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Judith Moreno
Professor Hamlett
English 102
8 December 2015
U.S.D.A: Understanding the Systems Dangerous Acts
Factory farming is the absolute inhumane process of raising animals for the sole purpose
of human consumption that everyone should be against. The business of factory farming is
dominating the U.S food production employing abusive practices to maximize profits at the
expense of the environment, communities, animal welfare, and our own health. The common
practice is disgusting, puts everyone in danger, and the U.S government needs to revise programs
that provide consumers with products from factory farms in order to educate the population in
order for everyone to make educated decisions on one's nutritional needs and to reduce the
nations consumption of products tainted from this agricultural farming system.
The agricultural practice of factory farming must be brought to an end due to the
pollution it is causing the farms neighboring cities and communities. On most farms, if not all,
manure and urine are funneled into massive waste lagoons. If such a lagoon were to overflow,
leak, or break it would infest water supplies with microbes, nitrate pollution, and drug resistant
bacteria. A cover story for the periodical The New Republic, The Human Stain, emphasizes
that of all human activity livestock production has had possibly the single greatest impact on the
planet by consuming 70 percent of all accessible freshwater, occupying 38 percent of the Earth's
land masses, and being responsible for about 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (Human).
This practice must be stopped in order to prevent any furthermore contamination of neighboring
water supplies and to bring an end to the harmful effects of the dangerous gasses emitted from

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their waste lagoons, which range from mild to severe. Effects caused can be as little as a sore
throat or the extreme resulting in death. If there wasn't a problem with what is known as factory
farming today, legislation would not have made it illegal, in several states, to film or photograph
any part of the farming process. If nothing out of the ordinary is going on behind the closed
doors of a factory farm we the consumers should have the right to document the practices and
process. The health and wellbeing of Americans needs and should be brought into consideration
so the pollution and health risks consumers face due to the protocol these farming facilities
practice can be stopped or at least minimized.
Livestock that is housed within factory farm walls are subject to torture and mutilation.
According to Stephanie Brown, author of Do They Not Bleed?, states how painful procedures
and surgeries are performed. Such procedures are performed only to prevent aberrant behaviors
which are resulted from the sole frustration of living in a barren, unnatural environment (Brown).
No living being should ever have to feel the pain of mutilation, such as what chickens are faced
with when their beaks are burned or sliced off to prevent "feather-pecking" one another.
Chickens being the most abused animals are excluded from any animal protection laws but they
are not the only animals suffering. Meat and dairy cows are being abused and tortured as well. To
increase the cows' weight they are fed an unnatural grain diet that is extremely harsh on their
bodies causing them physical discomfort and even death. There is an abundance of corn in the
U.S and it is found in almost everything that we consume. Any consumer can walk into a grocery
store and randomly pick up an item that contains some type of corn byproduct such as high
fructose corn syrup. Almost everything that is processed contains a form of corn, and cows
including humans, cannot digest or break it down. Cows have evolved and are meant to eat grass
and they are being stripped of their natural behavior in order to maximize profits for large

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companies because producing corn is cheap and it has an unlimited number of uses. Cereal is the
perfect example of what companies make with the abundance of corn. It is also sweetened with
the artificial sweeteners that are made and processed by corn companies. There are many other
uses for corn such as producing cooking oil but there is no need to find it in a dairy or meat
cows diet.
Livestock that is produced within the factory farming process is administered
pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, hormones, feed additives, and vaccines. The use of nontherapeutic drugs in farm animals contributes to antimicrobial resistance in humans which makes
critical drugs lose effectiveness (Brown). Dairy cows are ripped away from their newborns in
order to become milk slaves for human consumption. Milk is supposed to be the primary source
of nutrition for infant mammals before they are able to digest other types of foods and we are
stripping that away from baby cows. Calves are robbed of the natural bonding they should
experience with their mothers because their mothers are being put to work immediately after
giving birth. The use of hormones, such as rBST, are administered to cows in order to maximize
milk supplies at the lowest costs possible. The thought of unnecessary hormone administration
alone is not very appetizing and should not be appealing to potential consumers. Due to the
disgusting nature of these facilities antibiotics are also administered to prevent the animals from
getting sick which then consumers build a drug resistance to antibiotics. If a consumer were to
get an infection doctors would have a harder time finding an antibiotic that would work because
the consumption of animals and their products that have been treated with antibiotics built the
patients resistance to the drugs. The administration of unjustified pharmaceuticals should be
unacceptable unless they are medically necessary and should be avoided at all costs in order to
keep consumers and livestock healthy.

