The Gruesome Reality of Factory Farming
Factory Farming is Torture – Let’s Make a Change
Traditionally, many Americans are brought up eating meat as the main course in each meal. Most of us probably don’t think about where the food we eat actually comes from so I conducted some research which has made me think twice about wanting that next serving of meat. One of the first things that needs to be acknowledged is the fact that our portion sizes have grown so much that it is undoubtedly the cause of many of our health problems. For instance, in 1950, the standard size for a hamburger was about 3.9 oz whereas today the average has tripled to 12 oz of meat.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study that compared meals from the 1950′s to today. The results showed that the typical meal at an average restaurant is over four times larger than it was in that time period. Larger portions also means bigger pants sizes because adults, on average, weigh 26 pounds more today due to such enormous portions.
Larger pants is a size effect that no one wants, but let’s take as step back and look at the bigger picture. If we are consuming four times more food per meal than we were in the 1950′s, then that means we have to kill that many more animals in order to keep up with the demand. Most of us have heard of factory farming but probably have no idea how awful it actually is. These are not the type of rural homes that have chickens running around and cows out in the pasture. Unlike the farms that many people associate with the “good old days”, these animals are living a torturous life in order to supply someone with a bigger hamburger or steak.
Many people have one or more pets in their home which is why I think it is important to ask a few questions to gain some perspective. Would you eat your dog? – Your cat? What if you knew that your four-legged family member was living in a facility where they were being fed food specifically to make them get bigger in a very short amount of time? Not only are they much larger in this setting, in many places they are crammed together with hundreds of other animals to the point where they can’t do anything except stand in the same spot. Since they are unable to move around, they are covered in the fecal matter and urine of all the surrounding animals in their room or pen. Does this sound like a humane way to keep an animal?
For some reason family pets are treated as family but cows and chickens are simply food. What if “Fido” didn’t have a name but instead was simply another number? My point is that in many counties there are guidelines for proper animal care that state you must provide the basic necessities for the animal. Food, water, and a shelter which protects the animal from the elements are typically what constitutes for a minimum standard of living for the house pet. When it comes to the animals we eat however, in some places the animals do not get the proper care that they should. There isn’t the same standard for cattle and chickens as there is for our dog or cat but this is simply inhumane.
According to the MSPCA, there are old traditions that need to be changed in order to properly care for animals that we intend on consuming. We still brand with hot iron, contain and leave cattle outside in all types of weather, and the injured or ill animals don’t always get seen by a veterinarian.
Unfortunately, there have been cases of animal abuse where the workers on a factory farm have been reported to conduct many heinous acts towards the animals. There are so many cases to report that I have provided one source that contains a list of various types of animals which humans consume with their individual stories.
The undercover footage provided for these multiple instances of animal abuse reveal how cruel workers at some factory farms can truly be – “Undercover footage from this factory farm – which raises over 10,000 calves for use on dairy farms – documented workers bludgeoning calves with pickaxes and hammers, burning out their horns without painkillers, standing on their necks, pulling them by their ears, and leaving them to suffer without veterinary care.” – ( VIDEO Texas, 2011)
Regardless if the animal is going to be consumed by people, why should anything deserve this type of treatment? Just because we choose to eat animals does not mean that they should be tortured. We don’t actually need to eat meat nowadays but we have grown accustomed to having it included in the majority of our meals so we continue to eat it. Protein is not only found in meat, there are many alternatives that don’t require a cow to be senselessly beaten with a hammer.
Does anyone really need a Triple Baconator or a Triple Whopper? We have been driven by commercials and advertisements to consume the “bigger burger” but there should be a rational limit. Why can’t we just eat one piece of meat instead of three?
Fido and Whiskers don’t have to suffer the fate of the cattle, pigs, and poultry of factory farming. We give them names, let them sleep in our beds, and in some cases they are like our children. Can’t we be reasonable and acknowledge that we probably shouldn’t be such gluttons when it comes to having to kill animals for a product? I am not telling everyone to stop eating meat altogether because that is your right to choose what you want. Instead, I am advocating that we just eat less meat and perhaps choose to get the free range alternative. Not only will less animals need to suffer the torture of factory farming, but you will actually live longer if you cut down on meat. Can’t we all just be humane?