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‘Factory Farming’: An Evolving Phrase

This is why I cringe when an animal protection organization uses the phrase “factory farms” and declares that they are fighting against such places. Why not just say they are fighting the exploitation and slaughter of animals and leave the farming modality out of it.

SHERRY F. COLB: I am not sure when exactly it happened, but we no longer use the phrase “factory farming” in the same way. Factory farming has stopped being the current face of animal farming and has instead become the “bad” kind of animal farming that has nothing to do with any of us… I began noticing slightly different descriptions of factory farming everywhere, including in the literature distributed by some animal protection organizations. Rather than a hell-scape representing the logical conclusion of believing that we are entitled to breed and consume other sentient beings for food and clothing, the descriptions sounded more like critiques of how factory farmers were treating their animals.

The change was subtle enough to have evaded my notice before, but now speakers were referring to factory farming as a deviant and cruel way of doing something that is ordinarily honorable and good… This is why I cringe a little bit now when someone from an animal protection organization uses the phrase “factory farms” and declares that they are fighting against such places. Why not just say they are fighting the exploitation and slaughter of animals and leave the farming modality out of it? I suspect that they say “factory farming” to avoid annoying their donors, people who may not want to hear someone urge them to become vegan as the only plausible foundation from which to end factory farming.

If I am right, then the cooperative arrangement between “humane” farms (and generally factory farms as well, as no one describes their own enterprise as a “factory farm”) and organizations that are supposed to be dedicated to protecting domesticated animals is ethically troubling, particularly for organizations that say they want a “vegan world”… To reject animal farming may seem radical, but it is an honest and effective way to grapple with almost unthinkable animal cruelty, mind-boggling both in quality and in scale. It appears that the phrase “factory farming”—which now means “bring back happy meat”—has outlived its utility’. SOURCE…

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