Phi 103 Informal Logic

Topics: Milk, Factory farming, Cattle Pages: 6 (2185 words) Published: January 8, 2013
Factory Farming and the Welfare of Animals
PHI 103 Informal Logic

Factory Farming and the Welfare of Animals
Even though higher yields are met for demand and human consumption, factory farming is cruel to animals due to the fact animals are often subject to harsh living conditions, more susceptible to diseases and injuries and are treated inhumanely during the slaughtering process. Unfortunately, with an increase in human population worldwide, the strain on farmers to meet the demand increases as well. This in turn causes more animals to be subject to this cruelty. In the U.S., the concept of factory farms primarily involving animals such as pigs, cattle and chicken began in the 1920’s as a way to increase efficiencies by capturing the processes used by the industrial factories. Fogelson states, “during the 1920’s, industrial farming concepts found their way onto real farms in America “, (2003). This practice, also known as intensive livestock production, forces animals to be subjected to harsh living conditions while they are indoors and confined to crowded spaces and less sanitary environments. For instance, chickens are normally confined to cages inside giant warehouses along with thousands of other chickens. As they are under confinement and fed a diet intended to increase body weight at a rapid pace, their movements are hindered. D’Silva states,” the birds spend more time lying down, resting and sleeping. This means they are lying on the litter floor of the broiler shed, which probably houses approximately 20,000 chickens. Over the 6-week rearing period, this floor becomes increasingly filthy with excreta and the buildup of ammonia “, (2006). The fact that these living conditions are acceptable practices during the lifecycle of chickens, also referred to as broilers, overcrowding sometimes leading to death is an unfortunate reality. Much like chicken, pigs and cattle are also forced to live in harsh conditions and environments while being raised for slaughter. Calves, specifically raised for the popular meat known as veal, are often individually confined and allowed limited movements starting at birth. D’Silva states, “ the calves are unable, for most of the rearing period, to turn around and are only able to stand up, lie down, and take a couple of steps forward or backwards “, (2006). Similarly, pigs are also kept individually confined within concrete and/or metal barred crates. This confinement includes pregnant pigs, or sows, as well. Little comfort or consideration for different living conditions is given to the sows as they carry their young which hinders their natural instinct to nest. D’Silva points out, “the sow spends most of her 16.5-week pregnancy in the individual stall, and is unable to turn round throughout that time. She lies on a concrete and slatted floor with no straw or other bedding material for comfort “, (2006). Needless to say, these harsh conditions prevent and frustrate normal instinctual behaviors for all three of these farm animals. The quality of life for these animals is hardly taken into account when being raised as “production units” and leaves them more susceptible to sickness and disease. Gaining higher yields and profits have brought about crowded living quarters, feeding techniques and hormone treatments that cause factory farm animals to be more susceptible to sickness and disease. In the case of chickens, overcrowding in cages and warehouses alone means birds do not have access to sanitary conditions and fresh air allowing for the transmission of disease causing bacteria and viruses to easily spread. In recent years, Avian Flu strains have been a major concern among health organizations. Collins points out, “animals are packed together in a closed environment. As the days progress, birds end up standing on a cake of feces, feathers and sawdust, in a dusty warm atmosphere – an environment perfect for the transmission of contagious disease “, (2007). These susceptible conditions...
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