Most people don’t think about how the hamburger on their plate got there. They simply eat it without considering what they are consuming.
Even when people do stop to think about what the food put on their plate once was, they most likely don’t have an accurate idea of what really happens to the animals most people regularly consume.
When I was a kid, I always thought that farm animals lived a happy life, roaming relatively free in big green fields until they died and became our food.
I could not have been more wrong. Most farm animals live a miserable existence in cramped quarters until they are slaughtered for our consumption.
Poultry are perhaps the most mistreated, being fed tons of fattening food, but with no room to move around. Many chickens become so overweight that their legs break from the pressure.
How can we justify this kind of cruelty? Animals can feel pain and certainly don’t deserve to live such miserable lives just so people can eat their Big Macs and chicken nuggets at McDonalds.
Most Americans would be outraged if dogs or cats were treated this way, but little consideration is given to pigs, animals that are more intelligent than dogs.
According to ABC News, IQ research at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, England has proven that farm animals are smarter than most people give them credit for.
Something needs to be done to change the way farm animals are treated. Factory farming is not only bad for the animals, but it’s also bad for the environment.
Instead of harvesting grain to be consumed by people, the majority of grain is harvested to feed farm animals, which are slaughtered to be eaten by humans. Because farmers feed their animals so much grain, wildlife habitats are destroyed to accommodate farmers’ needs.
While getting rid of factory farms is a huge task, there are simple ways for everyone to take a stand against this torture. The most obvious way to protest is to simply stop eating meat altogether. For many people, this is too radical of a change. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to help.
Reducing the amount of meat and eggs you eat can make a difference. Also, buying free-range meat and eggs can help. Free-range means that the animals are allowed more space to roam. This is a small step in the right direction for farming practices.
By not supporting the business of factory farms, you are helping to not support the torture of animals and the destruction of our environment. If everyone changes their eating habits, factory farms will be forced to realize that people no longer want what they have to offer.
Farming should be done the way it is portrayed in children’s books: cows and pigs roaming across green fields, free to graze the grass already provided by nature, instead of trapped in cramped quarters and being fed harvested grain.
Meghan O’Rourke/Opinion editor