Essay, 6 pages (1600 words)

A solution to factory farming ethics

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God gave man dominion over the land and the animals so that he could take care of them and prosper with them Genesis 1: 24-31. Since the human race was created in God’s image, humans should exercise that dominion with wisdom and mercy like God does upon man. Yet man has perverted this duty by taking too much from the land and animals, and not fulfilling the original contract to take care of them. This has become evident in factory farming because man is mistreating the animals in order to produce the cheapest and most productive system for vast amounts of meat no matter the moral standing to animals and the land.

This has to be changed to keep he contract intact, which Peter Singer and Jim Mason are trying to do in The Ethics of Eating Meat. They are trying to convert as many people as possible to vegetarianism and veganism to stop factory farming and what it is doing to the world as it is known. Yet one must argue if that is ever possible, so a better solution must be sought for all the omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans out there may have an alternative that best suits everyone’s wishes and the best interests of the contract.

One must first look at the issues at hand before seeking the solution that best fits everyone’s and everything’s best interests. First off, humans have developed something called “ speciesism” (Singer And Mason 777), which is a prejudice against anything that is not a part of the dominant human race. Man has denied reasonable rights to animals and plants to prosper in a way that allows them to live their lives not as an object, but as a living thing. Such as it is in factory farming, animals are placed into cramped shelves and confined spaces with unhealthy environmental elements.

This is not truly living by any means known to man. Humans know and understand this because they have the same interests as the animals do when it comes to living standards. Singer and Mason state, “ If an animal feels pain, the pain matters as much as it does when a human feels pain. Granted, the mental capacities of different beings will affect how they experience pain, how they remember it, and whether they anticipate further pain. ” (777) Animals might not be able to understand what is happening but it still affects them on a high enough level that humans should understand it is wrong to let the suffering continue to happen.

Unjustifiable living conditions for animals is not the only issue affecting this growing problem. Also, because raising animals takes much more food to feed, it is a ery inefficient use of land. It takes about ten times the amount of land to feed cattle and get the same food amount from the outcome then using Just one times that amount of land to grow crops instead. This poor ratio is why things like deforestation happens and we lose those natural habitats including the wildlife diversity.

Davis states here the ratios to how many animals die to raise food for factory farming “ Davis then tries to calculate the number of animals killed by growing crops and the number killed by rearing beef cattle on pasture and proves that vegans are indirectly esponsible for killing only about a fifth as many animals as those who eat grass-fed beef. ” (qtd. in Singer & Mason 785) It is much more efficient and less destructive to the environment to produce grown foods instead of raised animals.

These are the issues placed in front of humans, but as a response the meat lovers have come up The meat eating community has conceived a formidable defense against the issues of factory farming, but these arguments still do not solve the issues. It started when wild animals and humans in the past noticed the benefits to having a relationship with each other. Animals could live off the food and protection provided by humans and the humans prospered off the meat and other byproducts the animals provided back. The result was these animal breeds evolved in order to improve their species as a whole.

Using Darwin’s trial and error Pollan states these species sought it fit to domesticate themselves and so they conformed. “… domestication happened when a small handful of especially opportunistic species discovered through Darwinian trial and error that they were more likely to survive and prosper in an alliance with humans than on their own. ” (qtd. in Singer ; Mason 72) As told here, this is very similar to the contract that God gave man yet it seems to reside within the animals to continue though humans have quit. This is true not Just for factory farmed animals, but also on animals such as dogs and their wolf counter parts.

As Pollon shows “… that there are now only 10, 000 wolves in North America, but 50 million dogs. From this he draws the conclusion that “ From the animals’ point of view, the bargain with humanity has been a great success, at least until our own time. ” (qtd. in Singer & Mason 779) Through time is has become apparent that a life n the farm is in their nature, and if they live a life to be killed early, it is fulfilling their wishes as a species. Fearnley-whittingstall states this “ And I believe that these short, domesticated lives are, on balance, better than no lives at all. ” (qtd.

Singer & Mason 780) If humans did not farm the animals, it would be diminishing their species and not granting them the partnership that God and evolution has placed between man and animal. Also it is argued against factory farming whether is it right to even bring these animals into that sort of life. This is because the animals will suffer hroughout their life including when they are killed. Yet humans suffer throughout their lives, which some even have it worse off like people whom are born with defects and handicaps. Is it wrong then to bring those individuals into life and not let them live?

Another formidable defense is animals are not on the same level as humans. They do not have souls to simplify it. Animals are not created in God’s image, but humans are so when animals die they Just die. Animals are also not conscious about their lives as a whole because they do not have things such as ambitions, hopes, and aspirations. There is no seeking the future for achievements that will excel themselves as individuals or each other. Animals cannot also comprehend whether they had a fulfilling life or not. Their only perception of anything is their situational awareness of their surroundings and themselves.

It is hard to argue against such strong counters but it is more the matter of the duty to the animal and the effect to humans who know whether the ethics are right or wrong. A solution that everyone can agree on is difficult to come by because they would have to meet in the middle in order to have a win-win situation. With everyone aving different opinions on the matter, it is not possible to completely abolish meat from the market none the less it would put those species into extinction. Not only that, but since the market would suffer, many Jobs would be lost.

The main issue here is because animals are widely accepted as a commodity, the economics of the Singer ; Mason here “ in practice, as long as animals are commodities, raised for sale on large scale in a competitive market situation, there will be conflicts between their interests and the economic interests of the producer, and the producer will always be under pressure to cut corners and reduce costs. (787) In order to counter this, much more strict regulations could be placed into effect that will cause the prices of meat to go up leaving meat to be more ofa luxury item.

This in turn will lower the amount of meat needed to be produce thus slowly changing the effects on the environment and the animals. Additionally, because of the higher regulations and restrictions, animals will have a higher standard of living where they will live a life that we know will be fulfilling and painless until that faithful day. Since less meat is being produced, the market for animal feed crops that go towards those animals, ould be grown for other purposes such as say feeding the rest of the world.

This would be a very good export for the economy in itself. This idea will still be fulfilling the species goal to survive in harmony with humans which is beneficiary. Meat lovers would struggle to obtain meat easily but still is possible. This will also improve their eating habits enabling them to be healthier people in general. Vegetarians and vegans would not completely abolish factory farming but would greatly diminish its steamroll effect on animals and the environment. This is a solution that can be rgued to work towards everyone’s interests.

If this idea to in better the market for meat was applied and worked, it could fulfill for the most part, the interests of everyone and even the interests of the animals and the environment. Yes the moral ethics at hand are still important but nothing can be done because the arguments the meat enthusiasts make are Just as valid. This is why, by opinion, both have to meet in the middle in order for everyone and everything to win. Works Cited Singer and Mason. A World of Ideas: Essential Readings For College Writers Eighth Edition. Boston New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. Print

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