It takes much more land to produce edible protein from pigs, cattle and chickens than it does to grow it from plants, according to research.(Chuck Liddy / TNS)
West Torrance High School

Opinion: From animal abuse to our plates – an outrageous method

One of the most dangerous things we can assume is that our hamburgers come from McDonald’s, steak comes from the grill and chicken wings come from the grocery store. We are often unaware of how our food gets to our plate and do not realize that animals are abused in unimaginable ways before they end up being part of our diets.

Whether or not you agree with consuming meat, each animal possesses the right to be treated in a humane way while they are still breathing. Unfortunately, factory farms often neglect that right.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, about 95% of the meat produced for our meals comes from these factory farms, which prioritize their personal wealth over animal welfare. 

This causes them to invest in cheap facilities for the livestock they raise. Gestation stalls, for example, are used to house pregnant pigs but are often so tight that the pig can move no more than a few inches. 

Vox reports that in 2011, an undercover investigator at Iowa Select Farms found workers throwing piglets on the hard floor. Additionally, another investigator at a Foster Farms slaughterhouse found chickens being punched and having their feathers ripped. The horrific sites were documented by the spies, but have done little to change these practices.

Due to first amendment rights, owners of these feedlots protest that people cannot enter their private property. These actions, however, cannot be avoided and farms must change the ways they work. 

Not only do these dreadful practices make the animals’ lives a living nightmare, but also worsen the health of the consumers. Because of the large concentration of animals in a small area, the resultant excess of animal waste can pollute nearby water supplies as reported by environmental authors, Scott Spoolman and G. Tyler Miller. 

The pollution impacts the animals by weakening their health which would then — you guessed it — harm your health. It is a common phrase that you are what you eat. That phrase comes back to haunt you when you eat meat produced in an unhealthy way that causes you to become unhealthy yourself. 

This does not necessarily mean that you need to stop eating meat, but we cannot let these factory farm methods of treatment continue. These animals cannot be living in these outrageous ways.

We must care about whether or not they are being cared for. We need to make sure they are humanely raised because ultimately, the quality of our lives is dependent upon the quality of their lives. 

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