative concerns to some regarding human and animal health and environmental concerns. However, many believe the positive effects that factory farming produce for the human economy outweighs the health and environmental risks. The global significance of factory farming to society is that this way of farming is used worldwide, affecting an abundance of the human population, while being compared to humans in countries that use alternatives to factory farming. From natural, free-range chicken factory farms in the hills of Rizal province in the Philippines, to Idaho’s Aurora & Horizon’s Factory Farms known for their brutal treatment of animals, humans worldwide are being negatively affected by the treatment and antibiotics used on animals in factory farms, and also positively affected by the economic boost it produces for some. Thus the question should arise: to what extent is factory farming beneficial to humanity? The main points of this controversy are that some believe that factory farming is a more cost-effective way to kill animals to sell for food in mass supply, which boosts the economy, while the other side believes factory farming has a much more negative effect on human health, which in this case, the “economic boost” does not matter. Two of the sources discussed agree with the statement that factory farming is beneficial to humanity. The other two sources believe the idea that factory farming does more harm than good to humanity as a whole worldwide.
Where I reside in the United States, factory farming has affected my life through eating these meats. Because the majority of humans worldwide eat meat, this would affect many humans of different countries across the globe. Some believe that factory farming is beneficial to humanity due to a large amount of meat that can be manufactured and sold to provide for the niche of produce. Linn County farmer, Curt Zingula, discusses how factory farming is beneficial. Zingula believes factory farming is the only way to sufficiently provide meat for the United States’ increasing population growth. “Today, farmers produce for our nation’s 310 million people” (Zingula) This does not include the millions of other people and the multitude of countries America produces for.
Agricultural farming will just not suffice for the forever increasing need for meat. Technology and modern manufacturing is the most efficient and fastest way to provide for this need. Zingula also counter argues to the argument of factory farming is harmful to the environment. “Just the use of repeated tillage, instead of herbicides for weed control, led to severe erosion and filthy waterways.” (Zingula).
The author is saying that the environmental effects contributed from factory farming is just as bad as alternative farming. This article is influential to the argument because, without factory farming, there would not be enough food to sufficiently feed the nation’s population. Zingula is a farmer from Iowa who is knowledgeable about his work, which makes him a credible source.
However, he uses an unprofessional, sarcastic tone throughout the article. This decreases his credibility by making himself sound improper and opinionated or one-sided. The website itself is an Iowa news site.
The author could possibly only be familiar with how Iowa’s factory farms are being conducted. Also, the article was published in 2014. There has been many improvements in technology and most likely many changes in the factory farm industry since that time. Factory farming can also be beneficial to humanity by how efficient it makes producing and selling meat.
In the Green Garage Blog, an eco-friendly blog created to inform readers about many issues or topics regarding the environment, there is an article written anonymously about the Pros and Cons of factory farming. While the author is anonymous, he/she makes effective points. According to the blog, factory farming is efficient because it is inexpensive to produce and sell, and inexpensive for buyers to purchase, making it available to a wide range of humans. The author also mentions how it is beneficial because it is a lucrative business.
“The profit margins of factory farms have been huge because the proper care of animals, where much of farming costs lay, can be put in the backseat.” (Green Garage Blog). This makes the business a lot cheaper and more effective for big companies to gain big bucks, which is beneficial for the people who run those companies and farms. The author mentions it will offer job opportunities for factory workers, and more of it because of the fewer geographic limitations factory farming provides, compared to family or alternative farms. Because of the hormones and antibiotics pumped into the animals and meat, it lengthens the food’s availability and shelf life. One of the article’s most influential points was the economic boost factory farms provide for communities. The article had information about how properties of factory farming stress that the industry invests large amounts in the local communities they are located.
This may be very beneficial to many humans who reside in these developments. Over time, they may get new buildings and eventually an upgraded town. The article shows significance more than just one common belief as to why factory farming is beneficial to humanity. The article does show both an equal amount of pros and cons on the topic of factory farming, making the source reliable due to very little bias- its purpose is simply to inform the reader of both sides. However, because the author is unknown, I cannot research the credentials of the author, making the source less reliable.
