In factories, animals are reared on a large scale with the aim of minimizing costs to reap high profits. Animal factory farms can be compared to many industrial firms that focus on the profit margin without caring about people who are working in the industry or the environment. Factories cause misery to animals as well as human beings who consume products manufactured by the former. They put animals into small spaces that do not allow their free movement. Animals do not get enough sunlight, free movement and generally the freedom to engage in natural behaviors or activities. It is likely to result in their infection with diseases or even death. The underlying effects caused by factory farming do not only pose a threat to animals alone, but indirectly to human beings. First, people working in such factories are likely to get diseases from the respective environment, and secondly they can be infected through the ingestion of consumables originating from these farms, if they are contaminated with bacteria, such as salmonella and coli (Kirby 2011). Therefore, it is evident that disadvantages associated with farm factories outweigh advantages, and necessary actions need to be taken to deal with the vice, since most countries lack comprehensive laws to protect the rights of animals.
Premises to Support the Argument
Conclusions made from the premises stated below are deductive in nature because results of the research are obtained after a considerable analysis and overview of the main premises, which are as follows:
- Waste materials from factory farms contribute to a greater percentage of water, land and air pollution in the neighboring environment. It compromises the health of living creatures within the latter and threatens the life of plants. It is a very important factor for the ozone layer contributing to global warming, effects of which are known to be harmful.
- There is a new trend of the use of antibiotics with the intention of making animals, which are kept in conditions that are not favorable for their survival, overcome diseases that are likely to affect them within those confined filthy cages. The administration of large doses of these antibiotics can result in bacterial resistance to medicines. This application has also resulted in the competition of drugs between animals and humans since these factories are currently adopting the use of normal antibiotics, which are designed and developed for humans with the aim of attaining high effectiveness.
- Animal’s rights in factory farms are always violated, and unthinkable actions are taken against them as if they are not sentient beings with the sole aim of making profits and minimizing expenses and costs. As a result, the objective of factory farms is increasing production output by any means. It often results in diseases and infections that can affect workers of factory farms and buyers who consume infected meat products.
- Laws available in different parts of the country to ensure the rights of animals are observed are not comprehensive and contain loopholes, which makes it impossible to stop the ill treatment of animals by humans. For instance, in the U.S, the Animal Welfare Act only offers guidelines regarding the minimal standards of handling animals, their transportation and treatment.
Various activists have conducted undercover investigations into sufferings that animals in factory farms go through as the latter focus on an increase in their profit margin. Through the Internet, these activists even launched campaigns for the purpose of crowdfunding to assist in dealing with factory farm conditions, to which animals are subjected. According to the videos provided by the Mercy for Animals Organization, most farms engaged in the production of animal products do not care about the rights of animals and sometimes even labor laws. People employed in such places work for more than eight hours without overtime payment. The layout of farms is squeezed increasing the risk of accidents to workers (Mercy for Animals, 2014).
For instance, the Walmart factory farm rearing pigs subjects them to poor conditions in very small and enclosed cages. A great number of animals are placed in what can be referred to as gestation crates that make it cumbersome for them to move even around. Because of small corridors in this farm, animals are stroked with materials that are very rigid and make it hard for them to move. The slaughtering process of pigs is also very painful since they are slammed and left on the ground to die slowly. To castrate them, pigs are ripped of their testicle without the use of painkillers or sterilizers. Veterinary care is also not given to those animals that are injured and have a bleeding wound. Left unattended, the latter also results in other infections that are likely to cause death to animals. After their death, pigs may even find their ways to the market, and this is how some of the diseases are transferred from animals to human beings (Mercy for Animals, 2015).
McDonalds in Canada uses chicks to prepare McMuffins. The treatment of these animals in factories is not different from pigs in the Walmart factory. In fact, a secret investigation has shown that cruelty and brutality to these chickens may be even worse as compared to other animals because they are smashed on their head and left to die when they are sick. No proper veterinary attention is given to these animals when they are ill. Thus, the risk of the spread of infectious bacterial diseases is very high. Surprisingly, some dead chicken are left to rot in cages where eggs to be consumed by human beings are hatched. Because of the conditions to which these animals are subject, they are prone to pneumonia, and this is not an exception for workers in a factory (Mercy for Animals, 2014).
There are no laws in place to ensure that the rights of animals are observed in factories, since the main problem is their implementation. For instance, the United States Animal Act 2000 states that animals have the right to medication whenever they are ill among other rights, but in factory farms, it is evident that most animals are not given treatment resulting in succumbing to their diseases. It is a clear indication of the lack of implementation mechanisms of enacted laws regarding animal rights (Mercy for Animals, 2014). Moreover, instead of treating diseases, some factories use antibiotics or hormones for the purpose of more rapid growth of animals or higher volumes of milk produced by cows. It increases cancer risks among consumers of meat and milk products and resistance of bacteria to certain types of antibiotics. The latter can affect the human organism through water infected as a result of wastages discharged by factory farms. Moreover, due to the consumption of animal products from factories using antibiotics and hormones, people are more likely to develop heart diseases and become overweight (Sager, 2015). Therefore, the USA and other countries lack regulations that can control the use of antibiotics and hormones in factory farms and prevent the related diseases and bacterial infections that can be transmitted to human beings.
