The Farm Sanctuary will play host to the first-ever National Conference to End Factory Farming: For Health, Environment and Farm Animals, scheduled for October 27-29 in Arlington, Va. More than 30 experts are expected to participate, from the fields of public health, environment and animal welfare.
The Farm Sanctuary is calling this “a groundbreaking conference” – featuring U.S. Congressman James Moran (D-VA), Whole Foods Market Co-CEO John Mackey, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter and China Study author Dr. T. Colin Campbell.
The Farm Sanctuary press release includes the following quotes –
“Factory farming is a threat to public health, the environment, and the rural communities upon which our food system desperately depend,” says Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “The next farm bill must urgently reverse the policies that have given all of the advantages to intensive farming operations while pushing out the small and mid-sized farms that are the backbone of a system that provides us safe, healthy and sustainable food.”
“We are a nation in crisis and factory farming is a key contributor to the momentous health, ethical and environmental problems we are facing,” says Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur, who was hailed by TIME magazine as “the conscience of the food movement.” Industrialized animal agriculture is causing unprecedented damage, and with the Farm Bill coming up for renewal, there has never been a more urgent time for environmental, health and animal advocates to come together to make this destructive system a thing of the past.”
Unique in its exclusive focus on factory farming, the conference program will cover a wide range of problems surrounding industrialized food production, including:
Its role as a leading contributor to global climate change, resource depletion, and environmental pollution
Public health threats posed by cross-contamination, food-borne illnesses and degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke, which are often brought on by the excess production and consumption of cheaply produced meat and other animal products
The physiological and psychological impact of severe confinement and other unnatural and inhumane conditions on animal health and welfare
These elements, and many others, represent the true economics of factory farming.
According to recent consumer research, 42 percent of respondents said the U.S. is “on the wrong track in the way we produce food.” Food and Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter sees the conference and the upcoming Farm Bill as “an opportunity to define more sustainable methods for meeting the nation’s food needs and to force government to do its job representing citizens’ best interests.”
The National Conference to End Factory Farming is sponsored by Whole Foods Market, ASPCA, E: The Environmental Magazine, Discovery’s TreeHugger, Healthy Living Magazine, Tranquil Space, A Well Fed World, the Humane Society of the United States, Green Patriot, PlanetSave, Mercy For Animals, Eat Drink Better, GreenMuze, Compassion Over Killing, Healthy Bitch Daily, Thrifty & Green, and Compassion in World Farming. For more information and to register, please visit: www.factoryfarmingconference.org. Cost is $150 per person.
My Take: It’s not like Factory Farming is a tradition. The origins of farming are nothing like what were seeing now on these industrialized monsters.
And Factory Farming has become one big house of horrors for animals. We are a far cry from the images of pigs roaming in the mud out behind the barn and the chickens pecking around for seeds in the field.
Now – in far too many cases these animals are trapped day after day after horrible day in tiny cages with no room to even turn around. And we’re seeing undercover images of animals being further abused in some cases.
It is long past time for a total sea change in how animals are treated – on farms and everywhere else.