Factory farming is the process of raising livestock in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory — a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses. The main products are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption. However, there has been debate about whether factory farming is sustainable and ethical.
China has allocated a trillion dollars to expand agricultural production, as it aims to be 80% self sufficient in food and agriculture over the next decade. It's not an easy task, feeding 22% of the world's population with just 7 % of the world's arable land.
For this purpose it is subsidizing modern, intensive farms, and underwriting the cost of importing new genetics to scale up production.
The poultry industry, just one small part of our factory farm nation, has a massive waste problem. Today, national consumer group Food & Water Watch criticized the plans of poultry processing giant Perdue Agribusiness and Fibrowatt LLC to build a power plant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that generates electricity from chicken manure.
The effort to increase cage sizes for the 270 million laying hens in the U.S. is a compromise bill working its way through Congress supported by the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers, the industry’s largest advocacy group.
Al Buckbee of Bellvale Farms in Warwick said in the past four months their dairy market had collapsed, while big factory farms west of the Mississippi have thrived, leading to a flood of milk that has brought local prices down about 30 percent from last year. Farms like Buckbee's have not been able to produce enough milk to compensate.
The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) today requested a USDA Inspector General audit of the USDA Process Verified Program, which certifies some products as "humanely raised" when in fact they come from animals suffering on conventional, industrial farming operations.
Many animal rights advocates have petitioned against factory farming because animals are often housed in suboptimal living conditions and given antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals to encourage high productivity. In some cases, animals are surgically or genetically modified to reduce the need for free-range living conditions and to enhance tolerance for crowded housing.
In March, a federal court ordered the FDA to begin proceedings to withdraw approval for the use of penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed unless makers of the drugs can produce evidence that their use is safe.
No one really knows why, but antibiotics make farmed animals grow faster. This has resulted in agribusiness using a phenomenal twenty-five million pounds a year--that's eight times the amount used to treat human ill-nesses. We are increasingly making ourselves vulnerable to bacterial infections that develop immunity to normal lines of antibiotic treatment.
Meat would never have become a prevalent part of our diets had scientists not discovered ways to grow grains abundantly and cheaply enough that there was enough extra to feed to animals.
Factory farming is the term often used to describe large-scale production of livestock, poultry and fish. Just how big is the factory farming industry in America? According to recent statistics, over ten billion land animals are slaughtered in the U.S. each year.