• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 4 comments on Why We Should Take the Factory Out of Farming

  1. This article is right on target. If we keep our farm animals and fowl in cleaner, better conditions, we have less need to doctor them up. We should do it for them as well as ourselves.

    There is a very good government website that goes into detail about how to keep chickens and roosters in good health. It’s a site of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) of the USDA.
    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/birdbiosecurity/

    On a much lighter note, and worth the click, there is a contest taking place at the site that those interested in animal husbandry (or just curious) might find worth entering.

  2. The biggest problem with trying to get people to realize the problem with factory farming is that there is one other option pushed. vegetarianism. why should we just stop eating meat when it is part of our natural diet? the answer is we dont have to. all we have to do is make sure we know where our meat comes from. not every farm is evil and digusting. some farms do have free range animals and are fed what is natural for them. and they are fed with out the influence of growth hormones.

  3. Factory farming is not just about producing livestock. I came to this article seeking information and opinions about the potentials of eliminating all industrial-scale food production, including grains and produce. I am not an economist or anthropologist, so I can’t predict the fallout of returning to traditional agriculture. Would an America without factory farming necessarily lead to global starvation? Or could it be an intelligent solution to relying on our current cruel, wasteful and potentially implosive means of subsisting? Perhaps all the educated minds and technological advancements could be lent to transitioning us back to life where humane farming was the norm again. I believe there is room in this country for a multitude of smaller, more eco-friendly farms, if people were willing to leave cities and invest in them and work them. It would be an immense socio- and economical shift. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be thoroughly investigated and attempted. With so much manufacturing already gone in this country, farming would provide meaningful work for millions hopelessly un- and underemployed people. Many agriculture-related jobs and functions would continue to be mechanized and modernized, particularly packaging and transport. But, hopefully, in cleaner, less enviromentally devastating ways. When we care enough, we find ways to improve. Why must we wait for an apocalyptic event to force us to change? Consider the devastation that would engulf us if just one of the mainstays of factory farming should fail, like oil resources. A nation of farms doesn’t sound so wacky, to me.

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