Ryan O’Reilly wrote a great primer column for the Springfield News-Leader (Missouri) about his reasons for avoiding factory farm food. He tries to eat a factory-free diet.
To briefly sum up, O’Reilly’s rationale is:
- Non-factory farms provide a better life for the animals (well, up until they are slaughtered).
- You tend to put dollars straight into the pockets of your neighbors, not goliath corporations.
- You’re promoting the environmental welfare of your community.
- You eat healthier when these animals are given organic feed and kept off of growth hormone and antibiotics.
If you read my recent piece on meat transparency, those points should sound familiar.
Though each thought is distinct, they all relate to the higher concept of health. When buying meat products from a local, sustainable farm, you are contributing to the health of your neighbors, your community, and even your self.
Factory farms use economies of scale to turn a profit. Sure, you save a few dollars at the grocery store checkout, but that cheap price is offset by hidden societal costs.
If you’re reading this, you’re already avoiding factory farm meat. Or you’re thinking about it. Or you’re a vegetarian/vegan. For you, the personal choice to eat healthier is a simple one to make. Convincing others, however, is a challenge.