Regarding waste materials, it is evident that in factory farms, they are not properly discharged, and this results in the contamination of water and land, as well as air pollution threatening the lives of other living organisms close to the place where farms are located. According to Bennett (2014), most factories discharge wastes from animals into lagoons, which always brake down since farms normally have a larger population of animals than the one they are designed for. This large number results in a high volume of wastage emitted into lagoons being overwhelmed with it, and they therefore burst. It makes water streams overflow, carrying with them microbes. Such bacteria can get into the human organism directly causing dangerous infections. Additionally wastes contain high levels of nitrogen, which results in an increase in the acidity of soils and streams where they are discharged. In oceans, these high levels of nitrates lead to the growth of plants, which compete for oxygen with aquatic animals, resulting in their extinction. It is also evident that some factory farms emit wastes into open spaces. Such substances contain volatile components, which are discharged into the environment and cause air pollution. It is clear by foul smell in areas close to places where these farms are located (Bennett, 2014). Therefore, business activities of factory farms have a negative effect not only on animals reared on a large scale, but on the surrounding environment and consumers either indirectly or directly.
People supporting factory farms argue that the latter apply scientific concepts to improve the productivity of animals. Moreover, many believe that there is nothing wrong in keeping animals in confined places since it results in the minimization of the cost of space, facilities, and overhead expenditures. Benefits of using these small-sized cages enable firms to provide cheap animal products to the targeted market and ensure their constant supply. Since there is no law that clearly regulates the rearing of animals in a factory farm, the latter considers that there is no criminal offense involved in the cruel treatment of animals.
According to Moby and Park (2010), some people believe that scientific approaches applied in ensuring high productivity of animals do not violate animal rights. Moreover, they argue that the artificial starvation of chicks enabling them to restart their egg cycle is not cruelty to the animal as it involves a change in its psychology and activities of hormones. Additionally, laws regarding animal protection have some loopholes/exemptions, which allow animals in farm to undergo the following actions: having their testicles, tails, horns, beaks or toes removed without anesthesia, being kept in confined spaces (which makes it hard for them to freely move around or to rest comfortably), and the separation of young chickens from their mothers.
Some people believe that animals’ rights are put before the ones of man. It is because by ensuring all rights for animals, humans will have to forgo something such as taking meat that is rich in proteins. These opponents of animal compassion argue that although humans alleviate animal tortures, but they suffer as well. Thus, human well-being should be set above that of animals.
From the research, it is evident that torture is the major suffering that animals go through in their factory farms. Even though the latter are aimed at ensuring that humans can access consumables such as proteins and other animal products at low prices, the suffering and conditions, under which animals are reared cannot be ignored (Moby & Park, 2010). They are sentient beings just like humans, and they have emotional connection with each other and depend on human protection. Humans need to protect them instead of subjecting animals to torture and poor health conditions. Because of their sentient nature, animals should have the freedom and the right to life just as people. The former go through a lot of pain due to actions conducted in a factory farm aiming at lowering the cost of production (Moby & Park 2010).
The observation of animal rights is essential in doing away with their suffering. Moreover, when animals are kept in confined places, humans attending to them are also subjected to the same environment. It makes their work harder, and this is evident from their cruelty to the same animals. Due to the lack of observation of animal rights in factory farms, some diseases are transmitted to humans that would not be transmitted if animals were kept in a well-maintained environment and given access to healthcare as required by most countries in the world (Harrison, Carson, & Dawkins 2013).
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The importance of animal rights is emphasized in the European Union legal protection of farmed animals and in some states of the U.S. (although very few). For instance, in the European Union, the killing process of chickens needs to be through electrocution aimed at reducing pain that these animals go through during slaughter that is done without the administration of numbing and causing a lot of pain to animals. Norway has also made a further effort in ensuring the protection of animals in a farm. This country has developed and adopted a comprehensive animal welfare act that takes care of livestock, rabbits, salamander’s fish and even honeybees (Sager, 2015). The legal act of this country also requires animals to be slaughtered or killed out of the presence of other animals. In the U.S., the states of Florida, California, and Colorado have banned the extreme confinement of animals, which is a major torture to which they are subjected in factory farms. This legislation is an illustration of the recognition of the importance of animal rights (Kirby 2011).
When animals are well attended to, and the environment where they are living is kept tidy, the risk of the transmission of diseases from among animals to humans is lower. Additionally, this reduces the pollution resulting from animal wastes, which sometimes go unremoved due to confined places. A well laid-up environment with enough space ensures that animals grow in a healthy way and reduces the risk of the contamination of humans with diseases (Sager, 2015).
It is evident that various legislations are put in place and are supposed to ensure that animal rights are observed. However, they are not implemented effectively due to the lack of the respective penalties and policies. Therefore, animal rights are violated in most factory farms. The analysis above shows that the disadvantages associated with factory farming outweigh the advantages, and effective measures should be taken to ensure the rights of animals are protected. Conditions to which animals as well as workers in these factories are subjected are in-human and result in the suffering of the former. It is evident that poor conditions increase chances of disease spreading and the pollution of the environment. Even though factory farms ensure that people access animal-related products at economical prices, some diseases may not only infect animals, but also human beings who consume products from such farms. Some governments and states have come with laws to ensure the rights of animals are protected, but they are either not comprehensive or their implementation mechanisms are not effective, making such regulations broken. Therefore, cheap prices of meat and milk products should not compromise the human health and the rights of animals, which should not be subjected to tortures in factory farms as industrial farming may have irreversible implications.