November 28, 2012
A Hopeless Fight for Life Imagine being in a classroom that is so crowded to the point that you cannot even turn around. You cannot make it to the doorway because the eight people around you are pushing in every direction. Chances are if it was up to you, you would want to get out of that room as fast as you could into a more comfortable environment. Now imagine that classroom being your home. You have been living there since you were born and you are almost never taken care of personally. This probably sounds completely inhumane, and it is. Unfortunately this is the fate of over ten billion animals every single year (Animal 1). Factory farming is putting animals into small, confined spaces for maximum food production (Animal 3). Although factory farming does make production faster and cheaper, it should not be allowed in The United States because it is extremely unhealthy for the animals and for humans that eat the food.
One breed of animals that is well known to be used in factory farming is chickens. Newly hatched chicks are first sorted out by males and females. Males are thrown into garbage bags because they do not have the ability to lay eggs, which means they cannot help the farm make more money. The workers suffocate the chicks to kill them because it is easy and inexpensive. Females are put into batteries, which are tiny cages that can hold up to six chickens, where they will spend their entire lives. There is not enough room in the cages to even turn around, which gives the animals difficulty in eating and communicating with the other animals. (Cohen 85). The animals are also de-beaked so they do not eat or injure the other chickens (Cohen 79). At most factory farms, one worker can care for as many as 100,000 laying hens. This shows that there is a lot of neglect for most of the chickens because it is very difficult for one worker to care for that many living animals (Cohen 80). Chickens are not the only animals that are used in factory farming. Another breed of animals that are used in factory farming are pigs. Pigs are one of the most intelligent animals and they spend their entire short life in a small, concrete stall where they eat, sleep and gain weight. They are slaughtered at only six months of age for their meat (Cohen 84). Over 100 million cows, pigs and sheep are slaughtered in just the United States, while five billion chickens are killed every year for food (Starobin 1).
There are thousands of factory farms across America that have different breeds of animals. One farm is in Augusta, Missouri and is owned by Rich Rehmeier (Weeks 2). This particular farm has more than four hundred pigs, and each one is confined in their own small metal cage. Most of the pigs are too big to even turn around so they sit in their cage facing the same direction for their entire short life. In this farm there are four male boars that impregnate the female sows (Weeks 2). The workers collect semen from the boars and then go around the farm to the sows. When the sow becomes pregnant, they stay in their cage for the entire four month pregnancy until the piglets are born. At three to four weeks old the pigs are weaned, which means given fake nutrients so they do not have to be breast fed by the mothers (Weeks 2). At this time, the mothers are then taken to either a new farm or to be slaughtered for meat. The pigs spend their entire life living in one small cage until they have piglets, and then they are slaughtered. The ideas that are being practiced by this factory farm are the same ones that are being used all over The United States. (Weeks 1). However, some factory farms are even more inhumane.
Animals that are forced to live in factory farms have extremely unhealthy lives. When animals are living in huge populations, they create large quantities of waste. Because the farms are so overcrowded, it is hard for the workers to clean up