When one thinks of farms, they probably think of cute animals happily grazing in the grasses. However, America’s farm system has changed. What once was neverending fields and white picket fences is now huge industrial buildings filled with many tiny cages. These factory farms are not only inconsiderate to animals, but they affect our human lives. The benefits of factory farming are not worth the consequences. Thesis: Consumers should no longer support factory farmed meat companies due to the harm it causes to human health, the environment, and domestic animals.
Topic sentence: Factory farms have many health risks associated with them. Firstly, factory farms commonly use antibiotics in order to quicken animal growth. They also do so to prevent the spread of illness within the factory. This is necessary because animals in the factory are bred to have specific traits, meaning they all have a similar genetic makeup. This lack of genetic variation as well as the confined spaces animals live in cause them to be more susceptible to illness.
Although these antibiotics benefit producers, they are not safe. Many researchers believe that growth hormones left behind in meat could be the cause of increased cancer rates and early puberty. In addition, bacteria mutates in order to resist these antibiotic drugs. The result is antibiotic-resistant organisms that are very dangerous to the human immune system. Human drugs are not as effective on these bacteria. When Europe banned the use of antibiotics within the farming system, they experienced a decrease in these dangerous strains of bacteria.
In addition to the dangers of antibiotics, there is the issue of disease. Firstly, there is E Coli. E Coli is a bacteria that every human has, but certain strains can be deadly. These strains are commonly passed from cows to humans through consumption. Studies have shown that factory cows contribute to the E Coli issue significantly more than grass-fed ones do. The presence of Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter cases have also increased following the use of factory farms. Topic Sentence: Not only are factory farms dangerous to human health, but they are deadly to the health of the world. Firstly, factory farms take animal waste and put them into “lagoons.” These pools of waste pose a major threat to our bodies of water. It has nitrates, bacteria, and chemicals in it that all have the potential to destroy underwater ecosystems. Even the nutrients in the waste can be dangerous. For example, when there is a manure spill in a lake or river, the new increased source of nutrition can cause an excessive growth of algae. If there is too much algae in a lake, it can lead to a reduced level of oxygen available to fish. The result of this is ultimately the death of thousands of fish. Factory farms also pollute the air. Big factory farms produce greenhouse gases such as nitrous acid and methane, both of which cause global warming. Global warming has many major consequences, some of which are rising water levels, intensifying storms, and unpredictable weather. Air around these plants also has unhealthy levels of certain chemicals. Hydrogen Sulfide is only one of about 160 of the aforementioned chemicals that are associated with farm pollution. Topic Sentence: Lastly, the treatment of animals on factory farms is inhumane. All factory farms care about is profit, and this shows through many of their practices. Due to the conditions within the factory, many alterations have to be made to the animals that live in the factory farms. Chickens are debeaked, cattle have their horns removed, and dairy cows have a part of their tail amputated. All of these procedures can cause the animals much distress, yet none are done with the use of any pain medications. This is, of course, a waste of money in the eyes of big meat corporations. Cows are forcefully impregnated time and time again, only to have their babies taken away and killed for veal. Factory farms also change the diet of cows in order to increase their body mass. They feed cows a diet consisting of corn rather than grass. This ultimately leads cows to have digestive issues as well as an unhealthy and uncomfortable body weight. Next, there is the case of chickens. Their egg- laying cycles are altered through lighting and food adjustments. This leads to them constantly lay eggs, which causes major stress to their bodies. In addition to this, cows, pigs and chicken are often kept in such confined spaces that they remain stuck in one position, unable to turn themselves around. After living in confinement their whole lives, without access to the outside world, animals are finally put out of their misery. However, even at the end of their lives, many animals suffer; some remain awake while they are slaughtered due to unreliable systems that are intended to make animals lose conciousness. Topic Sentence: “94 percent of Americans raised for food deserve to live free from abuse and cruelty” (www.aspca.org). If this is truly the case, then why do a majority of consumers continue to buy meat from these meat corporations? Factory farms’ practices make meat for cheap, which is the main reason people choose their brands. It does not help that U.S does not require labels, so people typically have no idea where there meat is coming from. In addition to this, “over 95 % of farm animals in the U.S are raised in factory farms”. This makes it hard for American consumers to even find meat that is raised on a genuine farm. However, if Americans are really as concerned with animal welfare as they claim to be, it is very possible for them to change these statistics. Americans should begin to buy their meat from sources that are not factory farmed if they are financially capable of doing so. This will be better for their health, the health of the world, and the lives of many animals. If enough people begin to stop eating factory farmed meat, it will ultimately cause the market demand, as well as supply, to decrease. This will allow for a resurgence of normal farming practices, providing U.S consumers with better meat options than the ones we have now. The most important thing an American consumer must do in order for this to happen is to be aware of food labeling when choosing which ones to buy. Many foods labels are misleading and not very well regulated. Therefore, try to buy only if it is labeled “Animal Welfare approved,” “Certified Humane,” or “Global Animal Partnership”