The elephant, er cow, in the room
Shingle Springs, California
August 15, 2015 3:31pm CST
Back in the 1980's, I read an article by Isaac Asimov in one of the science fiction magazines about our burning of non-renewable resources such as oil, coal and natural gas for energy. It was titled "Is Anybody Listening, Does Anybody Care?" The gist of it was that our non-renewable resources were vast, but not infinite, and would eventually run out, and that if we didn't develop renewable ways to produce energy before that happened, it would lead to our civilization collapsing. Slight change of subject - there has been a lot of press about global warming, and the contribution to global warming by our burning of fossil fuels. Scientists are mostly agreed that we are warming the planet, and that a runaway greenhouse effect could occur which would cause mass extinctions, including, possibly, our own. But where is the discussion in the mainstream media regarding animal agriculture and factory farming's impact on global warming? If you Google it, you will see that there are many studies on the subject, and that the impact is significant. Several studies estimated that factory farming creates at least 37% of gases that contribute to global warming. Perhaps factory farming will end up being a failed experiment, and we will eventually go back to more localized, organic farming methods.
5 people like this
15 Aug 15
I have another position about global warming, but your question is about factory farming. I suppose that everybody would be pleased to eat organic food, but I think that it would be very difficult to feed the planet only with organic farming. Factory farming reduces in a dramatic way the cost of production for some products like eggs, milk, chicken or pork meat. Indeed, it is still possible to breed pigs in large fields and to feed them only with acorns. Spanish are very good at this, but the meat and ham produced like this are a bit expensive : 10 to 20 times more than for a pig from factory farming. It is an extreme example. Most of the time the additional cost for organic farming is only 20 to 50% more, but 1) many people are not able to pay their food 20 to 50% more to have organic food, and 2) there are not enough lands available to do organic farming for all the population. The best we can do is an intermediate solution with less animals in big farms : it is better to have 10 places with 100 cows to produce milk that a factory farm with 1000 cows. Indeed, to reduce global warming, the ideal solution would be to find a method to prevent the cows to fart. Maybe some scientists are already working on it.
• United States
15 Aug 15
Oh..whew...I thought this was going to be a political discussion.... I so wish we would go back to putting the American farmer into business again. It would be beneficial on so many counts including not being dependent on others for our resources! Is that too political?