Are you eating chicken and wondering how many hormones are really in it? Are you worried that your cheese may not actually be cheese? Exactly how much of your ground meat is ground meat in fact? Is there salmonella in your eggs or arsenic in your poultry? Worry not, you are not alone. Even though most of us know what goes on in factories and animal slaughterhouses, we still eat food that is filled with puss and fecal matter.
To meet the ever-increasing food demand, producers have resorted to industrial agriculture and factory farming. They are the biggest contributors to air pollution, deforestation, water pollution, monocultures, fossil fuels and carbon emissions. For about more than a decade now, global warming has been increasing at an unprecedented rate. Why is that? It is because of how our food is prepared. The very animals we kill are actually killing us and our planet. For starters, we know that increased rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the leading causes of global warming therefore it is shocking that production of fertilizers for animal crops emit up to 41 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. Shockingly enough, factory farming accounts for 37% methane emissions which has more than 20 times the global warming potential of CO2. Aren’t these facts dreadful enough for us to reconsider our approach towards food? Why aren’t we playing our part in controlling the destruction of our planet?
If the above-mentioned facts make you uncomfortable, think about this. Many people call themselves animal lovers but their love is limited to ‘pets’. If dog abuse or cat abuse disturbs you then you must see what is being done to cows, chickens, goats and pigs. They are not any different from our pets. Factory farming has horrifying practices with no safeguards for the workers or the animals. The animals that are food to us are sexually abused, beaten, sedated and mistreated beyond our wildest imaginations. Their lives are no lives. They barely have room to move in their cages, they lie among dead animals and in their own faeces. The production lines move so fast that it causes a great deal of suffering for the animals.
By nature, chickens and cows are intelligent and social animals. Cows are grossly mistreated and mishandled. A new born calf is taken away from its mother so that the mother cow will produce more milk in response to her trauma. The cow sometimes cries out for days because of her loss. Chickens live no better lives. In natural habitats, they to live in flocks and bond through communal activities. They are very maternal and spend most of their lives nurturing their young. Most facilities are crowded which causes psychological trauma for the hens which in turn causes them to fight each other. Since the chicken farmers cannot have this, they debeak chickens with a hot blade machine. Some farms practice forced molting which is the process of starving hens in isolation for 10-14 days in response of which they produce better quality eggs. Can you even fathom the pain these animals go through? And for what? Nothing. Nothing at all.
We may not be able to demolish the factory farming culture yet and we may not be able to save the animals but for a start, governments can change the production system by prohibiting imports of genetically modified feed. It should be made mandatory for farmers to produce half of their animal feed on their own farms. Secondly, the mass administration of anti-biotics and anti-fungals must be prohibited. These are not solutions but alternatives to problems that are worsening day by day and making generations sicker and weaker.
Food producers are not worried about these problems. They invest in quantity and as of now we are producing animal products in such large quantities that it is leading to the depletion of our natural resources and causing major health problems for us! When we buy meat and dairy products, all we are saying is that we support the cruel money-making business that is basically killing us. Instead we should support businesses like Indivine search engine who are creating awareness and helping save us and the planet by becoming vegan.