For my science class, as part of a rather more-heated-than-anticipated discussion.
Dedicated to the people I work with who put up with me and it turn allow me to do all the work.
Battery farms. Alongside the fur trade and animal testing farming is the biggest source of outrage for animal rights activists. It seems that rearing animals solely for slaughter has suddenly been deemed cruel - provided they are kept in confined spaces. Yes, it is their habitat that makes it immoral. Are they really that bad?
Now you mustn't think I'm some psycho animal hater who runs about museums at night slapping Capuchan monkeys (really, I'm surprised there weren't hordes of protesters outside The Night at the Museum studios screaming for blood; human blood, of course) - I simply think there has been far too much outcry against these farms and not enough of the other side of the story. I guess that makes me the Voice of Reason. Realistically, intensive farming is the clever man's meat. Cost, time and space effective, it is sparing with the things that the current economy is crying out for. As beautiful and famous our British countrysides may be, we are long past the era where they are needed. When there are thousands of people who live stacked on top of one another in minuscule flats where there isn't enough room to swing a cat (which incidentally is a real violation of animal rights), it is ludicrous to suggest that acres of land are better put to use for eight pigs to run around in mud. Expand people! Yes they are beautiful, but people would much rather stare at the image of them on their TV or computer screens, and people rarely walk in the countryside anymore unless they are forced to be crazed DofE enthusiasts. I do not advocate the post-apocalyptic scene of burning fields and polluted (well, more-than-it-already-is-polluted-) air, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, I digress.
My main fault with "organic farming" is the cost. With the current economic downturn, it is absurd to pay so much for something which - when cooked right and not in a half-hearted attempt to avoid being bias - tastes no different to that farmed in cages. You may say that you can't put a price on morals, but I believe you just did - and it's extortionate. And may I ask what the big uproar about morals is? They may not be running amok in a large field, but the animals in battery farms aren't exactly beaten, put in shackles and made to perform shows. They are well fed and kept healthy, juxtaposing the common image that is circulated. And anyway, bacon is bacon - it doesn't taste or look happy just because it died that way. And whichever way you go about it, it still ends up on someone's plate.
But when it comes down to it, it's really simple: if you don't like it, don't eat it. It's not exactly the attitude I'm normally comfortable with, and although I don't like people choking others with their views, I do think that if you see something wrong you should try to change it: even if that change is just raising awareness. Lazing around and watching things unfold is a cowardly way of life. But in this particular instance, I do break my rule. The removal of all battery farms is a wrong and, frankly, an inconsiderate move. If all that is left is organically reared meat, what happens to those who - through no fault of their own - cannot afford it? Are they condemned to a life of greenery so that a few chickens can flap about aimlessly for the duration of their short lives in an exceedingly large field? Our species may only be a pointless blip in the expanse of time, but for now we are reigning superior and we should reap the benefits that come with it, rather than ponder our dinner's feelings.
Organic farming is just the consolation for the failed vegetarian. You take the custard and I'll have the sausages, wherever they were made: now that's true Ambrosia.