John Green Week 3 Discussion

Reply to this post in 200 or more words.

 The case study I have chosen to examine in this discussion is Factory Farming (Perdue Farms). This case study takes place in the United States, and examples were taken from a farmer in North Carolina. The issue that has been highlighted in the required material focuses on the inhumane practices of factory farming. “There are no federal laws governing the conditions in which farmed animals are raised.” (www.aldf.org). From this statement we can tell that the practices of factory farming that most would say is horrifying is not illegal in any way as of yet. “The majority of farmed animal suffering is exempt from state criminal anti-cruelty laws.” (www.aldf.org). This statement also states that these barbaric practices are not considered cruelty. “Many individual state criminal anti-cruelty laws exempt standard or commonly accepted agricultural practices, which are not defined by the legislature.” (www.aldf.org). There just simply aren’t any laws in place preventing the practices currently employed by the factory farming industry. This means that there are no laws that are being violated by the way Perdue raises its chickens. They are kept in long houses that we here in the south are very familiar with, in great numbers that allow each chicken little space to move. They are fed hormone induced food to make them grow faster, and exponentially bigger than that of free range chickens. Thousands die from different reasons and are usually disposed of on the property in large pits to decay. There is a federal institution that regulates the practices of factory farms called the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is so short staffed that it typically only sends inspectors to slaughter houses, inspecting very few animals right before their death. This practice does not include the unfair treatment of the animals during their maturity to slaughtering size. There are other types of factory farms that house chickens in worse conditions than that of Perdue, like hen plants. The Rolling Stone states that, “If you haven’t been in a hen plant, you don’t know what hell is. Chicken shit is piled six feet high, and your lungs burn like you took a torch to them.” (Solotaroff, 2013). As you can see conditions vary but the conditions are always harsh for the animal on factory farms.

  I believe that the practices that are happening on factory farms is morally unacceptable. I would have to say that there is no ethical theory to apply to the animals themselves because I agree with Carl Cohen that animals do not have rights. But the companies that are running these farms are applicable to the ethical theories we have been studying. I believe that virtue ethics would be of good use here. “In virtue ethics the moral good is the development of virtue in our character.”  (Zuniga y Postigo, 2015). In order for these companies to focus on the development of their virtuous character they must discontinue the cruel treatment of these animals. Perdue has become indulged in the vice of excess, which has led to these horrible conditions. By becoming greedy and wanting to maximize profits, it has introduced a way of raising chickens that I find unethical. While I do realize that most people including myself eat chicken on a regular basis. Also that there is a need to kill these animals for human consumption. There is no reason why these animals can’t be raised the old fashioned way. This in my opinion would be the ethical approach that should be employed in order to counteract the way the meat we eat affects our bodies. In my opinion Perdue should try to conduct business within the Golden Mean that Aristotle describes as the middle point between the extremes of excess and deficiency. (Fieser, 2015). They can still raise chickens in abundance but under better living conditions. This would be the moderate approach to the problem that would display the virtue ethics theory.

References:

Fieser, J., (2015). Introduction to business ethics [Electronic version]. https://content.ashford.edu

http://www.aldf.org

NPR. (2012, June 27). A nation of meat eaters. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/06/27/1

  55527365/visualizing-a-nation-of-meat-eaters>

Perdue. (2015). The Perdue Way. http://www.perdue.com| perdue-way/>

U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2008, September 4). Concentrated animal feeding

  operations [GAO-08-944]. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-944>

Zuniga y Postigo, Gloria, (2015), Knowledge-Sharing Archives, Ashford University.

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