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Although the process of factory farming is disgusting and cruel one can argue that it is
efficient within the agricultural business. The cost of food is reduced because food is produced
and processed at a much faster rate therefore making it efficient. With the lower costs of food
low-income consumers have the ability to afford meat, dairy, and poultry products. Buying
organic and free range groceries is not always available to everyone due to income limitations.
With high levels of production large companies that practice agricultural farming are able to keep
the costs of their products low. Another benefit of the practice would be the ability to provide
jobs to members of their surrounding rural communities where other jobs may not be available.
Although the factory farming business provides jobs and makes what some may consider
expensive food obtainable the cons far outweigh the pros. Cheap products are not worth the
expensive and dangerous price consumers, livestock, and the environment are paying.
In order to mitigate this agricultural phenomenon there are many steps that one can take
at the consumer and the government level. For example, consumers can substitute animal
products with a product that is plant based. Milk for instance has plenty of alternatives such as
almond and rice milk to name a few. Considering many Americans are lactose intolerant many
will save themselves the unwanted stomach issues in the process. It is impossible for everyone to
cut out all forms of meat and dairy but everything starts with a small step in the right direction.
Families can choose to have meatless Monday's as a way of starting off a new week with a fresh
start. The biggest step we as Americans can take is to educate ourselves and others of the
damages the practice of agricultural has on our environment and us.
At the government level there are many programs that need to be revised in order to
begin the process of mitigating the issue of factory farming. As defined by Elizabeth Metallinos,
author of "A Longitudinal Study of WIC participation on Household Food Insecurity", WIC is a

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special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children that provides federal
grants to states for supplemental foods, healthcare referrals, and nutrition education (Metallinos).
Although the program is meant to help low-income families obtain proper nutrition the program
is flawed and can use some adjustments. Metallinos conducted a study and examined the
association between women's/children's duration of WIC participation and the correlation with
household food security. Metallinos found that longer participation in the program was
associated with reduced likelihood of experiencing hunger among both women and infants
(Metallinos). The program greatly helps women and children but it is what the program is
supplying that needs to change. The dairy products and eggs that are provided through the
program are products of factory farming. Eggs, milk, and cheese loaded with antibiotics and
hormones are being given away to families that cannot afford to purchase organic groceries.
Organic and free-range products are expensive but the funding is already available and the only
thing affected would be the amount of food each WIC participant actually receives. Participants
should be allowed to choose between receiving less organic products versus receiving the same
amount of products that come from a factory farms. If a participant were to choose organic
products over regular products workshops should be available on how to use produce vouchers
efficiently. WIC participants should have the ability to choose what it is that they consume while
having the ability to practice their ethical morals. As per the California Department of Public
Health, the U.S Department of Agriculture administers the program at the federal level and
provides funds to the WIC state agencies (United). If the USDA cared enough to start a program
that is intended to provide assistance to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum
women and children under the age of five who are at nutritional risks they should be provided
with or at least have the option to be provided with products free of harmful materials. There are

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approximately 1.4 million participants in the state of California alone which are provided with
WIC services. Over 950,000 California families are enrolled and 60 percent of all infants born in
California participate in the WIC program (United). These statistics alone are enough to drive
factory farming numbers through the roof with all of the products they are supplying to WIC
participants. Every single one of these families receives milk, cheese, eggs, and infant formula
that have ties to the factory farming system. Participants also don't have the option of receiving a
milk alternative at their own discretion. Only with an appropriate form filled out by the
participant's primary Doctor stating that the participant is lactose intolerant will a participant be
able to receive a milk alternative such as soy milk. Such a process only causes a burden and does
not allow the participant to make decisions about their own nutritional supply and needs to be
changed.
WIC participants are given vouchers that they are able to redeem for food at local WIC
approved grocery stores. Unfortunately many participants live in areas where grocery stores that
sell good quality food is unavailable. The WIC program has made some improvements such as
issuing vouchers that can be redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables (Hardesty) but much more
needs to be done. The costs of adding these produce vouchers had been brilliantly offset by
reducing monthly allowances for other foods such as milk and baby formula. The issue is many
families don't have neighboring markets where they can redeem their produce vouchers. Often
times families living in low-income neighborhoods settle with buying unhealthy snacks such as
chips and soda from the convenient store down the street. Mark Winne, director of The Hartford
Food System, a nonprofit organization, would meet with low income families to get their point
of view on many issues that they face obtaining healthy foods. Many families expressed that
fresh, inexpensive foods were unavailable in their neighborhoods (Winne). Many residents of

