Factory farming is a system of rearing livestock using highly intensified methods. Poultry, pigs, or cattle are confined indoors under strictly controlled conditions.
It was invented to maximize efficiency in production so that firms could manage a growing population and higher demands for meat.
It is characterized by large scale production which is enhanced by the use of machines. Animals are confined and they are fed from one place and in case of a disease they are treated.
Pros of Factory Farming
- It creates local jobs
As animals are confined, they need to be taken care of hence it will require people to be employed so that they may make the animals live comfortably hence creating job opportunities.
- It improves the availability of food production
There will be available food production as there will be an increase in the production of animal products. The consumers will be able to have the products easily as there will be high production.
- It can be established everywhere
The farms can be established everywhere and this can make it possible for the farmers to have them regardless of their location.
- It offers variety to the market
Consumers are able to get a variety of products in the market as the production will be easy and fast hence a wide variety of farm animal products.
- It improves production efficiency
The production efficiency is able to be improved as the machines and technology will make the product to be fast hence efficient in its production.
- Low prices for the products
As the production will be continuous, they will be low prices for the products as the demand for the products will not be high when the supply is low and vice versa.
- Workers can be more efficient
The workers will be able to use machines that are automatic instead of manual work. This will enhance efficiency as the work will be done quickly and much easier as compared to when it is done using hands.
- It creates opportunities for well-paying jobs
As people with qualified skills will be hired in the farms to operate the machines, this makes it possible for them to be paid well as compared to the ones that were doing the work manually and this will create opportunities for them.
- It reduces problems with wastage of food
The factory farms can use agricultural products and this will avoid the product to be wasted as it is produced in large quantities.
- Makes food available in the market every season
Through factory farms, there is a possibility that there will be the availability of food every season regardless of the changes in weather hence the prices of the commodities will not keep on fluctuating.
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Cons of Factory Farming
- It may encourage animal diseases to affect human beings
Diseases like swine influenza and bird influenza can be transmitted to human beings. This will be possible by keeping animals and people in close contact hence they can easily get in contact with the diseases which will become a burden to treat.
- Risk of animal cruelty
As the animals are put under restricted places so that they may produce the products quickly. It may make it possible for human beings to exercise cruelty on animals as they will consider them as a commodity and not breathing creature.
- Pollution of the environment
The environment can be polluted by the animals in that they contribute to large amounts of methane gases in the atmosphere which can be harmful to human beings.
- It needs a large amount of water
For factory farming to be possible, it requires large volumes of water. The quality of the animal products sent to the market depends on the high supply of water. This makes it impossible for the farms to be set where there is little water.
- It increases the fat content of food being consumed
The animal products from the factory farms contain a lot of fats for them to fetch good prices in the market. This may become unhealthy for human beings as they will consume a lot of fats that may later lead to diseases that will turn out to be expensive to treat.
- Animals are totally restricted to move
This may turn out to be unethical as traditionally animals have freedom of movement which is denied to them when it comes to factory farming.
- The floors can easily hurt the feet of the animals
When animals are put under factory farming, the floor is often made from mesh. This can be dangerous to the animals’ feet as it may hurt them leading to injuries that may take longer to heal.
- It changes the activities of the animals
Poultry can be forced to lay two eggs within a day depending on the conditions that the hen is put. This makes the hen become weak as it is forced to give the egg hence the farmers will only be interested in the products but not the welfare of the hen.
- Young ones are separated from their mothers early
The separation takes place early so that the mother can be allowed to reproduce again. This may affect the life of the young one negatively hence altering its behaviour.
- It can lead to soil erosion
Many animals are put under restricted place and this may lead to soil erosion at the place hence not being able to support any agricultural produce which may render the chain incomplete as the animals will lack what to feed on.
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Factory farming is necessary because of the food that we need but the welfare of the animals needs to be put into consideration to allow the animals to live a good life. Human beings should not only be interested in animal products but also look into the conditions of the animals as it is unethical to mishandle any creature that is breathing.