A Solution to Factory Farming Ethics

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God gave man dominion over the land and the animals so that he could take care of them and prosper with them Genesis 1:24-31. Since the human race was created in God's image, humans should exercise that dominion with wisdom and mercy like God does upon man. Yet man has perverted this duty by taking too much from the land and animals, and not fulfilling the original contract to take care of them. This has become evident in factory farming because man is mistreating the animals in order to produce the cheapest and most productive system for vast amounts of meat no matter the moral standing to animals and the land. This has to be changed to keep the contract intact, which Peter Singer and Jim Mason are trying to do in The Ethics of Eating Meat. They are trying to convert as many people as possible to vegetarianism and veganism to stop factory farming and what it is doing to the world as it is known. Yet one must argue if that is ever possible, so a better solution must be sought for all the omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans out there may have an alternative that best suits everyone's wishes and the best interests of the contract.

One must first look at the issues at hand before seeking the solution that best fits everyone's and everything's best interests. First off, humans have developed something called "speciesism" (Singer And Mason 777), which is a prejudice against anything that is not a part of the dominant human race. Man has denied reasonable rights to animals and plants to prosper in a way that allows them to live their lives not as an object, but as a living thing. Such as it is in factory farming, animals are placed into cramped shelves and confined spaces with unhealthy environmental elements. This is not truly living by any means known to man. Humans know and understand this because they have the same interests as the animals do when it comes to living standards. Singer and Mason state, "If an animal feels pain, the pain matters as much as it does when a human feels pain. Granted, the mental capacities of different beings will affect how they experience pain, how they remember it, and whether they anticipate further pain." (777) Animals might not be able to understand what is happening but it still affects them on a high enough level that humans should understand it is wrong to let the suffering continue to happen.

Unjustifiable living conditions for animals is not the only issue affecting this growing problem. Also, because raising animals takes much more food to feed, it is a very inefficient use of land. It takes about ten times the amount of land to feed cattle and get the same food amount from the outcome then using just one times that amount of land to grow crops instead. This poor ratio is why things like deforestation happens and we lose those natural habitats including the wildlife diversity. Davis states here the ratios to how many animals die to raise food for factory farming "Davis then tries to calculate the number of animals killed by growing crops and the number killed by rearing beef cattle on pasture and proves that vegans are indirectly responsible for killing only about a fifth as many animals as those who eat grass-fed beef." (qtd. in Singer & Mason 785) It is much more efficient and less destructive to the environment to produce grown foods instead of raised animals. These are the issues placed in front of humans, but as a response the meat lovers have come up with a good defense.

The meat eating community has conceived a formidable defense against the issues of factory farming, but these arguments still do not solve the issues. It started when wild animals and humans in the past noticed the benefits to having a relationship with each other. Animals could live off the food and protection provided by humans and the humans prospered off the meat and other byproducts the animals provided back. The result was these animal breeds evolved in order to improve their species as a whole. Using...
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