You might have heard about what horrible places factory farms are for animals, but have you ever seen what one looks like? Most people in the United States are operating under the assumption that the meat, dairy and eggs that they consume comes from a farm that somewhat resembles a large idyllic pasture, run by a friendly, hardworking farmer. In reality, factory farms are large-scale feeding operations that hold thousands of animals in incredibly unsanitary conditions. Instead of a rustic barn, there are rows and rows of metal sheds, and in place of a babbling brook where the animals go to drink, there is a massive cesspool filled with their excrement.
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it.
It is no wonder that the world of factory farming is largely hidden from consumers. Filmmaker Mark Devries is hoping to change American’s perceptions of factory farms by simply showing us all what they look at. Using a drone, Devries hovers over a farm owned by Smithfield Foods, the country’s largest pork producer. Without even having to explain what it is we see, the message rings loud and clear. This is not what a farm should look like.
The waste from the factory farm collects in a massive lagoon and the only way to empty it is by spraying it on the surrounding land. The smell is so incredibly strong that it gives neighboring residents headaches and even high blood pressure due to the noxious mix of chemicals that is transported in the air. Children who live in the area have higher rates of asthma and upper respiratory conditions. Factory farms are making people sick and polluting the environment … and for what? Pork, bacon and sausage.
Take a look for yourself … is it really worth it?