There are so many disturbing aspects to factory farming but I think the biggest threat to human health is the use of antibiotics given to our food animals. It’s something we should all be aware of. The fact that some pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to many antibiotics is quite alarming. If this practice continues, these can evolve into forms we cannot control – and it is feared that this is already happening.
The issues in factory farming include:
- routine use of antibiotics is used to promote growth and prevent disease
- due to crowded and unhealthy conditions routine use of antibiotics in industrial facilities is believed to lead to antibiotic resistance in humans, making antibiotics less effective leaving the elderly, medically vulnerable, and children at risk
- A huge percentage of all antibiotics used in livestock production in US are not used to treat sick animals but are used as growth promoters
In contrast, practices in family farming (or non-factory farming) include:
- animals are raised with out the routine use of antibiotics.
- antibiotics are only administered to a sick animal.
- organic farmers pull the sick animal from the herd before treating it and the meat is not sold under that label