13,000 miles of rivers and 60,000 acres of lakes and ponds are in danger due to the damage factory farming has on the environment (“It's Time”). The environment is only one of many things factory farming harms. Because of the damage it does, the practice of factory farming needs to be banned. Factory farms are modern farms which practice containing animals such as cows, chickens, and pigs in confined, small spaces to mass produce meat and poultry (“It's Time”). Overall, factory farming harms the world more than helps it, for animals suffer every single day from factory farming (Illing). Due to the continuous damaging of the environment, the low quality meat containing diseases and banned substances, and the future of life on Earth, the practice of factory farming should be terminated.
Factory farming greatly affects the environment. In order to stop greenhouse gas emissions, the greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector must be addressed (“It's Time”). Factory farms seem to be taking the world in the wrong direction, not only ethically, but especially environmentally. Over 80 percent of the soy crop produced globally is fed to farm animals (Illing). Every day, rainforests are cut down and destroyed in order to grow soy for farm animals to eat (Illing). Specifically, the farm animals that eat the soy are factory farm animals. “The rainforest homes of the likes of jaguars and the critically endangered sumatran elephants are being razed to make way for intensive crop production and plantations that are feeding factory farm animals ... the mixed farm habitats of once common farmland birds such as barn owls, turtle doves and skylarks are being stripped away, and ... vast quantities of wild fish are being scooped up to feed industrially reared farmed fish and chickens and pigs, leaving the likes of penguins, puffins and other species,'” (van der Zee). Therefore, actions that occur in one ecosystem can affect other ecosystems unintentionally, so although factory farming is harmful to begin with, obtaining the food for the factory farm animals harms rainforests too.
The production of factory farming is taking over, and it is not good. For example, there has been an extremely noticeable decline in the number of family farms in the U.S. since 1997, while the amount of livestock production occurring has seen an incline (“It's Time”). Although the quantity is becoming greater and the means of production are becoming more economically profitable, the quality of both the animals and the meat itself is going down. Sanderson Farms resorts to falsely marketing its products as "100% Natural”, yet they contain a notable amount of unnatural and prohibited substances (Rosenberg). “The Natural Resources Defense Council has reported the presence of the potentially dangerous herbs fo ti, lobelia, kava kava and black cohosh in the U.S. food supply as well as strong the antihistamine hydroxyzine,” (Rosenberg), meaning that there are some substances within foods in the United States that are not supposed to be there. “Tyson Foods was caught injecting eggs with gentamicin,” (Rosenberg). To sum it up, many meat production companies such as the commonly-known Tyson and Sanderson Farms lie about what goes into their products, which eventually ends up in people's bodies.
In addition to unwanted substances found in meat produced from factory farms, there are also many diseases in meat. “Most chicken feather-meal samples examined in one study contained Tylenol, one-third contained the antihistamine Benadryl, and samples from China actually contained Prozac. The FDA has caught hatcheries injecting antibiotics directly into chicken eggs,”(Rosenberg). Injecting these substances into innocent animals is not only a cheap and low-quality way to attempt to avoid diseases, but it is also extremely unethical. “‘No regulation currently exists that would prevent or restrict a veterinarian from owning their own animals and/or feed mill,' says the Center for Food Safety (If a licensed veterinarian also owns a licensed medicated feed mill, they stand to profit by diagnosing a flock or herd and prescribing their own medicated feed blend)” (Rosenberg). Therefore, veterinarians, those who help heal animals, could make money off of factory farming, which practices injecting animals with substances that are bad for them, not substances that will either save them or help them live.
Politically, “federal and state regulators should ban all new factory farms, and refuse to allow existing factory farms to expand” (“It's Time”). This is the one solution that would potentially help control the climate change that occurs, and it would allow world leaders time to collaborate and decide what to do next. “The federal, state, and local governments should work together to restore control over siting and practices to local governments, require permits for all factory farms, and hold vertically-integrated companies accountable for the pollution of the animals they own” (“It's Time”). To elaborate, all governments, no matter how big or small, can work together to solve this issue. Unless all parts of the world participate in helping save our planet's climate for as long as possible, no change will or can be made. “We are going to have to feed about 9.5 billion people by 2050, and we can't do that sustainably if we are using a system that requires that we grow exponentially more crops than we're actually eating” (Illing). More sustainable ways of living, as in the solutions previously stated, are ideas that world leaders must seriously consider and discuss with one another, for if people of the world cannot begin to live more sustainably, one day there may be nothing left to live off of. “Moving the issue out of being a technical niche to get people to understand industrial farming as a big, global problem. food waste is about 40% of what's produced,” (van der Zee). Everybody in the world today must know what is going on along the lines of factory farming and become educated on why it is harming the world so badly for the future.
Factory farming does more harm than good. If either the process itself was ended or immensely changed, it may not be so harmful, but for the time being, it is. There are many possible ways to either change the process of modern factory farming or to end it altogether. “It's a scientific impossibility that the 170 plus governments that have signed the Paris Agreement, which pledged to keep climate change to under 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, will meet that goal, unless animal product consumption goes down” (Illing). This demonstrates a current solution in place, the Paris Agreement. The solution globally is to decrease animal product consumption because of its contribution to climate change. “‘The UN has warned that if we continue as we are, the world's soils will have effectively gone within 60 years. And then what? We shouldn't look to the sea to bail us out because commercial fisheries are expected to be finished by 2048...'” (van der Zee). Factory farming is not crucial to the survival of humans. In fact, the future of the earth would be better without it for environmental, health, and ethical reasons. The future of life on earth, animals that get injected with unnatural or banned substances, and the climate are all at risk due to the unnecessary practice of factory farming. Factory farming must be ended before it is too late.
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