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Encyclopedia > Factory farming
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Disputed
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Factory farming is a system or method of intensive animal farming[1] involving the raising of farm animals characterised by confinement of the animals at high stocking density, often in barren and unnatural conditions.[2][3] The widespread practice aims to maximize profits by relying on economies of scale, modern machinery, biotechnology, and global trade. To increase the yield, synthetic hormones may be used to speed growth, while antibiotics and pesticides mitigate the spread of disease exacerbated by crowded living conditions.[4] Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links Circle-question-red. ... Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... Main article: Industrial agriculture Industrial animal agriculture is a modern form of intensive farming that refers to the industrialized production of livestock, including cattle, poultry (in battery farms) and fish. ... A KFC franchise in Kuwait. ... Growth hormone (GH or somatotropin) is a 191-amino acid, single chain polypeptide hormone which is synthesised, stored and secreted by the somatotroph cells within the lateral wings of the anterior pituitary gland, which stimulates growth and cell reproduction in humans and other animals. ... Staphylococcus aureus - Antibiotics test plate. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ...


Proponents of factory farming argue that it makes food production more efficient; that the animals are looked after in state-of-the-art confinement facilities and are content;[5] that it is needed to feed the growing global human population; and that it protects the environment.[6] Opponents argue that factory farming harms the environment, creates health risks,[7][8][9] and abuses animals.[2] The practice has become increasingly unpopular in Europe; Dr Gerhard Schroeder then German Chancellor, called for an end to factory farming in 2000 in response to Europe's BSE crisis,[3] which British scientists blamed on methods associated with factory farming.[10][11] Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder [] (born April 7, 1944 in Mossenberg-Wöhren), a German politician, has been serving as Chancellor of Germany since 1998. ... The head of government of Germany is called Chancellor (German: Kanzler). ... Classic image of cattle with BSE. Frantic digging going nowhere. ...

Contents

Origin of the term and history of the practice

The term

The origin of the term factory farm is not clear, although the Oxford English Dictionary attributes the first recorded use to an American journal of economics in 1890.[12] It is now used widely by mainstream news organizations. A 1998 documentary, A Cow at My Table, shows the term is also used within the agricultural industry. The term appears to be regarded as "activist terminology" in a farmers' publication[13]. Webster's New Millennium defines it as "a system of large-scale industrialized and intensive agriculture that is focused on profit with animals kept indoors and restricted in mobility."[14] In the U.S., factory farms are also known as confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs),[15] concentrated animal feeding operations,[16][8] or intensive livestock operations (ILOs).[17] Encyclopaedia Britannica describes the term as "descriptive of standard farming practice in the U.S." and that the term "is frequently used by animal-rights activists"[18]. The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... A Cow at My Table (1998; Flying Eye Productions, Canada; 90 minutes) is a documentary film examing Western attitudes towards farm animals and meat. ...


The practice

Innovations in agriculture beginning in the late 1800s paralleled developments in mass production in other industries. The identification of nitrogen and phosphorus as critical factors in plant growth led to the manufacture of synthetic fertilizers, making possible more intensive types of agriculture. The discovery of vitamins and their role in animal nutrition, in the first two decades of the 20th century, led to vitamin supplements, which in the 1920s allowed certain livestock to be raised indoors.[citation needed] The discovery of antibiotics and vaccines facilitated raising livestock in larger numbers by reducing disease. Chemicals developed for use in World War II gave rise to synthetic pesticides. Developments in shipping networks and technology have made long-distance distribution of agricultural produce feasible. Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardised products on production lines. ... General Name, Symbol, Number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... General Name, Symbol, Number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ... Spreading manure, an organic fertilizer Fertilizers (also spelled fertilisers) are compounds given to plants to promote growth; they are usually applied either via the soil, for uptake by plant roots, or by foliar feeding, for uptake through leaves. ... Retinol (Vitamin A) For the record label, see Vitamin Records A vitamin is an organic compound required in tiny amounts for essential metabolic reactions in a living organism. ... The updated USDA food pyramid, published in 2005, is a general nutrition guide for recommended food consumption. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Staphylococcus aureus - Antibiotics test plate. ... A vaccine is an antigenic preparation used to establish immunity to a disease. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ...


