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Factory Farms: A High Price to Pay for Cheap Meat Essay

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Just imagine living in a world where the antibiotics we take for granted are rendered useless due to the rapid spread of antibiotic-resistant microbes. Should factory farms be able to continue the practice of administering antibiotics to otherwise healthy animals? We already know that the misuse of antibiotics can lead to the development of superbugs. Animal agriculture accounts for nearly 80 percent of antibiotics used in our country (Philpott). Most of which are used for nontherapeutic purposes. Even though their use can shorten the confinement time of livestock by increasing the growth rates, they are not necessary and come at a high cost to human health. Nontherapeutic use of antibiotic should be terminated to preserve antibiotics for treating sick humans and animals.
There needs to be strict regulations in place to curb the use of antibiotics and preserve them for human use or there will be a high price to pay. As scary as the thought is, some believe we may be fast approaching a “post-antibiotic” period in which there are no effective antibiotics left to combat emerging super bugs (WHO). After reading reports, I am inclined to agree with the experts in being concerned for the future health and wellbeing of our population if things continue as they are. It’s hard to miss the headlines warning of new MRSA outbreaks and flesh eating bacteria that resists antibiotics. In this, factory farms have become the ideal breeding ground for superbugs by the continued practice of administering subtherapeutic doses to livestock in an effort to stave off infection and increase growth rates. We are truly squandering a precious resource faster than can replenish it.
It’s true that large scale factory farms advocate the continued use of anti...


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...ink Between Factory Farms and Human Illness." Mother Earth News Feb. 2009: 76-83. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 May 2014.
Schneider, Kammerle , and Laurie Garrett. "Non-therapeutic Use of Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture, Corresponding Resistance Rates, and What Can be Done About It." Center For Global Development. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 20 May 2014. .
Tabernise, Sabrina. "F.D.A. Restricts Antibiotics Use For Livestock." The New York Times 11 Dec. 2013, New York ed.: A1. NY Times. Web. 16 May 2014.
WHO. "WHO's first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health." WHO. N.p., 30 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 May 2014. .



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