March 31, 2015
Senor Bayardo Faithful Ethics of Food Essay
Prior to this food unit I was a devout omnivore. I did not justify my urge to eat meat with any logical fallacies that most meat eaters use; rather, I ate meat because it “tasted good” and I was ignorant to the severe ethical and moral questions that my seemingly mundane practice raised.
However, I have now come to realize that the current practices of slaughter that we impose upon these beings in order to exact an economic profit, as well as to feed ourselves, to be morally reprehensible; that is, a violation of the animals natural rights. In addition, due to our lust for meat, the rapid industrialization of meat production has led to deleterious environmental implications. Therefore, I have concluded that eating meat is both a morally and environmentally abhorrent practice that I have decided to stop.
The production of meat is a dirty (that is to say horrific) oneor, rather, it became one over time.
Over the past 50 years, the production of farm animals for human consumption has shifted from
“the traditional, extensive, decentralized family farm system to a more concentrated system with fewer producers,” wherein large numbers of animals are confined in egregious living conditions.
An example of this can be seen in the swine industry as the United States is currently “raising approximately the same number of swine as we did in 1950[; however] we are doing so on significantly fewer, far larger farms, with dramatically fewer farm workers” (this can also be observed in the cattle and chicken industry).(possibly cut) This, in turn, is the basic production model for the few that control our meat industry, which “is characterized by confining large numbers of animals of the same species in relatively small areas, generally in enclosed facilities that restrict movement.” In these concentrated industrial farms, the animals are also fed, for the sake of maintaining a profit, an unnatural diet of corn and some grains, while also being pumped full with growth promoting steroids and antibiotics. Now, of course, the short term socioeconomic benefits can be clearly seen in using a production model such as this. The use of antibiotics and steroids leads to fatter animals raised in less time. The use of concentrating animals into large scale feeding and growth operations leads to more
The relationship between corn and industrial farming can be seen as a directly proportional one; that is to say, the rise of corn facilitated the rise of industrialized farming and the economics of capitalismor rather, as some word argue, the redirection of the market as a result of flawed governmental policiesallowed for both corn and industrial animal production to flourish. With the growth of corn production, as a result of various political rulings and the natural
“urbanization of agriculture”, corn found “its way into the diet of animals [i.e. cows] that never used to eat very much of it.” Cows, and other animals, began to “leave” to CAFO’s as the
“economic logic of gathering so many animals together to feed them cheap corn in CAFO’s is hard to argue with”
The environmental repercussions of such a system are far reaching and have severe socioeconomic implications for our society. While industrially produced