|Cattle in a feedyard - notice they have plenty of room to |
move around, lie down and are very calm.
Animal agriculture has gotten much larger, and much smaller, all at once. Farms and ranches have gotten bigger, but the number of people in farming and ranching has declined drastically. Those still in the fight must meet higher standards and produce more, much of the time with less land and other resources.
One production method modern animal agriculturalists utilize to meet the needs of a protein hungry world is the raising of animals in confined areas. Pigs, poultry, dairy cows, and finishing beef animals can successfully be raised in smaller geographical area, helping to assuage the ever shrinking amount of land available. Every building that goes up and every square foot of concrete or asphalt that is laid down is one less square foot available to feed people with. Properly done, these animals are comfortable and have their needs met daily in our care.
Confinement animal agriculture is often mislabeled as “factory farm” or other demeaning terms. They are thought of as institutions where animal welfare is secondary to profit. This is not true. Profit is important, but only in that it allows the business to keep functioning. Profit must follow animal welfare. If animals aren’t well cared for, they won’t perform. No performance, no profit.
Doing what’s best for animals is doing what’s best for an animal agriculture business. It’s also doing what’s best for a food animal veterinarian. Most importantly, it’s doing what’s best for ever hungry population of the world.
Thanks for reading,