Cause and Effect Essay - Factory Farms Cause Sickness and Pollution

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


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...

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...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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