By Emma Gibson
Animals are forced to grow up to three times faster than nature intended and we are the reason. Factory workers pump animals full of growth hormones as a daily ritual and as a result, the animals aren’t able to sustain their weight. According to nhes.org, there are no federal laws that set humane care standards for animals in factory farms. A factory farm is a large industry that raises large numbers of animals for food. Most of America’s meat and poultry supply comes from factory farms, which focus on money and efficiency rather than the animals’ health and well being.
The floors of layer hens’ “battery cages” are made of extremely uncomfortable wire that chafes their skin, rips some of their feathers out, bruises their bodies and deforms their feet. Turkeys are given less than three square feet of cage space, and in the slaughterhouse, their heads are dunked in an electrical bath of water and their throats are then cut farther down on the assembly line, according to lcanimal.org.
A solution to factory farming would be free range farming because animals would be able to live humanely and the consumers would benefit as well. Something that would benefit the people consuming the meat would be that the humane raised and free range animals are significantly healthier for people. According to theecologycenter.org, industrial farms produce so much manure that it is a health risk towards humans and as for small farms that treat their livestock humanely, the manure is only used to fertilize soil, which is overall much cleaner and healthier, not only for the animals, but for us as well.
Research shows that poor sanitation and waste management in factory farms can lead to the contamination of the food supply by bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella. 76 million Americans become ill from foodborne illness, and thousands die. Swine flu and avian flu are communicable from animals to humans, and experts believe that the outbreak of the swine flu was likely caused by the overcrowding of pigs on factory farms according to farmsanctuary.org.
The amount of space that egg-laying hens get is eight by ten inches, which doesn’t allow the hens to spread their wings because the space is so limited, according to animalclock.org.
The abuse that factory farm animals go through is unbelievable. “At just two to three weeks, piglets are removed from their mothers, and the mother pigs are inseminated again just after giving birth to do the process all over again. Once the mother pigs are no longer able to sustain a pregnancy, they are sent to slaughter,” according to aspca.org. As for poultry such as chickens and turkeys, they are forced to live in long sheds where there is absolutely no fresh air, sunshine or a pasture. Along with that, the birds are forced to breathe in high levels of ammonia that comes from their own waste which can be harmful for not only the birds, but humans that are consuming it as well.
The law does not provide the farm animals protection from unnecessary harms like having testicles, tails, horns, beaks, or toes removed without anesthesia. Hens are systematically starved in order to artificially restart their egg-laying cycles. Male chicks are ground up alive and piglets are killed by slamming their heads on the ground, as stated by aldf.org.
Factory farming provides food for many people all across America, as well as jobs, but factory farming is also a legal murdering industry. Every day, animals are boiled alive and are killed inhumanely for us to have meat that makes us sick. Ultimately, the efficiency of the production is nothing compared to the immoral killing of animals. There are ways to get around factory farming and to just have a more healthy environment for the animals because if the animals are sick, humans are going to get sick from eating the meat so therefore, the production of meat should be more ethical so that humans and animals are both benefiting from it.
There can be perks to factory farming, but for the most part factory farms are awful and inhumane. There are so many more cons than pros because of the fact that the animals are not treated as if they were living, breathing creatures and instead are treated as just a piece of meat. Overall I believe that we should still have a form of the factory farms because people still need to be fed and a lot of people depend on this type of work, but I think that the animals should be treated with more care. These animals should not be put onto conveyor belts and they should not have to suffer their whole life because livestock and other animals in factory farms are just as alive as we are.