Carolyn’s Perspective: Factory Farming

NRO’s Carolyn Boyle’s response to ‘American Meat’ Tries To Argue For Sustainability Without Polemics

Factory Farming, which includes dairy and egg production is an important of a topic worthy of discussion, if not more important than large scale agriculture in terms of it’s effect on society and the planet.  The two are closely intertwined, which I am sure the documentary American Meat will illuminate.

I became a vegetarian when I was in college in the mid 80’s mainly because I was aware of how animals were predominately being raised and marketed in our country and I did not want to support the conventional meat industry. I felt it was the least I could do. I was a vegetarian for over 16 years. I do eat meat and dairy now, but not every day, and I am very selective about where it comes from. Luckily, we all have  have many more choices now especially living in Washington State.

Several grocery stores in Seattle offer alternatives to the less expensive factory farmed meat. PCC, Whole foods, Central and Ballard Market to name a few. But here is a great website that has some farm-direct options.

Like most large corporate, profit driven industries, livestock and dairy share the same goals:  produce as much as possible, as fast as possible, and do it as cheaply as possible. Then market it to the consumer and make it easily accessible in order to sell what they are producing.

Supply meets demand.

But what would happen if we as a society reduced our meat consumption? Even just a little bit per person. I only ask, because one of the biggest arguments I hear time and again is that we don’t have enough land to sustainably raise animals to meet consumer demand for meat, dairy and eggs. I am not buying this argument.

And even though I have not seen this documentary yet, I hope to. It sounds like it is really well done, and gives a balanced perspective of the meat industry.

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