Taking Stock of the Problem

What are some of the effects that factory farming techniques can have on our health? The website Factory Farm map has a terrific break down of some of the ways we’re hurt by agribusiness every day. It also has some great tools to help you easily visualize areas in Maine where practices are the worst.

With a corporate, profit-driven model for raising livestock, you can expect the consequences to be negative for both the environment and our bodies.

- With a focus on mass production of livestock, farms are creating an unmanageable amount of waste that goes untreated. Noxious manure can sit in large lagoons for long periods of time before being spread back onto fields as fertilizer. Some of it seeps its way into our water systems.

- Grazing is also a big issue. With so many animals to feed, green areas are rapidly consumed. Without a focus on keeping land fertile and full of nutrients, good soil can become useless and farming land becomes barren.

- Living conditions for animals aren’t just inhumane, they also breed disease. It’s hard to imagine that some of the animals we consume hardly ever see the light of day. With so many animals in close contact, disease is more easily spread through livestock. Remember the swine flu pandemic?

- Our treatment of animals is also creating resistance to antibiotics in ourselves. Through our exposure to antibiotics in the livestock we consume, we’re killing off weaker bacteria and allowing superbugs to thrive and reproduce.