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Is factory farming a requirement in the 21st century? Show more Show less
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The 21st century is turning out to be a watershed moment in history for bringing to light new sensibilities and heightened awareness about different issues. Factory farming, a technique that has allowed large scale mass production of livestock has divided society right down the middle in terms of its necessity.

Factory Farms are needed more than ever Show more Show less

We need industrialized agriculture to help meet the demands of an increasing population.
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Factory farming prevents the wastage of necessary resources allowing for efficient production of meat

Factory farming attempts to make rearing livestock easier to prevent wastage, and benefits the environment by reducing the amount of resources required in the process of producing meat. This also allows smaller farms to thrive, and farmers to support themselves and their families.

The Argument

Farming, in general, is usually expensive, and rearing livestock is even more so. Studies show that the total amount of water required to produce one pound of beef is 1799 gallons of water, while one pound of pork requires 576 gallons. In comparison, the soybean crop needs just 216 gallons, while corn needs 108 gallons of water.[1] This along with all the other requirements such as fodder, land, grains, etc. essential to raise livestock puts tremendous pressure on the already dwindling available resources. In such a scenario, factory farming is an efficient and ecological resolution to a growing problem. Factory farming is a modern technique used for large scale livestock production, intended to take some of the pressure off of the small-scale farms and resource depletion. With automated machinery and large acres of land at factory farmers' disposal, in a short period of time they can increase the production and consumption of meat in the market. This, in turn, raises the demand for meat. Because of the investments of multinational corporations, factory farms are able to reduce the amount of resources required by using different synthetic technologies that are beneficial both for the environment and the animals themselves. This also allows smaller farms to have enough resources to carry on with their livelihoods and support their families. Smaller farms are localized. Even if they wish to try to reduce the amount of resources required, by utilizing advanced technology, a single farmer wouldn’t have the money or the knowledge of how to go about it. This, however, is not a hurdle that factory farms have to jump over. Industrial farms, in addition to large companies, often have the support of the government which enables them to use the best technology with very little expenditure, allowing it to run in an efficient and sustainable manner.

Counter arguments

Factory farms are increasing their production of meat to meet a growing demand that they themselves have created. This increase is met without any care for the land or the animals, or the small farms they claim to protect. They utilize fossil fuels to help maintain their machinery and take over the small farms that cannot hope to compete with large corporations.[2] Furthermore, these corporations focus simply on the need to make a profit, ignoring all those who depend on meat, sourced through factory farming, for sustenance. Regardless of the size of the farm, be it large or small, the amount of resources are going to be the same, because animals eat the same quantity whether in tiny cages or out in the field. The shelf-life and geographical distance of the product and the farms respectively have to be taken into consideration. If the shelf-life of the meat is two weeks, but it takes three weeks to reach the market, the product is, in any case, considered a waste. Reducing the load on depleting resources is a facade fed to the public by large corporations who gain nothing but profit.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Factory farming reduces the dependence on resources available for smaller farms by using advanced technology.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Advanced technology still makes use of resources which defeats the purpose of factory farming.

References

  1. https://foodtank.com/news/2013/12/why-meat-eats-resources/
  2. http://web.missouri.edu/~ikerdj/papers/California%20-%20IPDC%20-%20Small%20Farms.htm

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 28 Jul 2020 at 19:42 UTC

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