Everyone knows the Mary had a little lamb nursery song right? You know, with the little lamb that followed Mary everywhere? Of course you do. But farm animals really have that kind of freedom nowadays? Ever since technology has improved, people have developed two different ways to farm, industrial agriculture and sustainable agriculture. With the world’s population increasing every minute, more and more farms are turning their heads towards industrial farming. Industrial farming seems like the only way to deal with the heavy demand for food, but is it really worth it?
Industrial agriculture is a form of modern farming that produces large scale agricultural production like livestock, poultry, fish and crops. Sustainable agriculture, on the other hand, is the traditional way of farming by using environmentally friendly and humane procedures to produce food. To understand these two more, let’s compare them.
- Animals are raised without the use of antibiotics; only sick animals are treated with antibiotics. On a sustainable farm while on an industrial farm, they use it daily to promote growth and prevent diseases
- Farmers in sustainable farms respect and appreciate their environment. Workers in industrial farms contribute to numerous environmental issues like global warming.
- Manure in sustainable farms is used as fertilizer for crops, which reduces/eliminates the need for chemicals. Unfortunately, in industrial farms, manure gets stored in pits, which releases hazardous gases into the air and contaminates water sources.
- Sustainable farms only produce what the land is capable of handling, while industrial farms force large numbers of animals in one area. Note the pictures below.
|Chickens in factory farm conditions|
|Chickens on a ‘traditional’ farm|
Judging from the few points above, I think we can all see that sustainable farming is the best way to produce food. Food from sustainable farming is much safer for the environment and more importantly, our health. Although it seems better, many of our food sources come from industrial agriculture, due to other factors such as price. Organic food is a great example of the price difference. For example, organic apples cost $4.49 per 3 lbs, while non – organic apples only cost $3.99 per 3 lbs. That’s a 50 cent difference, which could make a huge difference for people, especially for the ones that are suffering from the economy. The reason why organic food costs more is because they are produced using environmentally - friendly methods that don’t involve pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Unfortunately, food produced from industrial farms is the exact opposite. They overuse heavy amounts of antibiotics, which can cause human diseases like cancer. Due to our current choices, it seems as if money is more important than one’s health.
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