According to the BBC, factory farming in Britain began in 1947 when a new Agriculture Act granted subsidies to farmers to encourage greater output by introducing new technology, in order to reduce Britain's reliance on imported meat. The United Nations writes that intensification of animal production was seen as a way of providing food security.[19] The agriculture correspondent of The Guardian wrote in 1964: The British Broadcasting Corporation, which is usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ...

Factory farming, whether we like it or not, has come to stay. The tide will not be held back, either by the humanitarian outcry of well meaning but sometimes misguided animal lovers, by the threat implicit to traditional farming methods, or by the sentimental approach to a rural way of life. In a year which has been as uneventful on the husbandry side as it has been significant in economic and political developments touching the future of food procurement, the more far-seeing would name the growth of intensive farming as the major development.[20]

More farming subsidies were granted by the 1967 Agriculture Act. In 1973, Britain joined the European Economic Community (EEC), now the European Union. The EEC's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provided more subsidies still, which were heavily criticized as a cause of over-production, famously creating so-called beef and butter mountains throughout the 1980s.[11] The European Community (EC), most important of three European Communities, was originally founded on March 25, 1957 by the signing of the Treaty of Rome under the name of European Economic Community. ... The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a system of European Union agricultural subsidies and programmes. ...


Although Europe has become increasingly skeptical about the benefits of factory farming, after a series of diseases such as BSE (mad cow) and foot and mouth disease affected its agricultural industries, globally there are indications that the industrialized production of farm animals is set to increase. According to Denis Avery of the Hudson Institute, Asia increased its consumption of pork by 18 million tons in the 1990s.[6] As of 1997, the world had a stock of 900 million pigs, which Avery predicts will rise to 2.5 billion pigs by 2050.[6] He told the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley that three billion pigs will thereafter be needed annually to meet demand.[21] He writes: "For the sake of the environment, we had better hope those hogs are raised in big, efficient confinement systems."[6] Classic image of cattle with BSE. Frantic digging going nowhere. ... // Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD, Latin name Aphtae epizooticae), sometimes called hoof-and-mouth disease, is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal viral disease of cattle and pigs. ... The Hudson Institute is a conservative think tank founded in 1961 in Croton-on-Hudson, New York by the futurist Herman Kahn and other colleagues from the RAND Corporation. ... The College of Natural Resources (CNR) is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. ... Sather tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. ...


Scale, productivity and reduction of workforce

The practice of factory farming is currently widespread. Agricultural production across the world doubled four times between 1820 and 1975[22] to feed a global population of one billion human beings in 1800 and 6.5 billion in 2002.[23] During the same period, the number of people involved in farming dropped as the process became more automated. In the 1930s, 24 percent of the American population worked in agriculture compared to 1.5 percent in 2002; in 1940, each farm worker supplied 11 consumers, whereas in 2002, each worker supplied 90 consumers.[23] The number of farms has also decreased, and their ownership is more concentrated. In the U.S., four companies—including Philip Morris, the tobacco company—produce 81 percent of cows, 73 percent of sheep, 57 percent of pigs and 50 percent of chickens.[24] In 1967, there were one million pig farms in America; as of 2002, there were 114,000,[25] with 80 million pigs (out of 95 million) killed each year on factory farms as of 2002, according to the U.S. National Pork Producers Council.[23] According to the Worldwatch Institute, 74 percent of the world's poultry, 43 percent of beef, and 68 percent of eggs are produced this way.[16] Altria Group, Inc. ... The Worldwatch Institute is an environmental research organisation in the United States. ...


