The videos you see are extremely one-sided and manipulative. You cannot do anything right by these people. I am personally against, for instance, debeaking, and the production of foie gras is horrible on a Holocaust level. But for example I saw one recently that criticized the use of nipple drinkers that guarantee clean water for the birds instead of letting them drink water from the ground that's contaminated by feces. Another campaign I was exposed to this year misrepresented a cattle crush as a device that actually crushes cows, instead of its actual purpose to immobilize an animal while it receives medical treatment. There are a lot of good points to be made about cruelty in industrialized farming, but they ruin it with these shock videos and ridiculous assertions.
These tactics and misrepresentative propaganda, while they may be effective at fundraising from young and gullible city people, have caused states to pass laws making it a crime to film undercover at farms, and I believe that this is a setback for the animal rights movement, on top of some of the proponents' general dishonesty.
Vegetable farming is not a great thing for the environment either, and sometimes "organic" production does more harm.
Battery cages bother me and eggs produced differently are ridiculously priced (a dozen normal eggs costs $1.10 at my walmart today, recently the price has been below $0.30.) So I started my own flock. Today I have nine happy birds and am not supporting the battery cage operation, which incidentally was the subject of a salmonella-related recall this year. I hope to be bringing home some turkeys from the farm fest in the next county in a couple weeks.
I guess from my point of view, whether or not some people are over the top crazies about one topic or another doesn’t really affect the underlying issues.
Personally, I do my best to take a measured and reasonable approach: im vegetarian (not vegan) and I just focus on doing what makes me feel that I am doing at least something to combat the well-documented and scientifically supported ill-effects of large scale agribusiness.
I think too often individuals fall into the trap of “all or nothing”. Am I concerned about climate change? Yes. Do I still drive a car? Yes. Does that make me a hypocrite? No.
It’s possible to do what you can with what you have to make a small impact in your own life. And for many, that’s about all we can ask for.
Could you explain these points more?
Switching to plant based agriculture would require even more fertilizer to be used as the land area needed limits super effective crop rotation.
Other problems are plants are much less tolerant of different environments than live stock, so you have to more aggressively farm the limited area. Many of the ideal areas for growing plants also lack nutrients or even water (CA is essentially a desert but grows most of the worlds cereals because the weather, soil are excellent for growing, even if you have to pump the water in from elsewhere...)
Of course this ignores harmful effects of livestock, and is just meant to illustrate “not livestock” does not mean “good”.
A few write-ups with accompanying audio transcripts/podcasts from science writer Brian Dunning of Skeptoid.
- Organic vs. Conventional Agriculture: https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4166
- Organic Food Myths: https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4019
- Environmental Working Group and the Dirty Dozen: https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4623
Bibliographic references and further reading at the end of each if interested.
As for traditional production, herbicides, pesticides, and genetic contamination are big issues.
So far we have only been doing the eggs but expect them to stop laying when they reach 3-4 years old. This is my first flock so I don't really know yet. I am not sure if I have the guts to prepare a bird for meat.
If you have kids, they're typically not as grossed out as adults and it's a really good biology lesson
I don't care how horrible it is, it's too good to pass up.