The Ethics Of Modern Animal Farming

By: Ron Lagerquist

“Modern meat is different from the meat your ancestors ate even 100 years ago.”

There is a clear connection between the ethics of animal farming practices and your health. What is injected into a cow on a food lot is what you will be feeding your children. If a highly competitive farming industry is solely driven by profit, and today, is able to increase profitability by chemically manipulating the speed of turnover, how has this modified the roast in your oven? This is a vital question and one that has a direct effect on your health. The more you eat food that has been modified to increase profitability, the worse your health will be.

Flip this around: the more your diet consists of natural, whole foods, the healthier you are going to be. This is simple and plainly demonstrates a conflict of motives. Motive one: God designed food for your health. Motive two: the food industry has redesigned food for profit.

Modern meat is different from the meat your ancestors ate even 100 years ago. Instead of cattle running free, grazing on pasture, they are crammed into feed lots where they receive no exercise and are fed calorie-dense food like grain and animal by-products. Factory-farmed animals may have up to 30 times more saturated fat. It is the fat that gives meat its delicious taste. In other words, North America is not addicted to meat but the fat in meat and the food industry knows this too well.

Cows, chickens, and pigs contain dangerously high levels of contaminants such as: pesticides, growth stimulants, appetite stimulants, larvicides and insecticides. To get an edge in the marketplace, farms are forced to use every synthetic means to encourage weight gain and prevent disease in their livestock. Diethylstilbestrol, or DES, is a female sex hormone used to fatten the cows weeks before the slaughter. Seventy percent of cattle are given antibiotics. Even with large-scale usage of antibiotics to suppress disease, USDA records state that millions of pounds of meat come from animals containing tumors.

In the last few decades, the food industry has subjected animals to deplorable conditions. Often, 80,000 chickens are crammed into commercial warehouses—our 20th century chicken coop. Their entire existence is lived out in cages, one foot high, with their heads sticking out of the mesh. Crammed together, they fight to hold their territory. They will peck viciously and draw blood. To stop this, the farmers debeak the chicken. This requires cutting sensitive tissue and some chickens do not survive the debeaking, dying of hunger or thirst inches from food and water. Periodically, a wave of hysteria sweeps the warehouse as thousands of birds panic, driven mad by their conditions. Many get Flip Over Syndrome and die of blood clots. Disease is rampant under these confined conditions so they are pumped full of antibiotics and sulfa drugs. The feed is laced with growth hormones and nitrofurans.

In the television documentary Another 48 Hours, a test was conducted on 30 supermarket chickens for dangerous forms of bacteria. National brand, kosher, free-range, and regular chickens were all tested. Eight of the chickens tested had salmonella, 12 had listeria and 21 had campylobacter, which makes 4,000,000 Americans sick per year. Only 5 had a clean bill of health out of 30 chickens. They concluded that, regardless of what type of chicken you bought, in the eyes of bacteria, all chickens are created equal.

Commercial chickens grow to maturity in three weeks. They are pumped so full of antibiotics and steroids that some can barely stand up. Some are born mutated with three wings, two heads, or three legs. These mutated chickens are sent down the conveyer belt to become human food. They are sold to well-known, reputable restaurants so that you can buy a chicken dinner for $6.99.

Pig factories may contain 100,000 pigs living in stalls not much bigger than coffins. They are so tightly confined that they are unable to turn. The stalls are stacked up to three layers high and fecal waste falls on the pigs below. These clean-loving creatures are forced to breathe the stench of their excrement from the pits below. The conditions are so bad that 90 percent of the pigs raised commercially are ingesting antibiotics.

Pig factories require huge fans for ventilation. If these fans stop, the pig farmer has only 15 minutes to get the fans running or the pigs die. These sensitive, intelligent creatures live a life of suffering. Pig food is often recycled waste or by-products high in contaminants.

Remember what I said, the ethical practices of farming are intrinsically tied to human health. If “we are what we eat,” then it could be said that we are what farm animals eat as well.

In biblical days, all livestock were organically raised and allowed to range freely. The modern revolution of the husbandry of animals forces us to face ethical issues. To our shame, the Church has been negligent in dealing with the ethical use of God’s Creation. Historically, the religious mindset has been responsible for much of its destruction. The New Age Movement is doing more to protect our Father’s handiwork than His own Church.

Related Article: The Ethics Of Eating Meat In Moderation

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Food is one of the most important and impacting choices you make every day. As a nurse i see chronic disease manifest strictly resulting from poor choices. Remaining ignorant about your food source won't save you from damaging effects chemicals and cell destroying properties cause that happen to be hidden in your big mac.
Excellent article.
This is very disturbing! Great information that we all need to be aware of.
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