Characteristics

Warehouses in which chickens are confined in a "concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO).
Interior of a hog confinement barn
Interior of a hog confinement barn
Cows in a CAFO in the U.S.
The entrance to a dairy barn

Factory farms hold large numbers (some up to hundreds of thousands) of animals, typically cows, hogs, turkeys, or chickens, usually indoors. The aim of the operation is to produce as much meat, eggs, or milk at the lowest possible cost. Food is supplied in place, and artificial methods are employed to maintain animal health and improve production, such as the use of antimicrobial agents, vitamin supplements, and growth hormones. Growth hormones are not used in chicken meat production.[citation needed] Physical restraints are used, such as chicken debeaking, to control behavior regarded as undesirable. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Hog_confinement_barn_interior. ... Image File history File links Hog_confinement_barn_interior. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


The distinctive characteristic of factory farms is the intense concentration of livestock. At one farm (Farm 2105) run by Carrolls Foods of North Carolina, the second-largest pig producer in the U.S., twenty pigs are kept per pen and each confinement building or "hog parlor" holds 25 pens.[26] As of 2002, the company kills one million pigs every 12 days.[5] Carrolls, which is owned by Smithfield Foods, switched to total confinement in 1974. The company's chief executive officer, F.J. "Sonny" Faison, has said: "It's all a supply-and-demand price question … The meat business in this country is just about perfect, uncontrolled supply-and-demand free enterprise. And it continues to get more and more sophisticated, based on science. Only the least-cost producer survives in agriculture."[27] The animals are better off in total confinement, according to Faison: Smithfield Packing Company was founded in 1936 by Joseph W. Luter and his son Joseph W. Luter, Jr. ...

They're in state-of-the-art confinement facilities. The conditions that we keep these animals in are much more humane than when they were out in the field. Today they're in housing that is environmentally controlled in many respects. And the feed is right there for them all the time, and water, fresh water. They're looked after in some of the best conditions, because the healthier and [more] content that animal, the better it grows. So we're very interested in their well-being—up to an extent.[5]

Environmental issues

The designation "confined animal feeding operation" in the U.S. resulted from that country's 1972 Federal Clean Water Act, which was enacted to protect and restore lakes and rivers to a "fishable, swimmable" quality. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified certain animal feeding operations, along with many other types of industry, as point source polluters of groundwater. These operations were designated as CAFOs and subject to special anti-pollution regulation.[28] EPA redirects here. ...


In 24 states in the U.S., isolated cases of groundwater contamination has been linked to CAFOs.[citation needed] For example, the ten million hogs in North Carolina generate 19 million tons of waste per year.[citation needed] The U.S. federal government acknowledges the waste disposal issue and requires that animal waste be stored in lagoons. These lagoons can be as large as 7.5 acres. Lagoons must be protected with an impermeable liner, but can nonetheless leak waste into groundwater under some conditions, and runoff from manure spread back onto fields as fertilizer can leak into surface water in the case of an unforeseen heavy rainfall. A lagoon that burst in 1995 released 25 million gallons of nitrous sludge in North Carolina's New River. The spill allegedly killed eight to ten million fish.[29] Raw sewage and industrial waste flows into the U.S. from Mexico as the New River passes from Mexicali, Baja California to Calexico, California Water pollution is a large set of adverse effects upon water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities. ... Waste management is literally the process of managing waste materials (normally those produced as a result of human activities). ... Feces, faeces, or fæces (see spelling differences) is waste product from an animals digestive tract expelled through the anus (or cloaca) during defecation. ... See lagoon (disambiguation) for other possible meanings. ...


Denis Avery of the Hudson Institute's agricultural think-tank, the Center for Global Food Issues, has called modern farming a "conservation triumph," because it involves getting higher yields of crops and livestock from land.[30] He predicts that, after 2050, three billion pigs will be needed annually to meet demand:[21] "For the sake of the environment," he writes, "we had better hope those hogs are raised in big, efficient confinement systems."[6] The Hudson Institute is a conservative think tank founded in 1961 in Croton-on-Hudson, New York by the futurist Herman Kahn and other colleagues from the RAND Corporation. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


Ethical issues

According to some, the large concentration of animals, animal waste and dead animals in a small space poses ethical issues. Animal rights and animal welfare activists have charged that intensive animal rearing is cruel to animals. As a result gestation crates, one of the more contentious practices, are the subject of laws in the US[31], Europe[32] and around the world to phase out their use as a result of pressure to adopt less confined practices. Concerns about air pollution and ground water contamination, and the effects on human health of any pollution and the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, also arise. A civet, or sea fox, photographed in the Zigong Peoples Zoo, Sichuan, 2001. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Air pollution is a chemical, physical (e. ...


