Week 5 - Factory Farming & Eating Animals
Pros & Cons of factory farming and eating meat
Pros for Consumers:
per capita global meat consumption has doubled since 1950s. changes not only in how much but
who is eating meat. “Democratization” of Meat: in North America a couple generations ago it
was eaten of the upper classes, now meat is more available especially through multinational fast
food chains are available of the lower income. This democratization is within nations and across
them, countries which previously ate little meat like Asia, now eating a lot more.
Meat eating in china has spiked in the last few decades, pro = meat eating is a side of progress,
more people having better access to meat is looked at increasing equality = democratization
Factory farming makes large qualities of meat more cheaply and more quickly, ponds article
meat is produced faster through hormone injections and more efficiently from raising lots of
animals (100s) on the same farm, globalization of agricultural trade, this efficiently produced
meat is changing diets around the world.
Pros for the agricultural industry: Pallen: the meat industry is intemidately intertwined with the
grain industry,especially with corn production as you know industrial raised cattle are corn fed
rather than grass fed. Why is this positive?
Corn Surpluses: US government policy, farmers receive government subsides based on the
amount of crop they produce, so many cents per bush, encouraged to grow more to get more
subsidies. Some corn surpluses go to corn based sweeteners, like high-furctose corn syrup.. but
largest share of corn goes to animal feed, creates win win for agricultural industry, caddel
industry gets a cheap source of feed, corn and corn producers have an excellent market for their
corn (caddle farmers) difficult for farmers these days, small profit in caddle operation. Paddel
made 27 dollars, not large. The average profit on a feed lot animal is 3 dollars, so cheap source
of animal feed can make the difference between successful and unsuccessful because the profit
margins are so small
Cons: cheap corn
Corn is cheap source of animal feed, benefit for agriculture & meat is more affordable to many
classes. Question: is corn really cheap? Pollun: feeding corn to caddle is problematic
Animal suffering, cattle are sick aren’t ment to digest corn, health issues because there given
cattle take antibotics cause they cant digest corn, these end up in water, create antibiotics
resistance in humans, and were eating the antibiotics in meat..food safety: E-Coli in digesting system of cattle, eating corns rather than grass. Enivornment vs. Health: corn industry depends
on oil based agriculture.
Nutrition: corn based meat more fat than grass.
Externalities: price that cattle producers pay for corn feed is relatively low cause corn is
plentiful, due to the corn surplus. Costs not included in price of corn: cost to medical system E-
Coli in meat, diet related to meat, antibiotic resistance, costs to environment- economic and non
economic because of the agrichemicals used to grow so much corn, costs not included in the cost
of meat or corn. Corn is cheap, on the left side because its cost are externalized “cost arising
from an economic activity that 1) effects someone other than the people engaged in the
economic activity (effects someone other than the corn growers 2) are not fully reflected in
Meat industry having other externalities a major con.
The meat industry has other problematic problems: dangerous work, slaughter houses more and
different types of externalities.
If the costs of a hamburger included the externalities, 200$ including the costs for everything.
Reason its so cheap that someone else is paying the costs of the externalities of the meat
industry. People who are not buying this hamburger are paying through there taxes to fund the
medical system, paying through lost wages if they get sick from pollution, municipalities are
paying to clean