Response to Prompt 2: Animals 2

Standard

When we take a look at our current methods of factory farming, there is little doubt that the system has begun to spiral out of control. While many people as well as large corporations still tend to see factory farming as a cheap, profitable alternative to small scale agriculture, they also tend to overlook the host of health and environmental problems that it brings. The spread of disease, antibiotic resistance, animal exploitation, and excess feedlot waste are just several of the most pressing issues that could be largely avoided if we were to switch to more sustainable farming practices that focus on small scale agriculture. I believe there are several steps that must be taken to ensure more sanitary and environmentally friendly conditions for the cultivation of crops and the raising of animals for consumption. Stricter EPA regulations to decrease agricultural runoff pollution and stricter USDA regulations that allow local farming businesses to become greater participators in the agricultural market would not only help our ecosystem, but would also encourage a shift from high volume agricultural production to more humane and sustainable small scale production. Additionally, in order to ensure that the plants and animals we consume is harvested humanely, we must implement a minimum standard for how we should treat them. These minimum standards need to begin a shift away from the over usage of antibiotics and pesticides as well as stricter regulations regarding the overall size and maximum capacity of factory farms. If we were to reduce our consumption of both dairy and meat products, this would reduce our need to expand the factory farming system at the expense of smaller local farming businesses. In summary, a combination of stricter minimum standards that focus on ethical treatment as well as human effort to consume less animal protein would create a drastic difference in the quality of both the air and water in our surrounding environment.  The startling fact that “farm animal production is responsible for 18% of our greenhouse gas emissions,” should tell us that there is definitely more that we can do regarding how we produce meat and vegetation. Ultimately, it is how we present the issue to the public that will determine whether society will realize the true urgency of the issue and as well as comprehend the idea that  profitability must not take precedence over sustainability.  

 http://www.ciwf.org.uk/your_food/sustainable_food/default.aspx

 

 

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