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Ignored Cruelty: Unveiling the Grim World of Factory Farming

Written by Cove Johnson Rabidoux

There is an epidemic spreading all across the United States. While this particular epidemic doesn’t require us to social distance, or wear masks, it is still deadly and impacting lives across the country. What is the epidemic? Factory farming.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, factory farming is “a way of producing meat and other animal products quickly and cheaply by keeping animals in small spaces in buildings and feeding them special types of food.” In short, factory farming is an inhuman mode of producing animal goods such as milk, meat, and eggs. These industrialized facilities supply the majority of the world’s animal products, but they prioritize profit over the well-being of animals.

There are factory farms spread across the United States, however, the majority of them are centered in the South, the Midwest, and some parts of central California. Factory farms are industrialized operations where animals are exploited by farmers for cheap produce. Factory farms value quantity over quality and do not take into consideration the quality of an animal’s life. As a result, they do not provide adequate resources and support to their livestock. Rather the animals live in cheap and deplorable conditions where their health is sacrificed for produce. They are confined into tight spaces that aren’t reminiscent of their natural habitats. These enclosures often do not have windows and are packed floor to ceiling with animals, meaning that these animals may never see sunlight. Imagine living in such an environment, where you are unable to move freely, breathe fresh air, or even see the sun. 

The conditions in factory farms are not only inhumane but also pose significant health risks to both the animals and potentially to consumers who consume products derived from these animals. These animals are stripped of their basic needs with an estimated 9 billion land animals raised and killed for food every year in the United States. In addition to the physical discomfort and stress, these animals are also subjected to various forms of mistreatment, lack of proper veterinary care, and the routine use of antibiotics and hormones to promote growth and prevent diseases that arise from their living conditions. 

The environmental impact of factory farming is also substantial. Large-scale operations generate vast amounts of waste, which often end up contaminating waterways and emitting harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, all contributing to climate change. Additionally, the waste created by factory farms directly impacts the lives of residents living nearest to the farms. In many cases, factory farms store their waste in enormous lagoons or tanks, which can leak or overflow, contaminating nearby soil and water sources. 

At its core, factory farms exploit animals, people, and the planet, just to increase the quantity of produce and leverage their profits. But the positive news is that there are ways for you to get involved and help stop the detrimental impacts of factory farming. At the moment, there are not any federal laws that govern how farmed animals are raised, but the Farm Systems Reform Act is working to change that. By encouraging adults to support this bill, you can help improve the lives of animals across the country. Other ways you can support these animals are by becoming vegetarian, making informative posters, and raising awareness on social media. These animals are in desperate need of our help and we cannot ignore the suffering and animal cruelty that they are silently facing. 

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