Essay Example on Farming has been a popular mean to feed a Population









Since the beginning farming has been a popular mean to feed a population However through the years farming has evolved one hundred fold From livestock to crops food appears to have an endless progression for cheaper and more efficient production Through this advancement farm animals have been as strictly resources to gain capital to some producers The animal s importance is placed as an externality to the means of production Farm animals are often victims of mistreatment through transportation old age and modification To counter this treatment companies and farmers can form alliances for better treatment Properly treated animals can give economic incentives and consumers must be educated about the issue of animal welfare From a purely economic standpoint Farm animals are just one of the resources specifically a form of capital in farming which is itself the activity or business of growing crops and raising livestock 

As resources the value and importance of the animals is explicitly derived from what they contribute to the economic output of the production process The care they receive and the manner in which they are treated is logically determined solely by what is necessary to sustain this productivity at the appropriate level and for the appropriate period so as to gain the maximum returns from the resource McInerney 2004 Within this framework animals are inputs alongside other resources that are then combined and transformed in some way to produce the various outputs that people want and value such as food The production processes involved in producing these outputs have effects on the welfare of animals that are used as inputs These effects are unsupervised for and largely unwanted by products of production and are generally thought of within economics as externalities because they lie outwith the economic process of productive activity Thus farm animal suffering can be seen as a negative externality of livestock production in much the same way as environmental pollution is considered by economists as a negative externality of industrial production Old Cull Livestock and Poultry of Little Economic Value In the U S older farm animals often travel greater distances than young farm animals that have been fattened on either grain or grass There is a lesser desire to treat these animals well because they are less valuable than the young An effective way to reduce poor treatment is to increase the value of old breeding stock This provides an economic incentive to treat them better Producers need to be aware that if they sell animals before they become older and hold less value they will receive more money for them In some places in the U S and other parts of developed countries programs have been put into place to fatten older animals so that they will become more valuable for meat Grandin 2013 Alliances Between Producers and Meat Companies 

An alliance between both parties would benefit all If farmers would produce animals that met specific requirements for animal welfare food safety and other requirements they are economically rewarded The rapidly growing markets in organic and natural meats have created alliance systems where standards should be enforced Farmers are often interested in joining these programs in order to get higher prices for the same farm animals Educate Consumers About Animal Welfare In developed countries people are becoming more and more concerned about where their food is coming from Consumers may stop buying meat from companies where animal welfare is at a lowered standard When consumers are educated they are willing to spend more to ensure proper treatment This method can be very effective with affluent consumers In the U K the sales of products that were produced under fair trade agreements rose 70 in 2007 The Independent 2008 Utilitarian perspective A utilitarian view indicates that livestock have primarily a use value However societies accept moral codes and ethical presumptions that confer other values on many features of the biological world Thus farm animals in common with many environmental elements can have in addition a non use value This is not as often suggested an intrinsic value since all values derive from human preferences It is entirely plausible that people place a value on the wellbeing welfare of farm animals a perceived benefit from believing that although using them for economic purposes they are being treated appropriately

Alternatively people can feel a loss of value a sense of unease or discomfort if it is perceived that livestock suffer in their role as resources or that our moral responsibilities to sentient beings is not fulfilled Producers decides all Whilst individuals groups and government may have their views about appropriate welfare standards it is livestock farmers who determine what they actually are in practice The producer operating a particular livestock enterprise egg production dairying fattening pigs faces the welfare productivity frontier for his livestock type and has to decide on a system and level of production intensity The necessary pursuit of profits in order to remain in business determines how this choice will be made Purely commercial livestock farming would rationally pursue the animals productivity to the most profitable and is prevented from going this far only by the enforcement of minimum legal standards of welfare and the prohibition of husbandry practices which while morally repugnant would nevertheless offer some marginal productivity gain It is this kind of inescapable logic which causes animal welfare campaigners to argue that economic incentives in the modern era price support market competition and the pursuit of cheap food developments in the technological possibilities for exploiting the biological potential of animals etc have driven livestock farming too far around the frontier with the result that modern farming imposes unacceptably high costs on the welfare of animals

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