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such communities experienced hunger, obesity and diabetes at rates that were two to three times
the national average (Winne) and WIC programs have the ability to offset this by providing even
more healthier food options. There are often voucher only vendors such as Mother's Nutritional
Stores in low-income neighborhoods and with more options within such stores families would be
able to make healthier decisions about their health. WIC should also hold workshops on how to
make nutritious infant formula for women who are not able to produce breastmilk for their
infants. Often times when a mother cannot produce a sufficient amount of milk she needs to
result to using infant formula that is full of chemicals and unlimited ingredients. The participants
should have the opportunity to be provided with, or purchase with their vouchers, the ingredients
to make a safe infant formula for their infants to also reduce the amount of products that leave
factory farming facilities and into our homes.
Everywhere you go and everything you see has some kind of animal product
advertisement. For example, Got Milk? campaigns are everywhere and theyre targeting at the
youth. According to Bonnie Liebman, author of Claims Crazy: Which Can You Believe?, and
Director of Nutrition at The Center for Science in the Public Health Interest, a Washington DC
based nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, explains how the food industry can label their
products with different claims and get away with it. The milk industry has definitely has had
their fair share of claims in their Got Milk? advertisements which emphasize the potential
health benefits one can achieve by drinking milk. The dairy industry claims state that you can be
slimmer and obtain stronger bones by simply drinking milk but they are just structure/function
claims and such claims require no approval beforehand from the FDA (Liebman). Companies are
being allowed to tell you things you would love to hear in order to sell their products. You can't
always believe what you read and see so it is important to educate yourself on what it is that you

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are consuming and why. WIC programs have the ability to educate consumers about alternative
healthy products that do not require animal products therefore reducing the amount of units
factory farms produce. WIC should also be able to cater to vegan families that would like to
participate but cannot because of their diet restrictions.
Advertising is the most powerful tool a company can use. Large companies and
corporations, such as the dairy industry, spend millions on advertising alone annually.
Advertisements that are plastered everywhere we turn such as Got Milk? greatly impact
everyones opinion about drinking milk. Those same advertisements may also be viewed as
propaganda. Donna Woolfolk Cross, Professor of English at Onondaga Community College and
author of "Propaganda: How Not To Be Bamboozled," states that propaganda is a means of
persuasion so it can be put to work for good causes as well as bad (Cross) and it works best with
an uncritical audience. The Got Milk? advertisements are funded by large dairy companies that
participate in the horrible practice of factory farming and they are selling their product as
something harmless claiming milk has an unlimited list of health benefits when in reality it is a
product of mass destruction. They often use celebrities and athletes to fuel their campaigns by
grabbing the attention of a young uncritical audience and such tactic has proved to be effective.
The whole world does not have to give up all forms of dairy and meat consumption to mitigate
the practice of factory farming it is just important for consumers to be part of the audience who is
conscious and critical. We should not let forms of advertisements and propaganda dictate what it
is that we do and consume in our everyday lives. With a simple reform within our WIC programs
we would be a step closer in creating an educated audience. By offering organic products and
allowing participants to choose a vegan diet we would be educating the population and moving
in the right direction. WIC participants would ask questions on why they have the ability to

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choose the products they receive and it will ignite a fire for them to inform themselves even
further.
Factory farming may provide consumers with cheap dairy, meat, and poultry but we the
consumers are paying the ultimate price by sacrificing our very own health. Healthcare has and
always will be a big issue in the U.S and with healthier and smarter consumers everyone will be
able to benefit. For example low-income families often receive Medi-Cal and Medi-Cal's biggest
chunk of funding goes to treating heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. These diseases can be
prevented by following a healthier diet with limited amount of animal products. Factory farming
isn't only an issue vegans are concerned with but an issue everyone should be aware of. The
practice of agricultural farming harms the environment, supports animal cruelty and sickens
Americans. By making small changes in programs that are already in place we can start to
diminish the practice of factory farming and ultimately reduce our carbon footprint in the
process.

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Works Cited
BROWN, STEPHANIE. "Do They Not Bleed?." Canadian Dimension 45.4 (2011): 2326. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.
Cross, Woolfolk Donna. Propaganda: How Not to Be Bamboozled. Language Awareness
Readings for College Writers. Paul Eschholz ed. Alfred Rosa ed. Virginia Clark
ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013. 209-219. Print
Hardesty, Shermain, et al. "WIC Fruit And Vegetable Vouchers: Small Farms Face Barriers In
Supplying Produce." California Agriculture 69.2 (2015): 98-104. Academic
Search Complete. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.
"THE HUMAN STAIN. (Cover Story)." New Republic 246.13 (2015): 52-57. Academic Search
Complete. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Liebman, Bonnie. Claims Crazy: Which Can You Believe?. Language Awareness Readings for
College Writers. Paul Eschholz ed. Alfred Rosa ed. Virginia Clark ed. Boston:
Bedford/St. Martins, 2013. 588-594. Print
Metallinos-Katsaras, Elizabeth, et al. "A Longitudinal Study Of WIC Participation On Household
Food Insecurity." Maternal & Child Health Journal 15.5 (2011): 627633. Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
United States. California Department of Public Health. WIC Fact Sheet. California Department
of Public Health, 7 Mar. 2011. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.
Winne, Mark. The Poor Get Diabetes, the Rich Get Local and Organic. Language Awareness
Readings for College Writers. Paul Eschholz ed. Alfred Rosa ed. Virginia Clark
ed. Boston: Bedford/St Matins, 2013. 599-603. Print

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