Op Ed: Is McDonalds The Answer To Factory Farming?

February 15, 2012

Look, I get it. our family has a farm. We buy from farmers, work with farmers and eat meat. The issue is not to turn everyone into bark eating, tree hugging Liberals who sweat rainbow colored unicorn sparkles. The real food issue is about humans being good stewards to the animals they raise for consumption. 

McDonalds has announced to their pork suppliers, that they have to submit plans for increasing the size of the so-called sow stalls. These sow or gestation stalls, are actually chutes about 2 feet wide. The pregnant sow is placed into the stall , where she is unable to turn around-or move for that matter. This produces all sorts of health issues for the sow. Issues directly related to being pinned in place for months at a time. 

Confinement farming only makes sense on paper. There has to be someone with enough influence in the food industry, taking a stand against these inhumane and frankly, horrific, practices. Hopefully, McDonalds can be the catalyst for change.

As a farmer, I understand the fragility of the farm ledger. I also understand that every inch of my farm has to be productive or it is simply costing me money. What I don't understand, is who made the decision to jam together as many living creatures as possible in order to get every penny out of the space. Who does that? What farmer can walk through their barn and see that sort of horror?

The factory farms we hear about, are NOT your neighbor's farm. There are no farmers working or living on those types of food factories. Unfortunately, the only information we get out of Confinement Farms, is the sanitized version from the factory farm's PR team, or the undercover video from organizations who don't believe in eating animals at all. 

Hopefully, McDonalds can get some much needed changes to happen, without all the fanfare we usually see. They are not pushing a complete lifestyle change on the public, to become vegetarian. They are also not supporting the factory farms that are inhumane and unnecessary. This just might be the boost that will turn our focus away from defending the factory farming practices, and help all of us see a more humane way to raise the food we eat. 

 Anything is possible. 

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