Do you know that currently only about two percent of the entire food purchased in the United States comes from local and sustainable sources? This number is appalling when you think about it. Our reality right now is that many consumers eat meat without any knowledge or care of the journey it takes from the farm to the plate. Animal factory farms are increasingly becoming the normal use of production for meat as small family farms are slowly becoming extincted. While animal factory farms produce low cost meat for the American public, there are so many negative externalities that are produced from so many animals confined in small areas. These factories degrade local environments, treat animals inhumanely, use large amounts of energy and antibiotics, and cause harm to human health. It goes against nature to confine large numbers of animals in small areas without sunlight or open space for a long duration of time. The large amount of waste produced by animals often ends up in the local communities’ water supply, land, and air. Producers feed antibiotics to animals to make them grow big faster and protect them against diseases since they live in such horrible conditions. There has been an increase in antibiotic resistant disease since humans are eating these antibiotics in the meat. This is scary for the future because doctors are having to deal with a decreasing supply of antibiotics to treat human diseases. Treatment for antibiotic resistant diseases are very expensive and around a half of a million people die around the world each year. Other developed countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, have outlawed non-therapeutic antibiotics for animals and these countries reported that the welfare of animals has remained constant.
My white paper was aimed at Tyson Foods, our of the four largest food processors in the world. This company has been involved in many environmental lawsuits because of the major negative impact large scale animal factory farms have on the community. I proposed that the company change at least seventy-five percent of their US food production to local sustainable farms and stop feeding farm animals non-therapeutic antibiotics. Local, sustainable farms do not have as big of an negative impact on the environment and treat animals more humanely. Local food production is a sustainable method as it uses a lot less energy and natural resources. Animals would be mostly fed off of the farm instead of using fed, would be allowed to run around and stretch their legs, grow without the help of antibiotics, and have a better life. The current food system is unsustainable and I believe that the real change in the industry will come from a company within the industry. Tyson Foods supplies meat to a large population so the company has the potential to make a change to a better and more sustainable future.
This video displays the truth about life on a factory farms. It is uncomfortable to watch, but yet there hasn’t been much recent change.