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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Factory farms are very wasteful and therefore aren't sustainable. Where do you see humans going with agriculture after those horrible factory farms come to an end?
 

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Are you talking about factory farms in terms of animal or non-animal, crop, agriculture? Because it's a term used pretty much exclusively in the animal context.<br><br>
ETA: Although whether we're talking about animal *agriculture* or crop agriculture, large scale operations aren't going away, absent some fairly seismic cultural/societal/economic upheaval. They may be bad for the environment, but they are a cost effective way of producing food, and people aren't going to voluntarily choose to pay double or triple or more for their food just to be able to return to the small family farm model.<br><br>
Large scale farming operations aren't "wasteful" in any sense other than the cost to animals and the environment - quite the opposite, which is one of the reasons why they are cost effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mlp</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2825202"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Are you talking about factory farms in terms of animal or non-animal, crop, agriculture? Because it's a term used pretty much exclusively in the animal context.<br><br>
ETA: Although whether we're talking about animal *agriculture* or crop agriculture, large scale operations aren't going away, absent some fairly seismic cultural/societal/economic upheaval. They may be bad for the environment, but they are a cost effective way of producing food, and people aren't going to voluntarily choose to pay double or triple or more for their food just to be able to return to the small family farm model.<br><br>
Large scale farming operations aren't "wasteful" in any sense other than the cost to animals and the environment - quite the opposite, which is one of the reasons why they are cost effective.</div>
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My understanding is they use up an awful lot of water. It requires thousands of gallons of water for one pound of beef. If we start having water problems(as expected), why would humans continue to do it? At the very least I think we'll use a lot less cows in the future.
 

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Somehow I don't think that big business will be the first to feel the water shortage...
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>rainforests1</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2826056"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My understanding is they use up an awful lot of water. It requires thousands of gallons of water for one pound of beef. If we start having water problems(as expected), why would humans continue to do it? At the very least I think we'll use a lot less cows in the future.</div>
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I think that's two separate issues. There are environmental issues with raising as many cows to be slaughtered and for dairy production as we do now, whether it's on factory farms or broken down into small operations - the issue is the total number of cows, rather than the size of individual operations.<br><br>
So, from an environmental standpoint, the two separate issues are the inefficient use of resources inherent in meat production versus a plant based diet, regardless of the size of the individual farming operations, and the environmental impact of modern large scale farming operations, including plant crops.<br><br>
I agree with Kappa - big business will not be the first to feel the water shortage - small farmers (if there are any left) will be driven out of business by water shortages before the big ag companies feel any real effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mlp</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2826175"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I think that's two separate issues. There are environmental issues with raising as many cows to be slaughtered and for dairy production as we do now, whether it's on factory farms or broken down into small operations - the issue is the total number of cows, rather than the size of individual operations.<br><br>
So, from an environmental standpoint, the two separate issues are the inefficient use of resources inherent in meat production versus a plant based diet, regardless of the size of the individual farming operations, and the environmental impact of modern large scale farming operations, including plant crops.<br><br>
I agree with Kappa - big business will not be the first to feel the water shortage - small farmers (if there are any left) will be driven out of business by water shortages before the big ag companies feel any real effect.</div>
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I'm not sure because all of the sources I've read mention factory farms using up water. They mention nothing about family farms. I'd assume family farms are bad as well but maybe they're less wasteful? I'd have to see stats and I've never seen any. I think humans will be a much kinder species in the future but it'll be more out of necessity than anything.
 

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They're probably make greater use of recycled water than they do now, which a lot of treatment plants just dump into rivers and into the sea. We could make reclaimed water safe for human consumption at this point.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>rainforests1</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2826499"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I'm not sure because all of the sources I've read mention factory farms using up water. They mention nothing about family farms. I'd assume family farms are bad as well but maybe they're less wasteful? I'd have to see stats and I've never seen any. I think humans will be a much kinder species in the future but it'll be more out of necessity than anything.</div>
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I think a cow needs the same amount of water whether she's kept on a factory farm or on a family farm. It comes down to total numbers.<br><br>
There are lots and lots of problems with large scale agricultural operations, though, that most people don't want to even think about, as long as their food stays cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cattle are fed grains in factory farms that they aren't fed in family farms. I would think that would make a difference. You can buy beans and grains cheaply so I don't think price is a big issue. Meat is a preference for most but I would think if humans are dying off due to water shortages they'd understand a more vegetarian diet is the best even if they don't like the taste.
 
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