Intensive Farming of Animals - Free Essay Sample

Published: 2023-10-29
Intensive Farming of Animals - Free Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Farming Environment Animals Ethics Agriculture World
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1775 words
15 min read


The intensification of agricultural production has been on the limelight for discussion due to its intense impact on food accessibility, pastoral communities, biodiversity, and usage of resources, among other various concerns. The biggest fear of livestock agriculture revolves around the intensive farming of animals, also referred to as factory animal farming. Animal Intensive farming methods are widely viewed as the most efficient, but with it comes a package of a high cost to humans, the animals, and the planet. The ever increasing human appetite for animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy is fermenting a unique kind of disaster. The intensive farming methods are majorly fueled by the ever-growing human population that demands cheaper foods in large volumes. The large multinational companies that seek to meet this massive demand while making huge chunks of profit employ methods that have no concern for civic health, the environs, food security, rural financial prudence, livestock health, or the adjacent societies.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

In most cultures, animals are widely viewed as having their feelings and interests. Furthermore, animals are at the core of fundamental moral principles around humans' associations to the ordinary world (Miele et al., 2013). The past few decades have seen a rise in public attention and concern over animal welfare. This has sparked the commencement of scientific research programs to find solutions in addressing demands for better animal-conscious methods of production.

Factory Farming of Animals

Development Over Time

Intensive animal farming involves methods that aim to maximize the output per area by using high output approaches such as the use of chemicals, pesticides, growth hormones, vaccines, antibiotics, and machinery. Before the 1950 produced animals in the industrialized countries was mainly done through the traditional methods that involved activities that depended on labor for the normal farm activities such as the feeding of the animals, and removal of animal droppings (Fraser, 2005). Another important fact was that the animals were left outdoors, if not the whole day, at least for some part of the day. After the Second World War, the farm's witnesses a form of agricultural revolution where the animals started disappearing from the fields into huge windowless sheds. The agricultural revolution saw the emergence of a sort of "incarceration" system for animals that commonly consisted of specialized automated machines that replaced the normal human labor by performing the day to day tasks. The new system was more suitable for animals fed on grain and other concentrated feed; this involved the production of poultry, eggs, pigs, and veal calves (Fraser, 2005).

Impact on the Animals

The significant developments that have been witnessed in the twentieth century have led to the shift in the attitude of humans towards animals, especially in urban areas where animals are viewed and kept as pets rather than animals. The use of the television and other digital media has exposed more people to have access to wild animals, hence impacting changing the mindset and making the public scrutinize every aspect of animal use, be it in entertainment or in scientific research (Fraser, 2005). All this while animal use in agriculture was in the shadows. Humans are very inconsistent by the way they treat animals; for example, cats and dogs are loved abundantly; the wild animals are even protected as the thought of killing endangered species is viewed as sickening. Most people consider themselves animal lovers, but the plight of cows, pigs, and chickens are not taken seriously.

Ethical Problems

Factory farms place thousands of animals in tightly crowded windowless outbuildings where they are cramped to wire confines with barren earth or cold concrete. Most of the animals never get to smell fresh air or get their backs to feel the warmth of the sunlight until probably the day they will be loaded onto trucks heading to the slaughterhouse (Cassuto, 2013).

The replacement of the traditional way of farming by the intensive animal farms has led to the decline of the conventional care value of animals by family farms and replaced by corporate greed, which only aims at profiteering hence leading to negative impacts on animal welfare. The takeover by corporates in animal production from the traditional family farms has led to disturbing effects on animal care due to the attitude of corporates of profit maximization at all costs.

Traditional farmers are not able to compete, hence the increase in corporate control over food. Intensive animal farming corporations tend to enjoy economies of scale, financial, and political powers. Therefore they can determine their prices through the market forces, forcing the traditional farmers to be undercut or forced out of the market.

Animals, as much as human beings, are salient creatures and can experience life in various ways as humans do, including developing relationships, experience stress, anxiety, and capable of experiencing pain and suffering (Cassuto, 2013). What justifies the suffering they are put through? Is it their ability to withstand grief and suffering or their capacity to comprehend and communicate complex ideas as we humans do?

