Growing Green youth talk about the harmful effects of Factory Farming
My name is Adriana Ragland. For school I wrote a thesis paper on factory farming.
Factory farming is basically farming industrialized. These strong operations are able to produce food in high volume but they don't think about the environment, animal welfare, or food safety. Most of the animals in factory farms live in horrible conditions and are confined in dark over crowded facilities.
Factory farming started in the 1920's soon after the discovery of vitamins A and D. When these vitamins are added to their food, animals no longer require exercise and sunlight for growth. This allowed large numbers of animals to be raised indoors year round. One of the biggest problems that was faced in raising these animals indoors was the spread of disease. This was fixed in the 1940's with the development of antibiotics. Farmers found they could increase productivity and reduce the operating costs by using machinery and assembly line techniques.
In Factory Farming animals are not considered animals at all, they are "food producing machines". For more information you can visit the website Meatrix.org. Animals are confined to small cages with metal bars, ammonia filled air and artificial lighting or no lighting at all. They suffer through horrible mutilations such as beak searing, tail docking, ear cutting and castration. The reason this happens is because the animals start fighting due to these horrible living conditions. The animals are forced to live in small spaces that they can't live in naturally.
Factory farming also has a major affect on humans. Chemical, bacterial, and viral compounds of animal waste can runoff into our soil and water ways. After this happens the runoff from factory farms can immediately affect the people that use these resources. The main substances from factory farm runoffs are ammonia, nitrogen, and phosphorus along with greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide. These substances pollute air, land, and water.
Animals on factory farms are given hormones and antibiotics to help with productivity. One example is recombinant bovine growth hormone. Recombinant bovine growth hormone is a genetically engineered hormone injected into dairy cows to artificially increase their milk production. One concern with this is that injecting cows with bovine growth hormone may cause them to produce more of another hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Animal studies suggest that elevated levels of IGF-1 in the bloodstream can increase the risk for some cancers, particularly colon and breast cancers.
I chose to write about this topic because I believe that the food people take into their bodies is important and we should know where it comes from. Knowing where you food comes from can help build up a healthier body. When you buy local you are able to know who your farmer is and their methods of food production. Through buying local fruits, vegetables, and meat products, you support your local economy. More of the money you spend goes directly to the farmers themselves and less goes to transportation and middlemen. Buying locally also means burning less fossil fuels to get food from the farm to table, which helps the environment.
Help to save the planet and people - buy local!