Which would you say is the most inhumane? And why?
My vote would be factory farming, because of the conditions in which the animals are kept. I know not all factory farms are like that, but reports I have read of some of them have made me want to weep. Yes, they’re “just” animals, but no creature should be made to suffer any more than is absolutely necessary.
Hunting, on the other hand, doesn’t strike me as cruel, as long as it’s done properly. By that, I mean that a responsible hunter does not take a shot unless he/she is reasonably certain that the shot will result in a kill, and not cause the animal to suffer needlessly.
I’m inclined to the view that how animals live is more important than how they die and, on that basis, factory farming raises the greater moral issue.
I’ve grown up around the farm.
Some of these livestock have better lives than other cattle. Three squares a day, plenty of room to roam. It’s not exactly “suffering”. These animals are bred into this lifestyle, it’s not like they dream of the good old days.
99% of farms practice safe farming. I used to work on a pig farm in the summer as a kid. We did everything by the book, and everyone else that my uncle associated did also did the same
There are a few bad apples, there always is in soceity, they always get caught and pay for their crimes.
“Hunting” is not necessarily a single encounter between an animal and a human with a bow/gun/spear/knife. It includes trapping, in which an animal may be captured and restrained until the trapper returns. The animal may die in the trap, in an attempt to escape the trap, or live until the trapper returns. “Hunting” also includes fishing, whether by hook or net.
Animals on factory farms are much less likely to be attacked by predators, suffer from untreated parasites and diseases, or face malnutrition and starvation.
It seems to me the only real difference is whether you prefer animals die slowly or quickly, individually or in groups.
What kind of farm was it? Was it sort of a Farmer Brown’s operation, or MultiMegaCorp’s? There’s quite a bit of difference between a cattle rancher and the corporate farms that have objectionable practices.
Neither is inhumane. It is some animals purpose to be raised for food in the most efficient manner, and hunting other animals is a cultural tradition as well as a means of population control. When it comes to affordable food or free cultural expression, no act against animals is inhumane. They aren’t human anyway.
It was more of small family own and operated farm.
The objective in animal agriculture is to produce a finished product, (in this case an animal grown up to slaughter weight), as quickly and efficiently as possible.
An animal that is miserable, sick or simply uncomfortable will not grow as rapidly as an animal that is contented. In the case of a dairy, contented cows make more milk. That’s simply a fact of nature.
While the “factory farm” term sounds awful, the animals raised on a factory farm are generally managed in a way that keeps them comfortable, contented and well fed. This isn’t necessairly because the farm operator is a nice guy. It’s because kindness to the animals is the best way to make money.
Combine this with the laws that mandate humane treatment at slaughter plants, and I’d think that the factory farm pig is better off than a wild pig that’s going to get shot.
How big do you call a farmer Brown type opertaion? How many acers, how many employees?
I hope realize that the big “corporations” are watched 10 times more closely then small family affairs.
And most corporations contract out to the average guy. Most chicken and hog farms I know from around here are normal sized, family run operation that have contracts from big corporations.
We have inspectors come out 2 or 3 times a year randomly to check on our operation, and all our milk is tested once a month, and then the truck is tested everytime it brings a load in to the milk place thing in the city.
This is an example of a corporate farm.
I guess my major objection is to CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations). TheEPA defines them as:
Humane Farming Association states that:
The asterick indicates this passage:
I didn’t find many examples of prosecution for animal cruelty in corporate farms. This could be for two reasons: 1) That animals are generally treated well, so few people needed to be prosecuted, or 2) That the laws are laxly enforced.
Due to the amount of pictures and videos I discovered while I was doing my brief research on this leads me to suspect that reason number two is the correct one. This article says:
This article states:
This seems very sad to me.
I want to make it clear that I see nothing wrong with killing an animal for its meat. Circle of life, and all that. What I do object to is keeping animals in unnatural, cruel conditions, maiming them, and causing them unnecessary pain when slaughtering them. I believe that we have an ethical obligation to treat animals well, and from what I’ve read tonight, I think we may be failing.
