Factory farms, or as the industry calls them: CAFO: “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations” are where most of the meat we eat comes from these days, buy why should you care? Well, when meat is raised in this way, it created very unhealthy conditions for the animals, for the people who consume them, and also for the environment.
The animals are typically raised in a small confined space, without access to sunshine or fresh air. They are also fed cheap food (usually pesticide-laden grains, including GM corn & soy), and antibiotics and hormones are often added to their feed. On a small farm, the waste the animals produce can be turned into compost and used as fertilizer, but on these factory farms, the waste often ends up contaminating water supplies. This agricultural runoff kills fish and impairs rivers and streams. Bacteria often contaminates the fish and can also cause disease among humans.
Chickens spend their days in filthy, crowded cages, and cows are crowded in, often 1000 or more, to a dirty, manure covered feedlot. Last, but not least, the diet they are fed is not natural or healthy for them – for example, cows naturally eat grasses out on pasture, not grains like corn & soy. This causes disease and also makes the meat less-than optimal for human consumption.
Did you know that most of the meat you buy at your local supermarket comes from these huge, inhumane, polluting factory farms?
If you want to do your part to encourage healthy, humane meat-raising, try to find meat from your local farmer. It may be more expensive, but quality meat is so important that we think it’s better to eat less meat than to eat factory-farmed meats. Many who have tried small-farm-raised meat have never gone back. It usually tastes much better too! Some have bought a freezer so they could purchase pastured meat and store it in bulk. That tactic can really save you money, while putting a much better quality meat on the table. A couple websites that will help you find farmers in your area are:
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