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Are All Farms Treating Animals the Same?

Updated on September 21, 2017
KristinaLangston profile image

I have been working on a small family owned dairy goat farm for the past 8 years. I am also currently pursuing a degree in animal science.

Treatment of Farm Animals

Many times we see those videos of the mistreatment of animals on TV. Humane societies try to appeal to the emotions of the people watching the commercials; this, in turn, may make people believe that these animals are all being treated badly.

This topic has been an interest of mine for a long time now. I even wrote a 10 page paper on it for an ethics course in college. This topic has been a focus of the general public because people want to know where their food is coming from.

Happy animals = Happy customers

Animals need space to thrive
Animals need space to thrive

"In polling, 94% of Americans agree that animals raised for food deserve to live free from abuse and cruelty."

— ASPCA

These animals may be raised for slaughter but does that mean they shouldn't be treated well? No, the mistreatment of animals is cruel and unethical.

Personally speaking, I have been working on a dairy goat farm for the past 8 years and the care of the goats was the most important thing for us. Happy and healthy animals produce more and live a thriving life. It also appeals to people to know that the animals that they get their food from are being treated well.

"Factory Farms" are the large corporate owned farms that produce the majority o the food for people. Mant of these farms can contain thousands upon thousands of animals. These include:

  • Cattle
  • Pigs
  • Chickens

"A factory farm is a large, industrial operation that raises large numbers of animals for food. Over 99% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, which focus on profit and efficiency at the expense of animal welfare."

— ASPCA
Source

More about why this subject is important to me

  • I am currently in my junior year of college studying animal science
  • Ethics has become an interesting topic for me ever since I took a college course about the ethics in STEM
  • Throughout my life, I knew I wanted to help animals in any way I could
  • Activist groups have always been something I've personally supported. If someone stands up for something they believe in, it can change the opinion of many.

The environment surrounding these animals should be clean and well ventilated. Also they shouldn't be kept in dark barns without windows.
The environment surrounding these animals should be clean and well ventilated. Also they shouldn't be kept in dark barns without windows.

Ethical or not?

This argument is one of the most debated. Is the slaughtering of animals ethical?

When you apply ethical theories to this subject it can be a difficult decision.


Ethical


  • Consequentialism‎ is the belief that the consequences of an action make something right or wrong. By slaughtering these animals we are providing food for many people.
  • Natural Law is the belief that what happens in nature is the ethically right act. The ancestors of humans have been hunting animals for thousands of years in order to survive.
  • Utilitarianism is the belief that the act that creates the greatest good is the most ethical decision. By raising these animals in large animals and in small spaces we are able to reduce the use of land and provide food for many.


Unethical


  • Utilitarianism once again could be argued here. There are more animals than there are humans in some cities across the United States. This would mean that the mistreatment of these animals outweighs the positive outcome for the humans.
  • Ethical Egoism is the belief that someone carries out an act for their own self-interest. Many of these farmers who raise thousands of animals in bad conditions might not care for the individual animals but for the price tag they will get for the animals.
  • Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat. This is the most talked about topic when it comes to the slaughtering of animals. Vegetarians believe that these animals are being treated cruelly and that they will not consume animal products to help prevent the further slaughter that occurs. One less consumer = less money and eventually less slaughter.

Articles Referenced

Category: Ethical theories. (2017, August 27). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Ethical_theories

Farm Animal Welfare. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from https://www.aspca.org/animal-cruelty/farm-animal-welfare

© 2017 Kristina Langston

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