Saturday, October 31, 2009

Factory farming's negative reach

The following few paragraphs need no editorial comment:

. . . “According to reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and others, factory farming has made animal agriculture the No. 1 contributor to global warming (it is significantly more destructive than transportation alone), and one of the Top 2 or 3 causes of all of the most serious environmental problems, both global and local: air and water pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity . . . Eating factory-farmed animals – which is to say virtually every piece of meat sold in supermarkets and prepared in restaurants – is almost certainly the single worst thing that humans do to the environment.

“Every factory-farmed animal is, as a practice, treated in ways that would be illegal if it were a dog or a cat. Turkeys have been so genetically modified they are incapable of natural reproduction. To acknowledge that these things matter is not sentimental. It is a confrontation with the facts about animals and ourselves. We know these things matter.

“Meat and seafood are in no way necessary for my family. . . . And we are healthier without it. . . . ”

(from “Against Meat: Or at least 99 percent of it” by Jonathan Safran Foer, The New York Times Magazine (The Food Issue), October 11, 2009, pp. 68+.)

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