Factory Farming and Health
Factory farming and health are tightly linked. If you already know something about the mass production of flesh and dairy for food, you will be familiar with a couple of facts.
Just the Facts, Ma'am
The first is that the CAFOs, driven by cheap corn and government subsidies, produce a lot of food in a short period of time. Second is that a large amount of any product generally results in lower prices and greater availability of those products.
Remembering the law of supply and demand from our economics 101 class, the more that is produced of a given commodity, the lower will be the price, assuming a steady or slower rising demand curve.
Thus, on price alone, people will eat more of the plentiful, cheaper farm factory food than the higher priced organic food or locally grown small farm output.
Do we even know the right questions?
The questions to be explored here are what effects, if any, has the mass consumption of animal factory food had on the general health of our citizens?
The second question is, what effects, if any, has the existence of CAFOs had on the health of people living in the vicinity of a CAFO and the workers who toil within the confines of a CAFO.
We may even look at a third health related question; that being, what has genetic engineering of crops, animals and fish had on the long term health of those life forms?
Also, what are the implications for human beings who consume genetically modified foods? Do genetically engineered animals and genetically modified seeds or plants show any correlation between factory farming and health?
The working theory is that there is an inverse relationship between factory farming and health. In other words, as factory farming and monoculture crops increase, human health decreases.
Is Animal Factory Food Healthy Food?
Stated plainly, animal factory food is not healthy food and a degradation of health is one of the hidden costs associated with low cost food from the CAFO system. The objective will be to prove or disprove that theory, at least circumstantially.
Those wonderful people at Farm Sanctuary have summarized the health aspects of factory farming very well. Take a look at their article on Factory Farming and Human Health and then help support them in any way and in any amount you can. Moving on...
Then there is the question of what happens to the community health when factory farming comes to town? Is there a discernable relationship between factory farming and wellness of the community?
Last but not least is the question of the next worldwide pandemic. Will Swine Flu or Avian Flu or some type of mad cow disease from runaway prions be the one that devastates the human race?
Do animal pathogens become a concern in factory farming and health? Infectious agents such as viruses or bacteria that can be transmitted between animals and humans are known as zoonotic diseases and we will examine a few of the more common ones associated with factory farming and health concerns.
One other aspect of the health effects of factory farming is the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics. To what extent does the increased use of non-therapeutic antibiotics lead to an increase in antibiotic resistance in both animals and humans and thus the proliferation of more and stronger strains of bacteria and viruses.
A good place to start would be defining what is meant by healthy food and unhealthy food, or "slow" food and "fast" food, or just plain good food and bad food.
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Look at Factory Farms and Community Health
Examine Factory Farms and the Environment
Navigate to the lead in to the types of CAFOs
Factory Farms and Fast Food Evolution
Factory Farms and Antibiotic Resistance
Factory Farming Pathogens
The Farm Factory Opponents