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Pros & Cons of Factory Farming

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Factory farming usually involves raising livestock in a small, confined area on a large scale for the purpose of supplying food for human consumption. Thus, hens, for instance, are crammed into cages that are housed in large sheds where there is very little light, so that they can keep laying eggs. This obviously makes it cheaper for farmers, since they don’t have to spend as much time looking after the welfare of their livestock, but there are certainly ethical questions. It could be argued that factory farming is extremely cruel for the animals involved and that there are better ways for food to be produced.

Animal cruelty and substandard production techniques

Indeed, some would argue that the food produced as a result of factory farming is substandard. There are individuals who argue that organic food tastes and looks better, as well as being more nutritious. For many people, choosing to buy organic food comes out of distaste for the way animals are treated in factory farms. Animals are not treated as living beings, and their pain and suffering is given little consideration.

But its cheap

Yet, there are also individuals who appreciate the benefit of being able to pay less for their milk, eggs and meat, as a result of the large-scale production involved in factory farming.

Cheap, but at what cost to your health?

The food may be cheaper, but the chances are it is also of lower quality. The animals are not fed on a particularly healthy diet and often what they do eat is full of hormones and antibiotics, which have already had an impact on humans. The growing incidence of antibiotic-resistant diseases has certainly not been helped by the habit of pumping livestock full of drugs. The trouble is that factory farming is conducted in such insanitary conditions that the animals are likely to become sick and infect other animals, which is why antibiotics have been used despite the risks.

Health risk are great

Thus, it could be argued that although factory farming may lead to the production of cheaper meat and produce, this could actually be bad for society when the health consequences can be fatal. You don’t really know what you’re getting when you bite into a burger that has come from a factory farmed cow, which is rather disconcerting. You certainly don’t want to think about all the hormones and chemicals that were pumped into the cow before it was slaughtered. However, your food has to come from somewhere and organic farming has not yet taken off in a big enough way to provide for society’s consumption requirements.

Big bucks in factory farming

Thus, despite the many negative aspects of factory farming it is unlikely that it will ever come to an end when there is so much profit to be made and animals are merely perceived as a means to an end, rather than as living creatures that are able to feel pain and can experience suffering.