Health issues

One particular problem with farms on which animals are intensively reared is the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Because large numbers of animals are confined in a small space, any disease would spread quickly, and so antibiotics are used preventively. A small percentage of bacteria are not killed by the drugs, which may infect human beings if it becomes airborne.


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), farms on which animals are intensively reared can cause adverse health reactions in farm workers. Workers may develop acute and chronic lung disease, musculoskeletal injuries, and may catch infections that transmit from animals to human beings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, is recognized as the leading United States agency for protecting the public health and safety of people. ...


The CDC writes that chemical, bacterial, and viral compounds from animal waste may travel in the soil and water. Residents near such farms report nuisances such as odors and flies, as well as adverse health effects.[8][9]


The CDC has identified a number of pollutants associated with the discharge of animal waste into rivers and lakes, and into the air. The use of antibiotics may create antibiotic-resistant pathogens; parasites, bacteria, and viruses may be spread; ammonia, nitrogen, and phosphorus can reduce oxygen in surface waters and contaminate drinking water; pesticides and hormones may cause hormone-related changes in fish; animal feed and feathers may stunt the growth of desirable plants in surface waters and provide nutrients to disease-causing micro-organisms; trace elements such as arsenic and copper, which are harmful to human health, may contaminate surface waters.[8] Ammonia is a compound with the formula NH3. ... General Name, Symbol, Number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... General Name, Symbol, Number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ... General Name, Symbol, Number arsenic, As, 33 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 15, 4, p Appearance metallic gray Standard atomic weight 74. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Standard atomic weight 63. ...


Arguments for and against

Farming

General
Agribusiness · Agriculture
Agricultural science · Agronomy
Animal husbandry
Challenges of industrial farming
Factory farming · Free range
Extensive farming
History of agriculture
Industrial agriculture
Industrial agriculture (animals)
Industrial agriculture (crops)
Intensive farming · Organic farming
Sustainable agriculture
The challenges and issues of industrial agriculture for global and local society, for the industrial agriculture industy, and for the individual industrial agriculture farm include the costs and benefits of both current practices and proposed changes to those practices. ... Farming, ploughing rice paddy, in Indonesia Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fiber and other desired products by cultivation of certain plants and the raising of domesticated animals (livestock). ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 644 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (900 × 838 pixel, file size: 187 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... In agriculture, agribusiness is a generic term that refers to the various businesses involved in the food production chain, including farming, seed, agrichemicals, farm machinery, wholesaling, processing, distribution, and retail sales. ... Agricultural science is a broad multidisciplinary field that encompasses the parts of exact, natural, economic, and social sciences that are used in the practice and understanding of agriculture. ... Agronomy is a branch of agricultural science that deals with the study of crops and the soils in which they grow. ... Shepherd with his sheep in Făgăraş Mountains, Romania. ... The challenges and issues of industrial agriculture for global and local society, for the industrial agriculture industy, and for the individual industrial agriculture farm include the costs and benefits of both current practices and proposed changes to those practices. ... Free range is a method of farming husbandry where the animals are permitted to roam freely instead of being contained in small sheds. ... The small pig farm in Swiss mountains. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... These female brood sows are confined most of their lives in gestation crates too small to enable them to turn around. ... Main article: Industrial agriculture Industrial animal agriculture is a modern form of intensive farming that refers to the industrialized production of livestock, including cattle, poultry (in battery farms) and fish. ... Main article: Industrial agriculture Industrial agriculture is a modern form of intensive farming that refers to the industrialized production of crops and livestock, including cattle, poultry (in battery farms) and fish. ... Intensive Farming Intensive agriculture is an agricultural production system characterized by the high inputs as relative to land area (as opposed to extensive farming). ... Organic cultivation of mixed vegetables in Capay, California. ... Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals: environmental stewardship, farm profitability, and prosperous farming communities. ...

