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Is factory farming animals good science or madness?

fast growing nutritious chicken?

fast growing nutritious chicken?

There has been a great deal in the press recently about the over use of antibiotics in factory farming together with decreasing standards of animal welfare. Over the last 100 years science has helped the world to vastly increase food production but at what cost, and will we look back thinking we were mad?

If current trends continue we may experience something similar to the scene in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where Arthur Dent is introduced to the english speaking dish of the day. A genetically modified pig like animal that explains how delicious it is, how it has been eating the finest food to produce the best meat, while proudly fondling its firm rump. Once the customer has selected which cut he wants the animal happily goes off to kill itself! Humanely. See below:

https://youtu.be/lCLZwo3TZ3A

Hilarious and disgusting, but probably similar to what meat eaters 100 years ago would think of our factory farmed chickens and pigs today.

The ethical question I suppose is whether anyone who can’t eat the ‘dish of the day’ should eat meat at all?

What worries me is that the more we are separated from where our food is produced, the more we ignore the nasty consequences of eating meat. Especially modern factory farmed meat with toxins, antibiotics and low nutritional value.

real cows feeding on natural pasture

real cows feeding on natural pasture

Have scientist really managed to get an animal to convert grain to good meat without the animal moving more than a few feet every day. If we humans are that sedentary our muscles turn to fat and we get weak and unhealthy.

I know that factory farmed chickens bred to produce meat have to be killed when they are 6-7 weeks old. If not they will fall over because their breast meat is too heavy to stand up. How can this meat be as good as a chicken that has run around free range for 12 weeks or more?

Any comments, plain or scientific are welcome below, otherwise I recommend reducing meat consumption and spending time, and perhaps a bit of extra money, buying top quality free range, or grass fed, antibiotic free, meat when you have it. You can find your local butcher or farmer using our Local Food Map or buy online in our MarketPlace and search ‘grass fed’ or ‘organic meat’.

Or you might like to read our recent blog: 10 Reasons to ‘almost’ become a vegetarian.