Since ancient times, farmers have provided their animals with harmonious environments, healthy nutrition, and protection from predators and natural elements. That is not always the practice today especially with the factory farming. They have changed ethical farming practices for economic profit. The unethical practices are at the expense of animal welfare and the increased potential to place the general public toward adverse health consequences.
Food borne illnesses are defined as infectious or toxic diseases in nature caused by agents that enter the body through ingestion of food. Everyone is at risk for contracting a food borne illness but every incident is preventable. From the production at farm level to the final presentation and consumption of the food everyone is involved in this prevention. The key is better knowledge and understanding on storing and preparing the foods. Governments all over the world are intensifying their efforts to improve food safety.
There has been evidence that the manner of which we treat our animals can result in harmful public health implications. Many of human diseases such as measles, influenza, and smallpox have been shown to originate from farm animals being domesticated. Even SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), that effected thousands of people were linked to live animal markets. Mad cow disease that causes dementia in humans came from factory farms and their unethical practices of feeding cows waste, blood, and even chicken manure. The most common of all food borne illness is the bacterial pathogen Salmonella, which is the leading cause of food related death. Primarily Salmonella comes from eggs and this is from intensely confining hens to cages instead of allowing them to roam cage free. (Dunavan 2007)
Industrial farms create air pollution. Manure from industrial farms emits gases that can be deadly to humans. Because of the conditions of how they store the animals so closely and do not allow them to graze the meat and dairy becomes a poorer quality. Further since cows were meant to eat grass and not be raised on grains their stomachs are altered and they become more susceptible to bacterial infections.
Perhaps the most obvious impact of a factory farm is its horrible odor which is extremely noticeable for miles in every direction. The quantity of waste from a large industrial farm can equal the amount of sewage generated by a major city. The large farms also emit bacterial endotoxins, molds, organic dusts, and gases such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, many of which are known to cause irritation in the airways or respiratory hazards. This is a problem both for people living near these industrial farms and for the people who are employed in them. Many studies have documented respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis and non-allergic asthma, in approximately 25 percent of industrial farm workers and employees have actually died from asphyxiation after entering underground pits used to store manure. (Sandy 2009)