The focus of factory farms is often on the animals, as well it should be. Billions of animals every year are forced to live in filthy confined areas, fed foods they may not be natural to them, injected with drugs to pump up their weight and fight disease that can run rampant in tight confinment, and subject to abuse by factory farm workers.
But who are these workers? Not surprisingly, most factory farm laborers are immigrant workers, often undocumented with little knowledge of the English language. This is seen as an attribute by factor farm owners as the laborers can’t complain about low wages or hazardous working conditions, and if they are injured, they are far less likely to try and bring a claim as they will end up being deported.
It is not surprising that working under conditions where you deal with animal suffering every day can take its toll on one’s psyche. Factory farm workers are more likely to get into fights, abuse their spouses, become addicted to drugs and alcohol, and it has been documented that the rate of violent crimes is higher in cities and towns where factory farms operate.
Miles away from the stench and strife, the factory farm owners watch their profits increase and pray that some undercover operation won’t expose the cruelty on their farms that they tacitly condone. This total disregard for the lives of animals and humans occurs, in part, because the public has been seduced by commercials and advertisements telling us we must eat meat for health, that our milk come from happy cows, and that some of the profits go to support the health and well-being of children; a tongue-in-check claim when considering eating factory farm foods are linked to any number of childhood illnesses, including obesity.
As consumers we have the ability to vote with our forks and simply stop eating meat and dairy products produced on factory farms. Unfortunately, many of us find it inconvenient to shop more responsibly. Our busy stressed out lives, over scheduling, and efforts to get the best value for our dollar are the exact market that factory farm owners target. You can change all this, but are you willing to do so?