Animal Welfare

Intensive animal farming involves keeping a large number of animals in small crowded places their entire lives. The extraordinarily tight and cramped areas lead to pollution and poor hygiene that may eventually lead to infections and diseases. The workers physically abuse the animal's body parts and are sometimes mutilated and modified for experiments through the use of hormones that lead to distress and pain for the animals. The animals are brutally killed by workers who make little or no effort to reduce the amount of physical pain felt by the animals (Hewson, 2003). Egg-laying hens are usually crammed up into sequence confinement cages, and their beaks cut out to prevent them from killing each other in the cages. Male chickens are crammed up together in thousands with pens stack upon each other with feces falling onto other chickens below. Cows in the animal factories are placed in tiny cages and forced to stand for long hours each day.

Impact on Humans

Health Risks

Research has established that for the people who work in intensive agriculture, operations face enormous risks and are likely to be diagnosed with cancer and congenital disabilities. For example, the use of the bovine growth hormone in lactating cows to increase milk production, though approved by the FDA, has shown to have links with cow infections such as lameness. In humans, it has been linked to cancer development and other disorders (Collier & Bauman, 2014).

The people who live around the large farm environments have been linked with amplified risks of obstructive airway diseases such as asthma and pulmonary diseases, which depend on the size of the farms (Sigsgaard & Balmes, 2017). Exposure to confinement dust, diesel equipment, ammonia from the farm's manure, and urine has also been proven to reduce air quality of the surrounding environment leading to respiratory health problems.

Impact on the Planet

The Environmental Impact

To feed the animals, plants must be grown. The plants are grown on a large scale, and this means large tracks of land being cleared for the growth of animal feeds such as soy and grain. The clearing of forests and trees through the slash and burn techniques has resulted in immense deforestation and soil erosion. The game's typical locales have significantly been impacted by damaging methods and have resulted in the loss of habitat.

Intensive animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions globally; this is more than the combined output of every car, planes, boats, and Lorries. Out of the 18 percent, 37 percent of the emissions consist of methane gas and nitrous oxide-forming almost 65 percent. The release of methane and nitrous oxide is alarming since they are 86 and 296 times more destructive than carbon (IV) oxide (Lyman, 2016).

Resources Required

Intensive animal agriculture is unsustainable since, in the meat industry, to produce just 1kg of meat, it takes about 20,000 liters of water, hence raising livestock for meat uses water above 30 trillion gallons of water annually in the US alone.

For every 30 calories of meat produced, the industry uses 100 calories of crops to feed the livestock; this means that the industry is operating at significant losses of up to 70 percent. While some parts of the world face starvation, almost fifty percent of the globally produced grain is used to feed the livestock, which is more capable of ending the world's starving populations.


Studies have shown that organic and extensive types of agriculture can nourish the world. Ecological farmhouses that are being developed worldwide have the capabilities to grow sufficient food per capita basis to deliver daily calories ranging from 2600 to above 4300 calories per individual, which are more than the recommended consumption for mature grown-ups (Factory Farms, n.d.). Eco-farming has the potential to feed the current population and even a broader community without the need to increase the land under agriculture and, more so, has the potential to double food production in the next ten years.

Intensive animal farming is fueled by demand, and as long as human's appetite for meat exists; then, the industry will continue to thrive. Hence humans should seek a more alternative source of nutrition and embrace the need to convert in being vegetarians. We cannot purport to be environmentalists and, at the same time, be consumers of meat.


In the next 30 years, the world's population is projected to soar by almost one third to a high of about 9 and 10 billion people. With such a high population, the need to meet their nutritional needs means that there is likely to be substantial anticipation in increase per capita consumption for animal products ranging from meat, eggs, dairy, and fish. In meeting this demand for animal products and addressing the global food security challenge, significant investment and resources will be required.

The agriculture sector globally faces a set of challenges, especially the intensive animal agriculture production sector, its ethical issues, its environmental impact, and its role in the use of the already diminishing world resources. The challenges need to be addressed through innovations, new technologies, and modern ways of approaching agriculture. Such methods include reverting to organic farming and embrace the consumption of a diet consisting of vegetables only.


Cassuto, D. N. (2013). Environment, Ethics, and the Factory Farm. Digital Commons, 1-9. Retrieved from

Collier, J. R., & Bauman, E. D. (2014). Update on human health concerns of recombinant bovine somatotropin use in dairy cows. J Anim Sci, 92(4), 1800-1807.

Factory Farms. (n.d.). Retrieved from Everything

Fraser, D. (2005). Animal welfare and the intensification of animal production: An alternative interpretation. Rome: Editorial Production and Design, Group Publishing Management Service FAO.

Hewson, C. J. (2003). What is animal welfare? Common definitions and their practical consequences. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 44(6), 496-499.

Cite this page

Intensive Farming of Animals - Free Essay Sample. (2023, Oct 29). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism