There Is Still Hope for Them

    Emilie Binet-Patoine 

For quite a while now, industrial farm animals have been restrained in small spaces so humans can handle them easier, even if the methods they use to restrain them are cruel. Will the conditions of animals in industrial farms improve in the future? In my opinion, there will certainly be improvement especially in dairy and pig farms because these are the farms that have been the most debated.

To begin with, a lot of research was made on how pigs and cows are treated in industrial farms. As for pigs, the results were that sows constantly live in gestation crates, those are metal cages about seven feet by two feet wide. Sows are inseminated and stay in these crates, until they give birth every five months. That means sows can’t even turn around in these cages, for a minimum of five months and when they give birth, they get pregnant again. So, sows spend their entire lives in gestation crates. In addition, the same sorts of methods are used on cows. Over 90% of dairy cows are confined in indoor operations, with more than 60% chained by the neck inside stalls, unable to do the most basic movements essential to their wellbeing. Furthermore, cows are trapped in a cycle of forced pregnancy, continuous lactation and constant imprisonment; their overworked bodies begin producing less milk at 4 to 5 years of age, at which point they are killed.

As a matter of fact, the way these animals were treated led to several debates. In that matter, a new way for industrial farming has been invented and will be more and more used in the future. This will not solve all the problems of industrial farming, but will without a doubt solve many. As far as pig farms are concerned, sows will be free in an open wide space that resembles a “concrete pasture”, but with many pens inside. An electronic feeding station will sit in the middle of each pen and when a sow gets in, a door closes behind it to keep others out. A machine inside the station reads the tag on the sow’s ear to see whether or not she has eaten for the day and, if not, how much food she should get. Pigs who aren’t eating wander the grounds or lay inside the large pens. This will provide more freedom for the pigs and a more natural lifestyle.

In the same way, for cows, a new technology lets farmers combine pasture feeding with automatic milking systems. It’s an indoor pasture which has grass in it and a machine that milks the cows. The cows themselves decide when to go to the milking unit and to encourage them to go at regular times in the day, a device called; the cow movement system is used. To manage the pasture more efficiently, a device called the ‘GrassHopper’ measures the grass across the farm, while a virtual fence sets appropriate boundaries for the field. This new technology will certainly help the cows feel more outdoors and they will finally get the mobility they didn’t have when they were chained up.

In conclusion, the future will obviously improve the conditions of animals in industrial farms. However, there are more and more people in the world that are turning vegan because of the way farm animals are treated. So the question is: Will there be more or less vegans in the future?



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