Particular
Aquaculture
Dairy farming
IMTA
Intensive pig farming
Poultry farming
Sheep husbandry
Workers harvest catfish from the Delta Pride Catfish farms in Mississippi Aquaculture is the cultivation of the natural produce of water (fish, shellfish, algae and other aquatic organisms). ... Dairy farming is a class of agricultural, or more properly, an animal husbandry enterprise, raising female cattle, goats, or other lactating animals for long-term production of milk, which may be either processed on-site or transported to a dairy for processing and eventual retail sale. ... Harvesting of kelp (Saccharina latissima, previously known as Laminaria saccharina) cultivated in proximity to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) at Charlie Cove, Bay of Fundy, Canada. ... These female brood sows are confined most of their lives in gestation crates too small to enable them to turn around. ... A free range egg (left) next to a battery egg (right) Poultry farming is the practice of raising poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks geese, as a subcategory of Animal husbandry, for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food. ... Australian Sheep Sheep husbandry is the raising and breeding of domestic sheep. ...

Issues
Animal rights · Animal welfare
Antibiotics
Battery cage · BSE
Foie gras Genetically modified food
Gestation crate · Growth hormone
Pesticide · Veal crates
A civet, or sea fox, photographed in the Zigong Peoples Zoo, Sichuan, 2001. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... An antibiotic is a drug that kills or slows the growth of bacteria. ... Battery Cage is an American electronic music project led by Tyler Newman. ... Classic image of cattle with BSE. Frantic digging going nowhere. ... Pâté de foie gras (right) with pickled pear. ... Genetically Modified (GM) foods are produced from genetically modified organisms (GMO) which have had their genome altered through genetic engineering techniques. ... Female pigs used for breeding are confined in 7 ft by 2 ft gestation crates for most of their lives. ... Growth hormone (GH or somatotropin) is a 191-amino acid, single chain polypeptide hormone which is synthesised, stored and secreted by the somatotroph cells within the lateral wings of the anterior pituitary gland, which stimulates growth and cell reproduction in humans and other animals. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ... Veal is a culinary term for meat produced from calves (young cattle). ...

Largest farming corporations
Bernard Matthews
Cargill
ContiGroup Companies
Maple Leaf Foods
Monsanto
Philip Morris
Premium Standard Farms
Smithfield Foods
Tyson Foods
Wayne Farms
Bernard Matthews is a food processing company headquartered in Norwich, Norfolk, with 57 farms throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire [1]. They produce and market turkey and other meat products, oven-ready turkeys, day-old turkeys, fish products and other poultry products. ... Cargill, Incorporated is a privately held, multinational corporation, and is based in the state of Minnesota in the United States. ... Formed in 1813, ContiGroup Companies, Inc (CGC) was originally founded by Simon Fribourg in Arlon, Belgium as a grain-trading firm. ... Maple Leaf Foods TSX: MFI is a major Canadian food processing company. ... The Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. ... Altria Group, Inc. ... Formed in 1988, Premium Standard Farms, Inc (PSF) (NASDAQ: PORK) was founded with the aim of creating a standardized method for which to produce premium pork. ... Smithfield Packing Company was founded in 1936 by Joseph W. Luter and his son Joseph W. Luter, Jr. ... Tyson Foods, Inc. ... Formerly operating under Allied Mills, the Poultry Division of ContiGroup Companies, Wayne Farms LLC is the sixth largest vertically integrated producer and processor of poultry in the United States. ...

Categories
Agriculture by country
Agriculture companies
Agriculture companies, U.S.
Biotechnology
Farming history
Livestock
Meat processing
Poultry farming

Supporting view

Proponents say that large-scale intensive farming is a useful and proven agricultural advance. The argued benefits include:

  • Low cost — Intensive agriculture tends to produce food that can be sold at lower cost to consumers.
  • Efficiency — Animals in confinement can be supervised more closely than free-ranging animals, and diseased animals can be treated faster. Further, more efficient production of meat, milk, or eggs results in a need for fewer animals to be raised, thereby limiting the impact of agriculture on the environment.
  • Economic contribution — The high input costs of agricultural operations result in a large influx and distribution of capital to a rural area from distant buyers rather than simply recirculating existing capital. A single dairy cow contributes over $1300 US to a local rural economy each year, each beef cow over $800, meat turkey $14, and so on. As Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff states, “Research estimates that the annual economic impact per cow is $13,737. In addition, each $1 million increase in PA milk sales creates 23 new jobs. This tells us that dairy farms are good for Pennsylvania's economy.” [33]
  • Industry is responsible and self-regulating — Organizations representing factory farm operators claim to be proactive and self-policing when it comes to improving practices according to the latest food safety and environmental findings.
  • Food safety — Reducing number and diversity of agricultural production facilities results in easier management. Smaller facility numbers permit easier government oversight and regulation of food quality. Processing foodstuffs through centralized mediums leads to standardization, which protects general food safety, removing unsafe rogue elements.
  • Animal health — Larger farms have greater resources and abilities to maintain a high level of animal health. Larger farms can make use of expert veterinarians, while smaller non-industrial farms are limited to farmer's ability to care for his livestock. Under certain definitions of industrial agriculture, industrial agriculture also permits the use of antibiotics to prevent and treat diseases, while non-industrial agriculture, to minimize cost and meet certain other goals, often will not prevent or treat bacterial diseases but will instead hope illness clears up without intervention.
  • Pollution control — Large farms can maintain and operate sophisticated systems to control waste products. Smaller farms are unable to maintain the same standards of pollution control. By consolidating waste products, farmers can efficiently manage waste.

Proponents also dispute the food borne illness argument. They note the fact that E. coli grows naturally in most mammals, including humans, and that only a few strains of E. coli are potentially hazardous to humans. They also note that diseases naturally occur among chickens and other animals. Properly cooking food can effectively remove risk factors by killing bacteria. Proponents argue that there is widespread demand for a cheap, reliable source of meat. E. coli redirects here. ...


Opposing view

Opponents say that factory farming is cruel,[34][35][36] that it poses health risks, and that it causes environmental damage. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


In 2003, a Worldwatch Institute publication stated that "factory farming methods are creating a web of food safety, animal welfare, and environmental problems around the world, as large agribusinesses attempt to escape tighter environmental restrictions in the European Union and the U.S. by moving their animal production operations to less developed countries." [37] The Worldwatch Institute is an environmental research organisation in the United States. ...


Arguments include:

  • Mad Cow Disease — Factory farming techniques may lead to a higher incidence of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease, which in turn is claimed to cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.[7] In light of recently discovered cases of mad cow disease, Germany's chancellor, Dr Gerhard Schroeder, called for a stop of the practice of factory farming, asking instead for a more 'consumer-friendly' policy,[10] while British scientists called for farmers move away from intensive agriculture, saying the end of factory farming was the only way to kill mad cow disease.[10]
  • Other diseasesOverpopulation may lead to disease. In natural environments, animals are seldom crowded into as high a population density. Disease spreads rapidly in densely populated areas. Animals raised on antibiotics are breeding antibiotic resistant strains of various bacteria ("superbugs").[38] Use of animal vaccines can create new viruses that kill people and cause flu pandemic threats. H5N1 is an example of where this might have already occurred.[39][40][41]
  • Air and water pollution — Large quantities and concentrations of waste are produced.[42] Lakes, rivers, and groundwater are at risk when animal waste is improperly recycled. Pollutant gases are also emitted. Contaminants such as dust or foul smells can pollute air.
  • EthicsCruelty to animals: Crowding, drugging, and performing surgery on animals. Chicks are debeaked hours after hatching, commonly by slicing off the beak. Confining hens and pigs in barren environments leads to physical problems such as osteoporosis and joint pain, and also boredom and frustration, as shown by repetitive or self-destructive actions known as stereotypes.[43]
  • Resource overuse — Concentrated populations of animals require a commensurately large amount of water and are depleting water resources in some areas.[citation needed]
  • Destruction of Biodiversity — Industrial farming wipes out large areas of land to house a single variation of one species, usually foreign to the region, thus eliminating the entire local ecosystem.
  • Tracking — With the intensive farming system it is difficult to track the source of food, let alone food borne disease, back to particular animals. Sometimes food purchased on one side of the country may have been produced on the other side. Hamburger meat may contain the meat of as many as 1000 cows.[44] This causes concern among consumers concerning the origin of foods and among government officials concerning the origin of disease. The National Animal Identification System is one proposed way the USDA is attempting to remedy this problem. With "traditional" farming techniques this problem is eliminated because the consumer can buy directly from the producer. [45][46]This can lead to other problems, however, as food purchased directly from farmers does not have to be processed according to industrial standards and undergoes no official quality evaluation.

Classic image of cattle with BSE. Frantic digging going nowhere. ... Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a very rare and incurable degenerative neurological disorder (brain disease) that is ultimately fatal. ... Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder [] (born April 7, 1944 in Mossenberg-Wöhren), a German politician, has been serving as Chancellor of Germany since 1998. ... Map of countries by population density (See List of countries by population density. ... The term disease refers to an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs function. ... Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of an antibiotic. ... Phyla/Divisions Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Omnibacteria Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular, bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... An influenza pandemic is a large scale epidemic of the influenza virus, such as the 1918 Spanish flu. ... Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species. ... A man-made lake in Keukenhof, Netherlands A lake (from Latin lacus) is a body of water or other liquid of considerable size contained on a body of land. ... This bridge across the Danube River links Hungary with Slovakia. ... Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of geologic formations. ... The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ... Debeaking, also known as beak trimming, is a process by which parts of the beak of a chicken are removed. ... Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced, bone microarchitecture is disrupted, and the amount and variety of non-collagenous proteins in bone is altered. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful to humans. ... The National Animal Identification System, otherwise known as NAIS, is a government-run program in the United States intended to permit improved animal health surveillance by identifying and tracking specific animals. ...

See also

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... Environmental vegetarianism is the practice of vegetarianism based on the belief that the production of meat by intensive agriculture is environmentally unsustainable. ... Beef cattle on a feedlot in the Texas Panhandle A feedlot or feedyard is a type of concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) which is used for fattening livestock, notably beefcattle, prior to slaughter. ... Foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States. ... Permaculture Mandala summarising the ethics and principles of permaculture design. ... The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a method of increasing the yield of rice produced in farming. ...

Sources and notes

  1. ^ Turner, Jacky. "History of factory farming", United Nations
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b "EU tackles BSE crisis", BBC News, November 29, 2000.
  4. ^ "Factory farming," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007.
  5. ^ a b c Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, 2002, p. 258.
  6. ^ a b c d e Avery, Dennis. "Big Hog Farms Help the Environment," Des Moines Register, December 7, 1997, cited in Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 30.
  7. ^ a b Harden, Blaine. "Supplements used in factory farming can spread disease", The Washington Post, December 28, 2003.
  8. ^ a b c d "Concentrated animal feeding operations", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human Services.
  9. ^ a b McBride, A. Dennis. "The Association of Health Effects with Exposure to Odors from Hog Farm Operations", North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, December 7, 1998.
  10. ^ a b c "Scientists: factory farming drop could end mad cow", CNN/Reuters, December 4, 2000.
  11. ^ a b "Sweeping changes to British farming", BBC News, December 1, 1965, with a more recent (undated) summary of the context.
  12. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Second Ed. — factory
  13. ^ Alberta Farm Animal Care Update, Fall 2005
  14. ^ Factory farming, Webster's New Millennium Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.6). Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. (accessed: April 04, 2007).
  15. ^ "Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOS)/Factory Farming", Library of Michigan Bibliography.
  16. ^ a b "State of the World 2006," Worldwatch Institute, p. 26.
  17. ^ Comparative Standards for Intensive Livestock Operations in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
  18. ^ Britannica concise definition
  19. ^ "The History of Factory Farming", United Nations.
  20. ^ Baker, Stanley. "Factory farms—the only answer to our growing appetite?", The Guardian, December 29, 1964.
  21. ^ a b Avery, Denis. "Commencement address," University of California, Berkeley, College of Natural Resources, May 21, 2000, cited in Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 30.
  22. ^ It doubled between 1820 and 1920; between 1920 and 1950; between 1950 and 1965; and again between 1965 and 1975. Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 29.
  23. ^ a b c Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 29.
  24. ^ Testimony by Leland Swenson, president of the U.S. National Farmers' Union, before the House Judiciary Committee, September 12, 2000.
  25. ^ Shen, Fern. "Md. Hog Farm Causing Quite a Stink," The Washington Post, May 23, 1999; and Plain, Ronald L. "Trends in U.S. Swine Industry," U.S. Meat Export Federation Conference, September 24, 1997, cited in Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 29.
  26. ^ Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, pp. 259.
  27. ^ Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, 2002, pp. 255–256.
  28. ^ Sweeten, John et al. "Fact Sheet #1: A Brief History and Background of the EPA CAFO Rule". MidWest Plan Service, Iowa State University, July 2003.
  29. ^ Orlando, Laura. McFarms Go Wild, Dollars and Sense, July/August 1998, cited in Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 257.
  30. ^ "Intensive farming is 'conservation triumph'," Chemistry and Industry, December 1, 1997.
  31. ^ Animal rights concerns grow in California
  32. ^ Washington Post: Largest Pork Processor to Phase Out Crates
  33. ^ Dairy in Pennsylvania: A VITAL ELEMENT FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT[1]
  34. ^ "Cruelty to Animals: Mechanized Madness", PETA
  35. ^ Comis, Don, USDA Agricultural Research Service. "Settling Doubts about Livestock Stress." in Agricultural Research. March 2005. p. 4–7.
  36. ^ Smith, Lewis W., USDA Agricultural Research Service. “Forum—Helping Industry Ensure Animal Well-Being.” in Agricultural Research. March 2005. p. 2.
  37. ^ Nierenberg, Danielle. Factory Farming in the Developing World World Watch Magazine: May/June 2003.
  38. ^ "Agricultural Antibiotic Use Contributes To 'Super-bugs' In Humans", ScienceDaily, July 5, 2005.
  39. ^ Webster, Robert G. "H5N1 Outbreaks and Enzootic Influenza", CDC.
  40. ^ "Factory farms are responsible for bird flu, according to a new report", NF News, February 20, 2007. 
  41. ^ Stephen Leahy. "Report Blames Factory Farms for Bird Flu", IPS, February 21, 2007. 
  42. ^ Facts about Pollution from Livestock Farms. National Resource Defense Council. Retrieved on 2006-05-30.
  43. ^ "The Welfare of Intensively Kept Pigs—Report of the Scientific Veterinary Committee—Adopted 30 September 1997, European Commission, and "Opinion of the AHAW Panel related to the welfare aspects of various systems of keeping laying hens", European Food Safety Authority (7-Mar-2005)
  44. ^ Scholosser, Eric, interview with Morgan Spurlock;
  45. ^ Schlosser, Eric, Fast Food Nation;
  46. ^ Eisnitz, Gail, Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry

