Factory Farming

 

Factory farming is a method of mass food production in which animals are kept in very confined areas in order to get the best possible profit. Factory farming wants to keep production costs low and sell cheaper food to consumers.

Factory farming is a much discussed issue. Animal rights activists and environmentalists claim that this type of food production is dangerous to our environment and forces animals to live in an unworthy way. On the other side farmers and larger food corporations claim that they cannot produce enough food at reasonable prices without factory farming.

Over the past decades farms have grown in size and intensity. Farming has become an industry, using modern technology. Today farmers use pesticides, antibiotics and vitamins to produce as much as they can and to control diseases. Fertilizers make it possible to grow more crops than nature would allow. These factors lead to lower food prices on supermarket shelves.

Those who are in favor of factory farming say that it creates jobs and lets consumers buy cheaper food. They also state that it is friendly to our nature because it uses less land to produce the same amount of food.

 

Critics against factory farming say that it is brutal and cruel to animals. They live in overcrowded cages or boxes without enough space to move around. Chicken, sheep, cattle and pigs are often kept in such a way. They are given special feed so that they can grow quicker. Crops that are sprayed with pesticides are a health risk to humans and have a number of chemicals in them. They also argue that such large farms ruin smaller ones because they can produce at more competitive prices.

Although products from factory farms are not labeled consumers can buy food from organic production. Some products, like eggs, have labels on the boxes that say they are laid by hens that can move around and are not kept in cages.

 

Hens laying eggs in cages

Factory farming - Larry Rana

 

Related Topics

Words

  • although = while
  • amount = how much of something
  • animal rights activist = a person who cares about animals and fights publicly to give them a better life
  • antibiotics = drug used to kill bacteria
  • argue = to disagree with someone
  • cage = structure made out of wires and bars in which animals are kept in
  • cattle = cows and bulls that are kept on a farm for their meat and milk
  • claim = to say that something is true
  • competitive = here: to try to be cheaper than the others
  • confined = very small
  • consumer = a person who buys something
  • create = make
  • crop = plant such as wheat, corn that is grown by farmers and used as food
  • cruel = unkind, mean, heartless
  • decade = a period of ten years
  • disease = illness
  • environment = the world around us
  • environmentalist = a person who cares about nature and wants to preserve it
  • factor = reason
  • feed = food that animals eat
  • fertilizer = substance that you put into the soil to make crops grow
  • food corporation = big company that buys and sells food products
  • force = make
  • intensity = here: to put more technology into farming
  • issue = topic
  • label = sticker on the food with information on it
  • method = way
  • organic = produced without chemicals
  • overcrowded = without enough room
  • pesticide = chemical used to kill insects and small animals that destroy crops
  • production costs = what it costs to produce or create a product
  • profit = money that you get by producing something
  • reasonable = not too expensive
  • ruin = here: to drive out of business
  • shelf = a long board in shops that is used to put things on
  • space = room
  • spray = to force liquid out of a can in very thin drops
  • state = say
  • technology = machines and other modern tools
  • unworthy = not good enough, bad