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Cause and Effect Essay - Factory Farms Cause Sickness and Pollution

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Cause and Effect Essay - Factory Farms Cause Sickness and Pollution


There is little doubt that animals raised on small-scale diverse farms are
apt to be healthier. When allowed to range freely, particularly in
organically maintained yards and pastures, they receive more exercise, their
diet is more varied and they are exposed to commensal bacteria that help
exclude, and build resistance to, harmful pathogens. Some organic
practitioners also argue that free-ranging animals actively seek out plants
with medicinal properties that can build their resistance to illness,

When Livestock production is carried out on a scale that suits
the global market, however, huge numbers of animals are kept in tightly
confined conditions, and the potential for disease outbreaks is much higher..
The important considerations of animal welfare aside, these methods lead to
the rampant use of antibiotics, which poses a significant health risk, not
only for the livestock, but for consumers as well, since antibiotic residues
can remain in meat and milk. Roughly half the 25,000 tonnes of antibiotics
produced in the United States are used in the raising of animals for human
consumption.

There are other reasons for concern about the overuse of
antibiotics in giant livestock operations. Some 40 to 80 percent of the
antibiotics used in farming are thought to be unnecessary even under factory
conditions, as 80 percent of their use is as a preventative measure and for
growth promotion. Overuse has already rendered some drugs ineffective and
may even make some strains of bacteria untreatable. According to the Public
Health Laboratory Service in Britain, a new strain of salmonella that first
appeared in the United Kingdom in 1990 is re...


... middle of paper ...


...rom practices all too common among industrial pig
operations: transporting animals in contaminated vehicles and feeding them
waste food containing infected meat.

Problems like these are an inherent part of a food system that
is so large that companies can increase their profits by millions of dollars
simply by saving a few cents on each animal¹s feed, or by using chemicals or
processing methods that reduce costs by a fraction of a percent.

We all want safe, healthy food, but we cannot rely on the global
food system to provide it. The corporate food chain has grown so long and
the distance between producers and consumers so vast that no one can really
know how their food was grown, how it was processed, and how it was treated
during its long travels. Only by localising and reducing the scale of our
food systems can we once again trust the food we eat.


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