Have you ever thought about where your food, mainly meat, milk, and eggs in this particular case, comes from? To keep up with the abundant demand for food in today’s world people are always looking for ways to better supply that demand. Factory farming is a farm where animals are raised on a large scale using intensive methods and modern equipment. This method is cruel to animals for many reasons, such as very small living space, poor diet, numerous forms of abuse, deformities, continuous dosages of different types of drugs, unsanitary environment, and not to mention the impact it has on humans and the environment. There are numerous reasons why factory farming is considered cruel; the animals are caged, either alone or with others of the same kind, that are barely big enough to hold them, carcasses are often in among the living, unnecessary abuse by workers, numerous doses of hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and other drugs, poor diet, and painful and dangerous transportation. According to Natalie Purcell in her article “Cruel Intimacies and Risky Relationships: Accounting for Suffering in Industrial Livestock Production,” “Diminished care practices and lack of intimacy in commercial food animal production are related to cost minimization and economies of scale.
For example, today the vast majority of beef cattle are not permitted to graze for long on grass fields because it is more efficient to raise them in densely populated feedlots (Pollan, 2002, 2006)” (p. 64). Hogs, chicken, and fish are not any better off; their too small holding pens, rapid-growth feeding protocols and transportation destroys their bodies inside and out. In his article “The dangers of factory farming,” Bradley Miller (1988) states, “factory farm conditions result in severe physiological as well as behavioral animal afflictions. Anemia, influenza, intestinal diseases, mastitis, metritis, orthostasis, pneumonia, and scours are only the beginning of a long list of ailments plaguing today’s farm animals” (p.41). Instead of giving the animals better food and exercise, factory farm workers give them endless doses of antibiotics and other drugs, therefore impacting the animals’ health in a negative way. Another good example, cited by Annie Leal (2012), from an undercover investigation by PETA Germany “and what it found was the same kind of horror as on factory farms in the U.S. The investigators found thousands of hens confined to filthy, windowless sheds. They videotaped dead and dying chickens among the living, and many birds were crawling with parasites, were missing most of their feathers, and had large sores all over their bodies—some of which oozed with pus!” (para. 1).
There are many cases like these that report terrible living conditions and often, inhumane slaughtering ways for animals. In the textbook for this class, “An introduction to logic,” Kurt Mosser (2011) defines the utilitarianism theory as, “if some act creates the greatest good for the greatest number of people, given the alternative, then that act is what should be done.” So if the ethical theory utilitarianism were to be used to make a decision then the treatment of animals would not even matter at all because it states “greatest number of PEOPLE.” If animals were to count for something in that theory than the greatest number would be the millions of animal lives lost to feed a vastly smaller amount of human beings.
Supporters of factory farming say that the animals are happy, being treated humanely, and that they are actually better off than free range livestock because they live in a controlled environment, have food when they need it, and can be taken care of more efficiently. In conclusion, like most arguments worth debating, there is a good and bad side to factory farming. There is usually not a shortage of these products because of factory farming but that comes with the price of how the animals are treated and the quality of the food that people eat. It is easy to forget where exactly your food begins and what it was before it became your food. I think that factory farming is cruel to animals and I feel like if it must be done it should be more humane, and maybe they should limit the food supply and people would have no choice but to decrease their food consumption from factory farms.
Leal, A. (Dec. 12, 2012). ‘Free Range’ Scam. Retrieved from http://www.peta2.com/blog/free-range-scam/ Miller, B. S. (1988). The Dangers of Factory Farming. Business & Society Review (00453609), (65). Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=107&sid=e93f9b7c-3a22-468a-b841-5cf3933013a0%40sessionmgr112&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPWlwLGNwaWQmY3VzdGlkPXM4ODU2ODk3JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=bsh&AN=4653575 Mosser, K. (2011). An introduction to logic. (Ashford University ed.) San Diego, CA: