FACTORY FARMING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Factory farming is a cause for concern on the planet. It is one of the major causes of environmental change. This agricultural practice not only harms the environment but also destroys biomes. Biomes are the places where certain animals and plants live.

WHAT IS FACTORY FARMING?

Factory farming is an agricultural practice where a lot of animals are kept together in a controlled way. It tries to make as much meat or food as possible while cutting costs. This type of farming is called intensive animal farming.

  • Animals are factory farmed for meat, milk, eggs, fur, and other products. Cows, chickens, sheep, pigs, and turkeys are some of the commonly kept animals.
  • This system of keeping livestock uses science to boost the growth of animals to the maximum. 
  • Factory farmed animals get antibiotics to safeguard them against diseases. Additionally, the animals are treated with hormones and kept on a special diet to make them grow faster.
  • Factory farming of chickens and small animals is mainly done indoors. So many of these animals rarely leave their cages.
  • Large animal species such as cows live in tight spaces called feedlots. 
  • Most factory farms are overcrowded due to limited space. Also, factory farm owners are focused on making as much money as possible.

HOW DOES FACTORY FARMING AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT

There is a lot of damage done to the environment by factory farming. It can damage ecosystems and put plant and animal species at risk. (Research from The Humane League)

Global Warming

  • Factory farming makes global warming worse. Some scientists think that about 14.5%t of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from intensive animal farming.
  • Factory farming releases harmful gasses. These include carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, to name a few.
  • These gasses cover the planet, preventing heat from going out into space. This causes the temperature to rise slowly around the world. 

Air Pollution

  • Factory farms release ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which are both bad for the environment. 
  • Gaseous ammonia mixes with other substances to make dangerous compounds that hurt people.
  • Poor animal waste management is the cause of the release of toxic gasses. 
  • Ammonia, for example, is made when nitrogenous organic materials ferment in certain ways.

Deforestation

  • Many trees are cut down on the Earth each year to make room for farming. This causes a loss of a lot of its forest cover. Factory farming is one of the main causes of forest loss.
  • Forests have been cut down to make way for factory farms. Also, forests are cut down to make way for crop fields for animal food.
  • Up to 70% of the time, factory farming of cows is to blame for deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
  • There is a lot of CO2 released when trees are cut down. This causes global warming and other problems for the Earth.

 Water Pollution

  • Every day, factory-farmed animals make tonnes of manure. When there is a lot of rain, the waste is often stored in lagoons that can quickly become a mess.
  • A lot of runoff from factory farms can get into both surface and groundwater sources.
  • When polluted water is released into the ocean it can cause an algae bloom. These blooms pollute the water and cause harm to local fish and plants.  This could lead to the death of aquatic animals and the destruction of marine biomes. 
  • Pollution can harm water quality and make people more likely to get a wide range of illnesses.

Soil Overexploitation

  • Intensive animal farming can strip the soil of its nutrients, which can make it less healthy for plants. Factory farms usually grow the same types of crops for the animals over and over again.
  • Monoculture, or planting the same plant over and over,  leads to a lot of nutrients in soil.  When it’s time, the soil won’t be as good.
  • Plants can’t grow in soil that doesn’t have enough nutrients. This could lead to a loss of plant diversity.
  • Soil overexploitation harms the environment and ecosystem.

FACTORY FARMING PROS AND CONS

Factory farming has become a controversial topic the world over. Like all farming practices, it has its pros and cons.

Factory Farming Pros:

Low Production Costs

Factory farming is very cheap, and that is one of the main reasons that so many people do it. Farmers can keep a lot of animals with very few resources.

Boosts The Local Economy

Countries that use factory farming make a lot of money each year. In addition, it gives jobs to people in the area.

Space Optimization

There are many ways to make the most of space in factory farming. In this way, the animals get everything they need without having to get out of their cages

No Geographical Limitations

The practice of factory farming can be done almost anywhere. Farmers can make an artificial environment for the animals to help them stay alive.

Reduction In Production Time

The goal of intensive animal farming is to produce meat in the shortest amount of time possible. Animals are fed special foods that help them grow the most.

Factory Farming Cons

(Research from Animal Sake)

Animal Cruelty

One of the main problems with factory farming is that animals live in unhealthy spaces. They live in small spaces with very little room. This causes the animals to be uncomfortable because there are too many of them.

Excessive Use of Antibiotics

The antibiotics used in factory farming get into the meat. When humans eat the meat, they can develop resistance to certain antibiotics. Then people may not be able to get well if they get. 

Offspring Separation

Young animals are kept with their mothers for only a few days at most. They are moved apart just a few days after they are born. This is unnatural and causes stress on the young animal. Some will even die. 

Causes Soil Pollution

Factory farmers use a lot of artificial fertilizers. This practice makes the soil more acidic. It can also pollute local water sources.

Low-quality Meat

In most cases, factory-farmed meat is lower in quality.  It can have a lot of fat because the animals eat some things not natural for them.

FACTORY FARMING IS NOT GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Factory farming has a lot of negative effects on the environment. The idea of raising animals on a large scale in small spaces is both unnatural and resource-consuming. It harms water sources, soil, and the air.

Often, factory-raised animals are mistreated and kept in small cages.  Before they can be weaned, the young ones are taken away from their mothers. Finally, there is a chance that some of the antibiotics in the meat could have an effect on humans’ health. What is the solution?  How can we produce enough meat to feed a growing population, while still protecting animals, humans, and the environment?

Have a Topic Suggestion ? We are Open to New Ideas!