In the 1970's the top 5 beef packers had control over 25% of the market. <<<Today, the top 4 control nearly 80% of the market. The average modern supermarket holds nearly 47,000 products, <<<but these products are produced by only a handful of food companies. 40 years ago there were thousands of slaughterhouses that produced the majority of beef, <<< today there are only 13. / <<<These shocking statistics are a result of a fairly new and dangerous form of agriculture in America, they are a result of factory farms. / Factory farms have become increasingly prevalent over the past 40 years, and have undoubtedly taken over our countries food industry. Factory farms produce a mass quantity of livestock such as beef, pork, or chicken and manufacture enough to serve millions of people. In order to speed up the process, these farms use antibiotics in order to increase an animals growth and prevent infection since they are being raised in such overcrowded areas. / <<<Factory farming has the same underlying foundations of sweatshops, with the intention of cutting corners and increasing profit margins. Factory farms are harmful for the environment and do not provide safe products for human consumption. Every year there are thousands of e-coli, salmonella, and other bacterial outbreaks that are a result of these farms. The bacterial outbreaks are a result of the farms failed system of feeding livestock a corn diet when their natural diet does not consist of corn. The only reason animals are being fed corn is because it is the cheapest thing that can be supplied. Factory farms do not take any risks into consideration when manufacturing food on such a large scale and housing thousands of animals in one enclosed building. Risks include the 500 tons of manure produced at factory farms anually, which more than 3 times the amount of sewage produced by the enire population in the United States. This amount of manure can easily infect animals since there is no room to roam and many of them end up dying because of these terrible living conditions. Another risk is the likelihood of animals quickly spreading disease that can negativley affect humans after consuming infected meat. An additional problem is that the over use of antibiotics on animals creates a breeding ground for bacteria that is anitibiotic resistent, and that reduces the effectivness of antibiotics for human patients. Also, antibiotics cause animals bodies to grow rapidly, which often leaves them paralyzed because their bodies cannot keep up with the growth. Purchasing food that has been manufactured at a factory farm is like buying a generic product; it looks comparable to name brands but the quality of the product says otherwise. Factory Farms take the easy way out of fixing their problems with manure and disease by using harsh chemicals such as amonia. None of the products produced at these farms have a warning label regarding what people could possibly be consuming. These farms are stealing the consumers right to know the truth about what they are actually putting into their bodies. <<< It is no surprise that the prevalence of factory farms has resulted in an increase of serious illness such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. // Young children who have been diagnosed with e-coli after eating infected meat have died because their bodies cannot fight off the infection and because the infection has become intolerant to antibiotics. Fatory farms need to have much stricter regulations if they are going to continue to exist. Harsh chemicals should not be used on meat in order to get rid of disease. Also, animals should not be fed antibiotics to speed up their growth. Additionally, animals should be fed a more natural diet and should have room to roam around and live somewhat of a natural life. Taking thousands of animals and putting them in crowded factory spaces does not and will not ever provide consumers with a safe, quality product. An alternative to factory farms would be the traditonal family owned farm. <<< Family farms are healthier, more trustworthy, and more reliable than factory farms. / However, small famiy owned farms are becoming less common with the rise of factory farming. The handful of companies that are monopolizing the livestock industry control the prices that many farmers recieve and also manage the operations of many farms. When large companies gain control over small farms, the farmers are basically forced to comply with requests and resort to factory farming. If farmers do no comply with requests of larger companies they can lose their buisness for good. In conclusion, there is not one thing about today's factory farm that is beneficial to humans or the environment. / Factory farms have undoubtedly taken over the agricultural industry in America and have come with some severe consequences. A few large companies make it nearly impossible for small farms to thrive. These companies have also put the general public at risk for many types of illnesses and do not inform consumers about what they are putting into their bodies. Factory farms do not provide consumers with the truth about their products, and factory farms do not provide consumers with a product that is safe to eat. In order to stop this epidemic, people need to educate themselves and fight against this flawed system.