February 20 is the 51st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 52nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 150th day of the year (151st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

Proponents
Opponents
  • Anti-agricultural FAQs on Factory Farming
  • Fatal Harvest—The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture
  • Ask For Change resources for consumers
  • A critique of factory farming
  • FactoryFarming.com
  • Cruelty to Animals: Mechanized Madness—Article with links to photos and videos of factory farming
  • foie gras production—Video of Foie Gras production
  • Husbandry Institute Promoting sustainable, responsible, and ethical animal husbandry
  • Information about factory farming from The Humane Society of the United States
  • Inside the California Egg Industry: An Undercover Investigation—Video of hens in battery cages at various intensive egg farming facilities. (2/4/06)
  • The Meatrix—a parody of The Matrix
  • The Meatrix 2: Revolting—the second installment of the Meatrix parodying The Matrix
  • Meet Your Meat—a PETA-produced factory farm tour narrated by Alec Baldwin
  • FutureFood-Project: Cruelty of factory-farming and revolutionary future solutions (meat without livestock)
  • See inside an egg factory farm
  • See inside a chicken factory farm
  • One of PA's largest egg farms charged with animal cruelty
  • TorturedbyTyson.com—Undercover investigation of a Tyson Foods processing plant.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Factory farming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2203 words)
Factory farming is a term used to describe a set of controversial practices in large-scale, intensive agriculture.
Factory farming may also describe farms that grow fruits and vegetables as intensive monoculture crops, and applies to bees for honey production and fur-bearing animals for the fur trade when they are raised in similar intensive conditions.
Environmentally, factory farming of crops is claimed to be responsible for loss of biodiversity, degradation of soil quality, soil erosion, food toxicity (pesticide residues) and pollution (through agrichemical build-ups, and use of fossil fuels for agrichemical manufacture and for farm machinery and long-distance distribution).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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