argument top image

Is factory farming a requirement in the 21st century?
Back to question

Factory farming ignores the ethical connotations of rearing livestock for food

Factory farming is a technique that takes away the rights given to animals by nature. They are ill-treated and reared in cages that are no different from prisons without ever having the freedom to know what the outside world looks and feels like. They are reared for slaughter rendering their lives meaningless.

The Argument

Non-vegetarians dominate the world and their numbers are increasing day by day. In order to cater to the growing demand, companies and multinational corporations resort to different techniques to maximize profit, rarely taking into account its moral and ethical implications. Factory farming is one of those inhumane techniques inflicted upon livestock to satisfy human beings. Prior to the surge in technological development, livestock farming, though increasing excessively, was still relatively tame and natural, and took into account the health of the animals. Today, in the 21st century, with different advancements in vaccinations, hormones, pesticide, air conditioning units, automatic feeders, etc, animals are treated as objects, with no regard for their well-being. Thousands of animals are stuffed into tiny cages to promote mass production to feed the capitalistic endeavors of the companies. Pigs reared through factory farming are particularly ill-treated. Different practices such as tail docking and tooth clipping in piglets, a few days old are carried out at these farms. While these practices are essential according to the farmer, the manner in which they are carried out, often without any anesthetic, is cruel, extremely painful and ethically wrong. Often the practices are unnecessary as they are mainly used to prevent the spread of diseases through biting in the cages, acts that do not happen outside in nature. Chickens that are overcrowded in the cages are not provided with the nutrition they require to live healthy lives. Poor hygiene coupled with the rapid spread of diseases endangers their lives beyond any doubt. Animals that are bred through factory farming do not lead natural lives. They never know of life beyond the four walls of their overcrowded cages, or what it means to be free. Because of the suffering they are subjected to, their lives are filled with pain and anxiety right from birth, until death. As the truth of these farms comes to light, it is becoming clearer that their existence does not align with the sustainable goals set in the 21st century.[1]

Counter arguments

People often associate factory farming with a profit making scheme, which is not necessarily true. While corporations do reap bountiful benefits from this agricultural technique, they have also revolutionized farming by making it more efficient and sustainable, keeping in mind the future generations and the need to protect the environment for them. Efficient factory farming is beneficial because the ever-increasing demand for meat is met effectively, rather than people resorting to other techniques to satisfy their need. Higher efficiency results in lower costs which is ultimately beneficial to the people, as it allows them to save some money while still eating nutritious food. This is particularly good for those who can barely afford two square meals a day. The ethical dilemma of factory farming primarily arises in developing nations. Developed nations take into account all the biosecurity measures associated with this technique. The animals are properly looked after, and sometimes fare better than they would had they been left out in the open. Developing nations lack the resources to ensure proper safety measures for the animals. Agriculture in these areas is usually practiced in the rural areas with little to no investment and awareness about biosecurity. So, factory farming as a whole is tarnished because of a few malpractices that are slowly being corrected.



[P1] Factory farmers focus on increasing the production of its product at any cost to make maximum profit. [P2] Factory farmers overcrowd thousands of animals into small cages without providing them with enough nutrition to develop healthily. They indulge in torturous practices like tail docking and teeth clipping in the most inhumane manner possible.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] While factory farmers do focus on profit, they also focus on raising healthy animals to feed an ever-growing population. [Rejecting P2] Factory farmers are aware and implement appropriate biosecurity measures in developed countries. Inhumane treatment of animals occurs in developing countries where they lack the awareness of proper procedures.


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 28 Jul 2020 at 19:30 UTC

Explore related arguments