Food activists are continuously fighting for more humane “factory farm” practices for both health reasons and for animal rights. There have been some successes, like California’s Proposition 2, which outlaws caged egg production, but big food is fighting back these reforms as much as they can. Big food claims the new “aviary”egg system that replaced the caged egg system is even worse.
When the FDA attempted to ban cephalosporin antibiotics, corporate food industries joined together to make sure the bill would not pass. And they succeeded. Over 70 percent of medically important antibiotics are not used in people but in livestock to make the animals grow quicker, eat less, and produce more. These practices have caused antibiotic resistant bacteria, which hospitalizes roughly two million people a year in the U.S. and kills 23,000 according to the CDC.
“The conditions in this migrant farm site are as dangerous and oppressive as any sweatshop we have seen,” said Labor Secretary Robert Reich when he visited DeCoster’s Turner, Maine facility in 1996.
The bird flu is also an issue, caused by animal crowding and antibiotics at factory farms, that should not be forgotten. Back in 2015, 50 million chickens and turkeys died because of this. Unfortunately, the bird flu epidemic was only important to factory famers because of the loss in financial gain not the destruction of animal lives.