The farm that you described that you work on, Sinful sounds like a nice place for the animals. I’m glad to hear it. There should be more like it out there, and less huge barns packed with animals who never see the light of day.
“I think we may be failing.”
Thank God. If food was raised in the way that the lunatic fringe (all animal rights believers) wanted it to be. We would starve. It simply isn’t efficient enough. And the land isn’t available anyway. Since grain-fed beef tastes better too, meat quality would suffer dramatically too.
BTW unless it’s calves from dairy farm, they’ve seen pasture before going to a feedlot.
Another fellow from cattle-raising country chiming in.
Please, SHOW me a “factory farm” for beef cattle. I don’t believe such a thing exists, but am perfectly willing to be proven wrong. Give me an address, please, so I can go check it out. Otherwise, I will believe this is a myth perpetuated by the more militant among our vegetarian friends.
In my experience (which is pretty broad) beef cattle are raised in pastures, where they roam freely and eat mostly grass (supplemented from time to time by “range cubes” consisting of grain and molasses). Toward the end of their lives they may be collected for a relatively brief period in a fattening pen, where they are gorged on grain products to prepare them for slaughter. They do not spend their entire lives in such pens.
I believe what is happening is that vegetarian activists are seeing fattening pens and assuming that cattle spend their whole lives this way, which is just not true. (Note to Lissa: the “Animal Feeding Operations” designation by the EPA seems to describe a feedlot (i.e. a fattening pen). The existence of fattening pens does not imply that cattle spend their entire lives in such places.
As I say, I am prepared to be proven wrong, but for that to happen, you will have to direct me to an actual “factory farm” for beef cattle, not to some talking head who claims they exist. Give me an address.
That said, I readily acknowledge that hogs and chickens really are frequently raised in “factory farm” conditions, meaning cramped quarters. Same for some dairy cattle. But for beef cattle? Nope. Don’t think so.
From one of Lissa’s cites in her latest post above:* “There are virtually no federal laws that protect farm animals from even the most harsh and brutal treatment as long as it takes place in the name of production and profit.”*
My point above is that animals that are treated harshly and brutally will not be productive and produce a profit. There is no way to beat or starve the profit into livestock. If the animals aren’t reasonably comfortable and well fed, they won’t produce.
What is believed to be the first U.S. felony conviction for animal cruelty on a corporate swine facility is reported this month in the Daily Oklahoman and Salt Lake Tribune. A hog farm manager was convicted on three counts of animal cruelty after an animal-rights group videotaped him beating pigs at a large hog farm.
I suspect that even if this hadn’t been brought to court, the company would have fired this man when they became aware of this. Beating pigs is in no way productive behavior.
Corporate farms and large family type farms are operated for profit and are very unlikely to engage in animal cruelty. It’s pointless and counter-productive. The several cases of abuse of farm animals I’ve personally observed over the years have all fallen into one type of situation. Here goes:
Jim and Jane either inherit Grandpa’s Old Home Place or decide that having a small farm would be cool. They move out here from their home in the city and continue to commute to their jobs.
They know nothing about farming, have no background and don’t bother to educate themselves before they decide to buy some cows.
They are not prepared for the amount of time and work the animals require and their income doesn’t depend on making anything from the farm.
Soon it all gets to be more than they bargained for, they learn that animal manure smells bad and that barb-wire fences sometimes need repairs. Winter comes on and they’ve made no arrangements for a feed source or for anybody to feed the cattle when they are otherwise occupied.
Before they give up and sell out, the animals are suffering from malnutrition and a neighbor has called the USDA to report the situation.
If you are searching for abused farm animals, don’t bother looking at so called factory farms. Search in an area where small hobby farms and newly migrated suburbanites are common.
I don’t doubt that there are a number of horror stories and pictures on the 'net. Without seeing these atrocities in person, I’m very skeptical.
Remember, what seems bad to humans may make an animal quite contented. Show people a group of hogs wallowing in a manure/mud mixture and we tend to say “Ewwww!” The hogs love wallowing in gross stuff, and will do it in the wild at every opportunity.