Down on the farm
This week on Facebook: I have posted some articles on factory farming, also known as intensive farming as it applies to the maintenance of livestock, a really difficult subject area that is compounded by global economics. The availability of meat in developed economies has hidden the real cost of its production both in terms of animal husbandry and environmental pollution. A world with the seemingly inexorable growth in the global population and its desire for affordable food, especially meat, would seem to be leading towards not only an environmental catastrophe but an increasing lack of human compassion.
This week’s articles and the comments they received led me to delve deeper into the global agribusiness (including fishing and entomophagy). Something that I’m afraid offered no simple solution, vegans and vegetarians desist from your flawed philosophies along with the meat eating foody faddists.
My conclusions increase my Malthusian beliefs in there being an ultimate cut off point regarding population levels and the global ability to feed them. Predicting a very dystopian future bringing Soylent Green ever closer but believing that long before that point is reached (if ever), the consequences of largely indigent populations will have to be dealt with. The latter point may have already been reached, something that the global race for growth is a manifestation of.
Monday 14/11/2016 Why Factory Farming Isn’t What You Think: What we eat and where our foods come from have changed a lot over the last two decades. Today small and medium scale farms have given way to “big” factory farms due to their enormous success. By adopting factory farms practices, some farmers have gained a greater financial success and the largest of these business are practically monopolies.
Tuesday 15/11/2016 The True Price of a Pork Chop: The representatives of the meat industry, including farmers, feedlot operators and slaughterers, often feel misunderstood and unfairly criticised. Their critics, on the other hand, have strong arguments against the industry’s global game plan, because the system also inflicts massive harm on human beings, animals and the environment.
Wednesday 16/11/2016 Factory farming divestment— what you need to know: At the turn of the century there were an estimated 15 billion livestock in the world, a figure that has now risen to around 24 billion with the majority of chicken, pork and eggs produced on intensive farms. The emerging divestment movement targets investors who support factory farming either directly through the publicly-listed companies in which they hold stocks or indirectly through other companies that purchase animal-products. The aim is either to get them to engage with companies and pressure them to improve practices, or to move their money away from such companies for good.
Thursday 17/11/2016 The end of battery farms in Britain – but not Europe: While almost all British egg producers will be compliant with the new EU-wide law which will ban the keeping of egg-laying hens in barren battery cages from this Sunday, many European countries will continue to keep battery hens. Spain, France, Poland and others admit they will not be ready to drop battery cages (or just refuse to say when they will be ready) despite having had 13 years to prepare for the change in the treatment of farm animals.
Friday 18/11/2016 The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production: Researchers from the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria produced a comprehensive assessment of the livestock industry around the world, in developed nations where factory farming is common and in developing nations where livestock are more likely to graze on grasslands. They dug up some striking statistics that underscore just how much meat production varies from region to region.
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