Factory farming has its benefits, but issues arise due to the overuse of antibiotics in factory-farmed animals, and this essay aims to propose a solution by analyzing Denmark’s successful antibiotic banning policies. Factory farming is a necessary component of our modern food production and supply system. In 2005, the U.S. produced 45.7 billion pounds of red meat. It efficiently produces and distributes huge quantities of food to feed the growing population of America. But the overfeeding of antibiotics in the U.S. meat industry has gotten to the extreme and it calls for a drastic change in order to prevent a potential public health crises.
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.
Cattle growers are always trying to find ways to counteract these problems. Antibiotics are used as means to kill the residual harmful bacteria in the rumen. Antibiotics have yet another advantage for the cattle ranchers. Small doses of antibiotics have allowed the cattle to make more efficient use of its ' food as it can boost protein synthesis, metabolic rate, and nutrient absorption. In a 2001 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, it was concluded that 70 percent of antibiotics used for cattle in the United States were used for the sole purpose of improving the growth and performance of healthy cattle.
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.
The greatest problem that was faced in raising these animals indoors was the spread of disease, which was fought against in the 1940s with the development of antibiotics. Farmers found they could increase productivity and reduce the operating costs by using machines and assembly-line techniques. Unfortunately, this trend of mass production has resulted in incredible pain and suffering for the animals. Animals today raised on factory farms have had their genes manipulated and pumped full of antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals to encourage high productivity. In the fast food industry, animals are not considered animals at all; “they are food producing machines” (BBC).
GMOs are injected into animals to increase the size of the meat and to make the animal grow faster, but people don’t understand what the consequences are. As a society, the United States isn’t eating healthy and we need to be. Sixty-nine percent of the population in the United States are either obese or overweight, says Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development. Farmlands need to be utilized. Using more farmland and growing more crops, we will be healthy.
There have been numerous studies that show growth promotion and increased feed efficiency (a.k.a. : nutrient conversion) are achieved by using antibiotics in the feed. All industries can benefit from antibiotic use. For example, 100% of poultry producers add antibiotics to their rations for increased feed efficiency in growers and increased egg production in layer hens. Feedlot cattle are fed antibiotics to reduce the incidence of liver abscesses - a major money loss at slaughter.
These animals live a life of abuse, but we sit back and say it’s okay because we will eventually eat them. “Antibiotics are used to make animals grow faster and to keep them alive in the unsanitary conditions. Research shows that factory farms widespread use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threatens human health” (Factory Farming). These animals aren’t treated with proper care and we act as if they are machines. Chickens for example, become so big and distorted that their legs can longer support them.
Becoming a vegan may take some initial adjusting, but after acknowledging all the problems that the meat industry creates, it will hopefully seem like the only choice to make. For the sake of animals, personal nutrition and the environment, choosing a vegan lifestyle reflects a beneficial outcome for all. Animals are the unfortunate, innocent test subjects used when creating new products. Every year, except in UK where it is banned, millions of animals are subjected to painful experiments simply so that people can have a new brand of shampoo or a new scent of perfume. There are three main tests which animals are subjected to.
Kevin’s law is: To protect public health by clarifying the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to prescribe performance standards for the reduction of pathogens in meat, meat products, poultry, and poultry products processed by establishments receiving inspection services and to enforce the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) System requirements, sanitation requirements, and the performance standards (H.R.3160 - Kevin's Law). This law was never passed, even though they worked for years on it. The sad thing about all of this is the incidence of people dying from contaminated food is astronomical. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates “1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases” every single year (Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States). The amount o... ... middle of paper ... ...gress.org/bill/hr3160-109/show>.