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Factory Farms: A High Price To Pay For Cheap Meat

1000 words - 4 pages

Just imagine living in a world where the antibiotics we take for granted are rendered useless due to the rapid spread of antibiotic-resistant microbes. Should factory farms be able to continue the practice of administering antibiotics to otherwise healthy animals? We already know that the misuse of antibiotics can lead to the development of superbugs. Animal agriculture accounts for nearly 80 percent of antibiotics used in our country (Philpott). Most of which are used for nontherapeutic purposes. Even though their use can shorten the confinement time of livestock by increasing the growth rates, they are not necessary and come at a high cost to human health. Nontherapeutic use of antibiotic ...view middle of the document...

While factory farms in the United States seek to pump yet more antibiotics into their livestock, they are unwilling to accept the risk presented to the human population by. But it’s possible to change, countries like Denmark and Sweden have led the way in commercial farming methods that minimize antibiotic use (Sayre 76-83). Unfortunately, large scale factory farms in U.S. show little interest in the voluntary use of alternative management strategies as a method improve the overall health and wellbeing of their animals and reduce antibiotics.
Finally, the most important reason there should be strict regulations to curb the overuse of antibiotics in factory farming is because this practice is creating breeding grounds for super bugs. A 2008 report from Pew Commission report on Industrial Farm Animal Production concluded that “of particular concern is the rapid rise in antibiotic-resistant microbes, an inevitable consequence of the widespread use of antibiotics as feed additives in industrial livestock operations” (Sayre 76-83). Most often the superbugs hitch a ride into the surrounding environment in the mountains of waste produced on industrial scale farms. They end up in our ground water, soil, and even our meats. Making themselves know in the ever increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant infections that now kill more people annually than AIDS.
Indeed, while antibiotics can shorten the confinement time of livestock by increasing the growth rates and enable farms to keep more animals in less space, it is imperative that the nontherapeutic use be terminated as common farming practice. The cost is simply too high to continue factory farming as we know it today. It is a broken system and we need to be aware of the dangers lurking in the barns that house our livestock and be ready to make changes. Are you ready to face a world where a simple scrape can turn deadly when there is time to change?

Works Cited
Kessler, David. "Antibiotics and the Meat We Eat."...

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