Factory Farms are not good for anybody or anything - this includes the animals, human workers and the environment. With Time Magazine now putting a great foot forward and telling the truth - to cut down on carbon gas emissions we need to stop with the meat-eating - vegetarianism is starting to enter the mainstream. Though I have been researching the topic of vegetarianism and veganism for some time now, I am still learning all sorts of new things.
Take this list for example, that I found from Naturalnews.com.
Conditions from Inside Animal Factory Farms
The following comes from the article, which I have provided a link to.
"To understand the conditions present in these factory farms, you must first examine what the animals in these factory farms are eating. The factory farmer has redefined what constitutes animal feed in a 'bottom line' effort to save money. They seem to care little about the health or the happiness of the animal, and instead treat it like a product. The low quality standards placed on animal feed by these "farmers" prove that little consideration is being taken towards the animal or the consumer.
For example, some of the "ingredients" commonly used in animal factory feed include: (think hard about this list the next time you order a hamburger...)
- Excessive grains -- Abnormally high amounts can make the animals sick, especially natural grass eaters like cattle. Their bodies are not designed to handle a corn-rich diet; as a result, these animals can form liver abscesses and excessively acidic digestive systems.
- Plastics -- For the many animals whose digestive systems still need roughage to move food through, these factories have turned to the use of plastic pellets instead of plant-based roughage to compensate for a lack of natural fiber in the feed.
- Meat from members of the same species -- The factory farming industry is turning farm animals into cannibals. Scientific research has linked this practice to the spread of both mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE) and avian bird flu.
- Manure and animal waste -- This can include cattle manure, swine waste, and poultry waste. It can also contain wood, sand, rocks, dirt, sawdust and other non-food substances.
- Animal byproducts -- This is often categorized as "animal protein products" and may appear as rendered feathers, hair, skin, hooves, blood, internal organs, intestines, beaks and bones. These may also include dead horses, euthanized cats and dogs, and road kill.
- Drugs and chemicals (including dangerous antibiotics) -- Drugs are frequently implemented in order to fight disease, control parasites and reduce animals' stress from overcrowded living conditions. However, the antimicrobials used on some poultry promote the accumulation of arsenic inside their bodies. This is a highly carcinogenic chemical that can then contaminate the water supply near the farm, or emerge in the meat later eaten by consumers."
It would be like eating a heroine addict that was nibbling on the limb of another heroine addict. That doesn't sound nice, does it?
Of course not.
Better yet, how about trying your own homemade veggie burgers? I do this sort of thing all the time in my house, when I am not barbecuing slabs of tofu (so good!). I prefer my veggie burgers made from chickpeas (I love them!) but you can also use many other ingredients. For a decent recipe, check the link here.
I always tell my husband that I think veggie burgers are much more interesting anyway, because you can make them with so many different ingredients. I also love mushroom burgers, because they grill well and have a chewy texture that is different from tofu. If you want other great veggie grilling recipes, vegcooking.com now has a guide up to help you.