Family farms are always better than factory farms. After all, farming has always been done traditionally by families.
Traditional family farming is a way of life. For most family farms, it’s not just about making a living. It’s something inborn. If you were raised in a family of farmers, then you know the satisfaction that comes with planting your crops and rearing your own animals.
But what’s the difference between family farms and factory farms? Which one is better?
While factory farms are on the rise, traditional family farms hold a special place and are far much better than factory farms.
Let’s dig deep and see what makes family farms better.
Top reasons why family farms are better than factory farms
Family farms are more sustainable than factory farms for various reasons. Most people consider family farms better because of the humane way animals are treated as opposed to factory farms.
What other reasons make family farms better?
Most food from family farms is considered healthy and safe. There is little or no use of harmful pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and other commercial inputs considered harmful.
The same cannot be said of factory farms, where there is an overuse of antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones. Barn workers also get to complain of respiratory issues from odors.
Bacteria and parasites from the animal wastes in industrial farms can also be resistant to chlorine. This usually leads to various human diseases.
Family farms have better soil sustainability as they use manure more. For example, manure compost in family farms can help you grow healthy potatoes. The manure works best in depths of 8-12 inches.
You cannot say the same of a factory family where artificial potato fertilizers must be applied for excellent results.
Family farms sustain soils better by adding manure at rates that the soil can handle. In factory farms, it’s more about production. Excess nitrogen fertilizer can lead to ammonia evaporating.
It can also alter the soil characteristics, run off into nearby rivers and cause pollution in the environment.
Animal welfare issues
Animals raised on family farms live a more humane lifestyle. They are treated better and allowed to perform various natural activities that animals enjoy. They can peck and root in the dirt.
But factory-raised animals don’t live a humane lifestyle, with most crammed in a small area. They don’t have the best access to fresh air, sunlight, open pasture, etc.
There are also high chances of diseases spreading as they are crammed together. What’s more, factory-raised animals undergo painful mutilations like tail-docking, castration, and branding without using any anesthesia.
Food from factory farms undergoes long distances before it can reach consumers. Regulations in the USA allow the transportation of animals from 36 to 50 hours without water, stop, or food along the way.
That cannot be said of family farms where animal food is sold to nearby markets.
There is also a big issue in communities about the environmental damage and negative effects on the community from factory farms. Communities are left to deal with the cost of environmental damage.
What’s more, industrial farms hire few workers, relying heavily on machines, animal feeds, and supplies. You’ll also get most rural communities divided when they have factory farms in the rural areas.
The same cannot be said of family farms that support local economies. They purchase materials and supplies from local businesses. Additionally, most will hire local people for most of the jobs on the farm.
Most family farm owners are actively involved in their rural communities. They help create resilient communities that are self-reliant.
Sustainable farms provide excellent working conditions for workers. They might not provide the biggest salaries, but workers have safe working environments and enjoy their work more.
But workers in factory farms work in poor conditions. The barns don’t have the best air quality. They are also exposed to gases and dust from manure concentrations.
Factory farm workers are also at a higher risk of electrocution, fractures, head traumas, sprains, bruises, etc.
Genetic diversity issues
There is a restriction on genetics on factory farms that rare a few selected breeds. Factory farms are usually after profits and will only select quick growing breeds with high output. In the end, they reduce diversity growth.
In family farms, different breeds are raised, which is good for breed diversity.
Water waste issues
Family farms are more sustainable in their water usage. They use water better and tend to conserve most of the water sources.
Industrial farms use a lot of water and don’t put enough effort into conserving water sources. They also tend to contaminate water more than family farms due to the huge amount of waste, artificial products, and much more.
Huge livestock manure in factory farms easily pollutes surface water.
As you can see, family farms are always a better choice when you consider food health, community welfare, the environment, and much more. While factory farms play a big role in food production, they are majorly profit focused.