The widespread process of factory farming is terrible for animals and our planet. Factory farming is a process that billions of animals go through before they are eventually killed and appear in the meat aisle of a grocery store. According to the Humane Society, “There are no federal animal welfare laws regulating the treatment of the billions of ‘food animals’ while they’re on the farm.” These animals are being cooped up in a small pen with food that makes them unnaturally large. They are fed chemical-based food that guarantees the biggest animals possible. Many of these overfed animals never touch grass or experience going outside in their life. This process is inhumane. My solution is that farmers should enable animals to go free range, repurpose waste, reduce chemical fertilizers, or consider sustainable alternatives to meat.
Factory farming doesn’t just hurt animals; it hurts the planet with the greenhouse gasses the factories emit. According to the ASPCA, “Globally, animal architecture [buildings that process animals] represents 14.5% of all human greenhouse gas emissions.” When greenhouse gasses such as nitrous acid are released into the air from animal manure and fertilizer, the ozone layer starts to collapse, leading to a hotter planet. When the earth starts to heat up, more hurricanes and floods occur.
If farmers reduce chemical fertilizers and repurpose animal waste, that will address some of this problem. Nitrous acid is a toxic gas that is released from manure and fertilizers. One good solution is to find a better way to reduce fertilizer and use animal waste as fertilizer instead. Private companies or government agencies could pass laws or help with the process of turning animal waste into farm and garden fertilizer. Mass composting and reusing this waste will help take care of our planet. The most damaging acid that destroys our ozone could be reused or composted, and future generations wouldn’t have to worry as much about global warming.
Another sustainable solution for factory farming is letting animals go free range. This could create a more natural environment for the animals. Our planet thrives when animals such as cows are not cooped up in a small pen or fed chemically based foods. The system would be more humane if animals could be on a huge reserve.
Whiffletree Farms in Fauquier County, Virginia has a humane animal treatment system. Jesse, the farmer himself, has a process in which all animals go free range in a cycle that they all benefit from. This cycle works and is very efficient. Cows graze on the grass, and then the chickens feed off their manure and spread it around the field, where growth can emerge.
Another solution to factory farming is to do away with meat consumption. In New Jersey, a lab has created a whole new concept of meat that does not come from animals. According to The Washington Post, “[this] cultivated meat is meat: a small chunk of cells extracted from an animal and then fed a slurry of amino acids, sugars and vitamins in a metal vat known as a ‘bioreactor.’ When the cells have multiplied sufficiently, they can be turned into all sorts of meat products.” If we eat this, we won’t have the problem of harming animals or the environment.
As you can see, factory farming contributes greatly to global warming. In addition, the inhumane and polluting process of factory farming affects our daily lives and needs to stop. Buying less meat, purchasing meat from free-range farms like Whiffletree Farms, or exploring cultivated meat can lower greenhouse emissions and benefit animals.