The article itself was professionally written, and the layout of the website looked professional and clean. While some believe factory farming is beneficial to communities and just as harmful as family or alternative farming, others believe it is a major component of human destruction. Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization, fights the abuses of factory farming and encourages an awareness and understanding about farm animals.
In a section of the organization’s website called “Factory Farming and Human Health”, information about the effects of factory farming on human health are given. According to Farm Sanctuary, some believe factory farming is harmful to humanity because it causes negative health effects. It is also mentioned that factory farming increases chances of disease transferred from animals to humans. The article mentioned the hormones and excessive amounts of antibiotics used on factory farm animals “put the human population at risk for chronic disease, obesity, and drug-resistant bacteria.” (Farm Sanctuary). Farm Sanctuary states that animal products are the main source of saturated fat in the American diet.
Farm Sanctuary also mentions that the unnatural feeds that are used to increase the growth of the animals on these factory farms “increase the saturated fat content of meat” (Farm Sanctuary). Because Saturated fat has been linked to heart disease and obesity, this makes factory farming a major health risk to humans. Cows in the dairy farm industry are sometimes given growth hormones in order to increase their milk production. When their productivity declines, those cows are slaughtered for beef. Hormones that are commonly used in the United States dairy companies have been linked to a significant increase in the risk of prostate, breast, and colon cancer in beef consumers. “Producers are not required to list the use of hormones on product labels.” (Farm Sanctuary).
The buyers of the product are unaware of what they are actually eating. This may be a cause of ignorance in humans; they are unaware of the disease they are feeding themselves. A large number of antibiotics used on animals in factory farms may cause humans to be at risk for drug-resistant bacteria. Handling antibiotics in this way can possibly “lead to drug-resistant bacteria” (Farm Sanctuary).
The amount of death that is caused by antibiotic-resistant infections in America is not beneficial to humans. The argument is significant because it brings attention to the commonly unknown points of humans unaware of the harm they are doing to their own bodies. The site provides many influential points. However, the site is clearly biased; the organization is solely an anti-factory farming website, which may make it seem less reliable.
Some may also argue that factory farming causes harmful damage to the environment we live in. In onegreenplanet.org, an article explains the air pollution, the deforestation, the water pollution, and fossil fuels and carbon emissions. Kate Good, the Editorial Operations and Outreach Coordinator for One Green Planet wrote this article. The One Green Planet Organization is a designated program for the increasing compassionate eco-conscious generation. According to the One Green Planet Team, factory farming causes air pollution. “Over 37 percent of methane emissions result from factory farming” (One Green Planet) Methane has a potential of global warming 20 times higher than carbon dioxide. Through the air we breathe alone, we are being affected by air pollution of factory farms.
According to One Green Planet, 260 million acres of forest has been cleared for livestock feed, to feed the animals in factory farms. The deforestation factory farms cause is harmful to the animals that live in those forests and the environment. The article is biased because it only describes one point of view of this subject.
The website, however, is very sophisticated and appealing. It has many eco-friendly articles and information about movements and petitions. The author seems to show a great deal of knowledge about the subject of how factory farming would affect the environment since the website is an eco-friendly informational website. Factory farming is a great controversy in the United States. While it is beneficial to the human race by allowing big business to grow, the health and environmental risks are more important. I value the health of humans, animals, and the environment more than I do the “economic boost” it can provide. Yes, factory farms do produce a large amount of “meat”.
However, I believe humanity would benefit immensely by this because it would decrease the amount of disease, because humans would not eat as much meat/disease causing products. More investigation does need to be done on factory farms and its long-term effects on human health. Every human should have the right to know what is in their food.
There should be a warning label on meat products, similar to those on a cigarette box, informing the consumer of the damage it can cause when consumed. This will decrease the number of meat eaters and the amount of disease in humanity. There also needs to be more regulation and exposure of factory farms. Factory farming is to blame for the abuse of animals, land, and natural resources, for the purpose of providing cheap, unhealthy food to the people. Factory farming has spread like the diseases they cause across the globe.
With the increasing concern of food security and the outcome of our deteriorating environment, more attention must be put on the multitudinous ways factory farming takes part of these issues. It is easy to fall into the traps of the contradictory information manufacturers use to justify their inhumane practices. Human life is more valuable than money