By Jessica Curtis
Throughout the years, there have been many photos and videos showing the brutal and sometimes torturous treatment of animals in factory farms. Since then, factory farms have become synonymous with mistreated animals, as well as diseased and hormone infused meat.
As a result of this exposure, many people have choses to support animal products that have “Cage Free” or “Free Range” labels, and were making the conscious decision to not support factory farm-produced products. However, what many people have not realized is that the alternatives to factory farming are still unbearable for many of the animals.
To keep up with and produce the amount of animal products that people purchase and consume each day requires a massive number of animals and efficiency. These animals are no more than product in the eyes of the producers, and often the animals’ well-beings are dismissed so that costs can be minimized.
When people hear the the terms “Cage Free” or “Free Range,” people imagine an open farm atmosphere where the animals are free to roam. The reality, however, is that there are no firm regulations in these warehouses or barns for an outdoor or alternative atmosphere to the factory farms. Birds, for instance, are let out only once a day or left cooped up inside. Their living conditions also greatly vary and depending on the facility’s capability and size, which often determines the quality of life for the animals.
Dairy cows and beef cattle often suffer as well. While steps are being taken to improve the well-fare of these animals, they are still being treated harshly for the sake of the industry. Females are artificially inseminated so that they can constantly produce milk, and calves are separated from their mothers often within a day of being born so that they can be made into veal. This is psychologically damaging to both the mother and calf, and constantly having babies and making milk puts a lot of stress on the mother’s body.
Aside from the mistreatment of animals, factory farming and the mass production of animal products also leads to the creation of wastelands and puts a huge strain on the environment, as well as contributes to America’s growing levels of obesity.
Progress toward a nation that consumes less and places an importance on animal rights can only benefit our society as a whole. Mindless cruelties and torture should have no place in our society, regardless of the species; gluttony is detrimental to our health and the environment.
Clearly, these changes cannot be made over night. But as a society, we are moving in the right direction by no longer turning a blind eye to the source of our meat and animal products. Choosing to pay more for products that were produced in better conditions helps to eliminate these cruel practices. Only by demanding a change in the system of production can we really begin to create a better environment ” for the animals we survive on, and for the people that rely on them.
Monica Lopez / The Poly Post
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