Big Meat and How the Farm Bill is Bad for Farmers

chickens in cages

If you’re a regular reader here, I bet that you stay away from meat that’s produced by huge corporations or maybe you don’t eat meat or dairy at all, so you may not feel like you’ll get much from a video on conventional meat production. Why should you take the time, when you’re already doing what you can, right? I’m a big believer that knowledge is what makes us strong advocates for animal and farmer rights and a better food system.

The Farm Bill only gets revisited every 5 years, and Congress is working right now on the 2012 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill decides how hundreds of billions in crop subsidies will be distributed and is very influential in shaping our food system.

In this eye-opening TED Talk, Food & Water Watch’s Wenona Hauter talks about a side of meat production that most folks probably don’t know much about: contract farming. In contract situations, huge meat producers, like Tyson Chicken, contract with farmers to produce their meat. What happens, is that companies like Tyson make big profits while leaving the farmers in debt and responsible for the massive amounts of waste that factory farming creates. This talk is definitely worth the 11 minutes.

No wonder these farmers cram so many chickens into these spaces! If your livelihood depended on the weight of your product and was calculated by some secret formula behind closed doors, I bet you’d do whatever you could to support your family and pay your debts. I don’t think we can blame these farmers. What we can do is ask for a fair Farm Bill. One that puts growers first. It’s good for animals, good for farmers, and its’ good for the planet!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by b3nscott

2 thoughts on “Big Meat and How the Farm Bill is Bad for Farmers”

  1. Thank you for the very informative talk. I still have hope for Obama, even though he has allowed himself to be pushed around politically.

    I hope our individual actions and the group actions that aim for the changes you’ve spoken about will show our President that the Americans he chose to lead, that elected him based on his promise of change, are really out here and we want our leader to lead in this direction. Without support, his hands are tied. Let’s let him know we want the change he promised and are here to support him through the process.

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