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Seven 1 Student Seven Jeannine Stanko English 101 7 August 2012 The Facts on Industrialized Farming It is not hard

to find out the facts about farming industries. Unfortunately, people tend to believe that food is handled cleanly and safely all the way to the kitchen. As we see in studies by Jo Robinson, Kim Krisberg, and Bernard E Rollin, if anyone is a meat eater, he or she is likely buying meat that is mistreated from birt h until slaughter. The writer’s point out that not only are the animals treated inhumanly, but they live a life of drugs and illness until being purchased for food. Using sites like Sustainable Table, people can be made aware of the dangers that industrialized food creates and can help find clean and healthy solutions. People should have the right to know details about what they are eating, how it is affecting their health, and how the problem began. Being informed about the inhumane industrialized farming practices include avoiding meat full of hormones, bacteria, and antibiotics; cleaning up the environment; and knowing why natural is better. Around fifty years ago, industrialized farming took control of the meat industry. Before then, food animals were raised by family farmers on open farms, grazing in pastures, and naturally growing to an appropriate age before going on to be slaughtered and sold for food. As Jo Robinson states, “The calves grew to maturity at a natural pace, reaching market weight at two to three years of age”(74). This practice was not fast and efficient enough for the money-

Seven 2 making, industrialized farming companies. Between the fear of not being able to raise enough food to feed people, and excessive greed, the meat industry was given control of the market. “American agriculture began to industrialize. This was a major departure from traditional agriculture and its core values” (Rollin 26). The meat industry had no desire to think of the people the way the old farmers did. The problems begin at conception. Robinson provides information about the skilled, controlled practice of producing meat by injecting the parent animals with hormones to accurately time conception. After the animals are born, within a few months, they are shuffled around and put through many stressful, inhumane procedures. Some of these include “dehorning, castration, branding, and tagging” (Robinson). Sustainable Table reports that thousands and sometimes a million animals can be crammed into small spaces in farming industries. The site provides information about “de-beaking” on chickens and turkeys, and “docking” the tails o f pigs and cows. The living conditions are tight and extremely inhumane. The animals are unable to move around in the “2 1/2 feet wide (and sometimes 2 feet) by 7 feet long by 3 feet high” wire cages in which they are kept (Rollin 26). After being put through such stressful conditions, the animals begin a long list of unnecessary injections. Antibiotics are given to fight off infection that may not exist. Hormones and antibiotics are used to aid in growth. Kim Krisberg states that “70 percent of antimicrobials in the United States are being used in the food animal production.” With the amount of unnecessary antibiotics that people consume in food, major problems present themselves when resorting to antibiotics to fight illness in humans. Krisberg also reports that “the antibiotic overuse among farm animals contributes to rendering medicines useless against human disease…”, yet there are no laws against the access or uses of antibiotics on farm animals. As if

Seven 3 this is not enough, the calves are injected with “pellets that contain growth promoting steroid hormones” (Robinson). Now, all those drugs are put to good use. The goal is to get fat, juicy meat in an acceptable time frame. The animal feed is loaded full of byproduct and even everyday garbage to fatten the animal. Robinson says “This can range from nutritious ingredients such as beet pulp and carrot tops, to junk: stale bread or candy and heat treated garbage (79).” Raising animals in this manor leads to many diseases. “It can spread to mad cow disease, the most frightening disease in the history of the cattle industry” (Robinson 80). Now, it is back to treating illness with more antibiotics. Beyond the fact that the farming industries provide inhumane treatment to the animals and the unnatural additives they inject into the food supply, the environment also takes a direct hit from these industries. There are few regulations on the way all of the waste is handled. Large numbers of animals, packed into small spaces, produce tons of untreated waste. Krisberg says “And with annual manure output exceeding human waste levels by at least three times, animal confinement facilities are subjecting their environments with massive amounts of untreated animal waste (22).” This untreated waste is running into our water supply and polluting our air. There are several other negative effects on the environment as well. “Besides water and land, industrial animal farms jeopardize local air quality, releasing various, toxic and odorous pollutants” (Krisberg 22). Taking the time to learn about grass or pasture raised food animals may help ease minds and protect health. There are many advantages to eating grass fed and pasture raised animals. Doborah Krasher says “The essential point is t hat these animals spend their entire lives eating what they were designed by nature to eat and getting exercise, fresh air and sunlight. They tend to be healthy with no need for antibiotics or other drugs.” It would be hard to imagine the impact

Seven 4 that living confined, typically indoors, with no room to move about or live on a natural diet would have on our lives. The choice to eat animals that have been put through this exact experience is made. “Unable to perform any of her natural activities, the sow goes mad and exhibits compulsive neurotic “stereotypical” behaviors such as bar biting and purposeless chewing” (Rollin 26). This clearly shows what the confinement process alone does to the animal, not to mention the drugs and mutilation they endure. This type of diet leaves far too many problems for the human body to make up for. How can the industrialized farming practices be legal, much less accepted and used by people? If one would not inflict this kind of torture on an animal, fill it with drugs and have no regard for the environment on his or her own, why would that person then support the industrialized farming companies by purchasing and eating the product? It is every person’s right to be informed on the inhumane industrialized farming practices, to avoid meat full of hormones, bacteria and antibiotics, to be an active role in protecting our environment and to know why natural is better.

Seven 5 Works Cited "Does Industrial Agriculture Feed the World?" Factory Farming, What Is Factory Farm? N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Aug. 2012. <http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/factoryfarming/>. Krasner, Deborah. “All You Need To Know To Eat GOOD MEAT.” Mother Earth News 252 (2012):4044. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Aug. 2012. Krisberg, Kim. “Report: U.S. Industrial Farming Endangers Health, Environment (Cover Story)’, Nations Health 38.6(2008 :1-22. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Aug. 2012. Robinson, Jo. “What You Need To Know About The Beef You Eat.” Mother Earth News 226 (2008):74-83. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Aug. 2012. Rollin, Benard E. and Robert Desch. “Farm Factories.” Christian Century, 118, 35,p.26. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Aug. 2012.