What intensive farming means — for the animals and for the environment. (BBC Countryfile)

What intensive farming means — for the animals and for the environment. (BBC Countryfile)

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Here in the States, I’ve already seen how they do intensive farming on a huge scale. In the next 40 years, we’ll have 9 billion people on this planet. We have to make as much food as we
have made since the beginning of time. and I’ve seen from the air, how another farm does it even bigger. Each of these sheds has got about 3,000 cows in it,
and there’s 10 units spread out across this farm, makes my farm look like an allotment. Now it’s time to see it close up. Well, seeing that farm from the air was absolutely extraordinary. I’ve now got an hour’s long drive to
find out what happens on ground level. The farm I am about to visit has managed
to turn intensive farming into a tourist attraction. Fair Oaks Farm Park receives 500,000 visitors every year. They come to see the 32,000 cows which produce more
than 2 million pints of milk every day. 25 barns, most of them are 1/4 mile long,
are spread over a 17,000 acre site. How can you possibly look after 32,000 cows? I mean, that’s a lot of animals to look after, isn’t it? Yes, we have 32,000 cows, but every cow is an individual. In a computer record, we know everything about that cow, when she had a calf, when she had a cough, whatever. These cows are under 24 hour observation. We have 450 workers that are looking after their welfare along with our veterinarians. and so, we invite the public to come in, see what we do, measure us against… do they think we’re taking care of our cows. A farm of this size must have a big environmental impact. Well, yeah, the potential environmental impact that we
think we’ve taken that off the page. We collect 100% of our manure every day in huge
vacuum cleaners that all goes to anaerobic digesters, and it creates a renewable energy source. so 100% of our power is poo power. A farm this size can produce enough electricity to power 8,000 homes. In addition it’s a 58% methane gas. We can scrub
that make it 100% methane. Now, that’s natural gas. And we run all of our trucks off a compressed natural gas. Do you think this is industrial farming that is
very much a factory for the cows? Are they prisoners of their own labour? Well, certainly we don’t feel that way. In terms of our love of dairy, and our
love of farming, and our family involvement, to us, it’s just a family farm, and we happen to grow it a little
larger than the guy down the road. And if you think that farming on this scale might
not be heading for the UK, then think again. These british farmers are visiting Fair Oaks, to see
what they can learn from intensive farming. What we’ve seen in this trip today is that, you can look
after cows, in a very favorable way in large numbers. and something that we’ve come here to see how the
Americans look after a large number of cows. We’ve got so much to learn from them, from a management point of view, That’s the whole reason we are over here, really. And I think the management and welfare standards are so good, because they are big, they can’t get away with anything less. Really, I’m trying and learn from these guys and see if we can implement their management techniques in our farms. Despite its size, Fair Oaks has encountered little opposition from locals. But that’s not the case for all huge farming operations. This dairy farm is the biggest in Wisconsin. It has 8,000 cows and it’s a similar size
to the one proposed in Nocton in Lincolnshire. Since it opened 2 years ago, it has been
causing a stink with some of the neighbors. So what sort of problems have you been experiencing? I’ve had a number of neighbors contact me, and a described symptoms of pounding headaches, migraines and new symptoms of asthma, just since the dairy has been in operation. So, it’s the slurry, the smell? It’s actually, I call it the stench. It’s more than a smell. and when it hits you, it overpowers you. If you think about the chemicals that are causing the odor, it’s HAM: hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, and methane, all
being released. They are all toxic gases, and you certainly don’t want to breathe them in. They would be regulated if it were ordinary industry. so, what advice would you give to the people in the UK
who may end up with these mega dairies next to them? I think that if you have a sense of
ethics, and moral responsibility to the future generation, then you will do everything you can to prevent
the spread of industrial size mega farms. The number of dairies in the US like this one with
2,000+ cows has tripled in the last 10 years, whilst the number of small farms has nearly halved. Those who run these massive farms though, say welfare
hasn’t suffered and they are more heavily policed. We have probably been the most regulated dairy ever. We
follow a 4,000 page document, if you will. It tells us when we can spread, where we
can spread, how much we can spread. Obviously, it’s cow manure, and it’s going to smell once in a while. and the smell, you know, they claimed that there’s smells of sulphur, it gets to the back of your throat, and
they’ve got to stay in their houses. Is there any way you can work with them and help them? We work with some of our neighbors. We’ve had neighbors come to say, Hey, we are going to have family reunion, Can you
make sure that you don’t spread near our houses? then we say, “No problem. We won’t spread near your house that day.” It’s a difficult balance. These farmers don’t want to fall out with their neighbors, but of course, they do want to make money. Dairying isn’t the only type of farming that can
cause an environmental impact, there’s pig farming, too. I have got a few pigs at home,
but nothing like what’s planned for Derbyshire, where they are hoping to set up the biggest pig farm in the UK. So while I’m over here, I’m going to meet up an American guy, who is going to tell me all about what they call, the hog industry. Malcolm DeKryger is vice president of a company which own 12,000 sows, and produce 140,000 pigs for slaughter every year. Sales total $25,000,000 or £16,000,000. Big, big business in anybody’s money. em… These sows are in 16cm wide stalls, for about
8-10 weeks. They will be in this barn, and we do the artificial semination in the breeding
barn. They are in there for 6-7 weeks, and then, they are coming here for about 8-9 weeks. and so, they just keep moving barn to barn. And so, they stand these stalls all their
lives and they can never turn around? em… They can walk out and turn around,
when they go to the next place. In the mean time, they are very comfortable and contented. Some people would have a problem with this. The pig being an intelligent animal, how do you feel about that? The way that we measure contentedness and well being… em… is not based on humans, because pigs are not humans. Confined operations were put together for sake of the animal, put together for the sake of human labour efficiency. And, is this how to feed the world? em… At this point… this is a very effective
way to produce a lot of pigs. and being it’s how pork is the protein of demand in the world… em… it’s the best way we know how, today. She’s getting a bit sunburnt, doesn’t she? That one. Having seen that big pig farm, I came away not very
happy with the way that the pigs are kept, but delighted, really, the laws in Europe, and particularly the UK, don’t allow us to keep pigs like that at home. My trip across America has been an epic. And
it’s been a lot to take in. I need time to digest everything that I’ve seen and heard a minute over. but before I head home, I’ll be back later in the
programme to share my thoughts on whether we could, or even should learn anything about farming from the Americans.

100 thoughts on “What intensive farming means — for the animals and for the environment. (BBC Countryfile)”

  1. There is "factory farming" and there is factory farming. I love animals just as much as any one else does..BUT-realistically-, we all have to eat. I was NOT raised a vegeterian, nor at thispoint do I want to become one. If animals can be kept -humanely- then I see nothig wrong with this. Being at the Farm in Indiana just last Sunday I thought the operation there covered all the bases. And believe me, if I could have found one thing that looked off, I would have been the first one screaming out.

  2. @rjrhampton: any dairy operation has "bobby" cows that are sold for veal. Male offspring really serve no purpose for dairies since most use artificial insemination methods/semen from proven bulls. The number of bull calves has been drastically reduced by using 'sexed' semen that can help guarantee heifer calves that will continue the milk production and genetic improvement of the farm. These animals are not produced at their own expense. Why would agriculturalists harm their own livelihood?

  3. In regards to gestation/farrowing crates in hog farming: these crates really are in the pigs best interests. If you observe pigs in the wild or in non-confined operations, they wear visible scars of fighting and mutilation. Pigs are omnivores, not herbivores like most livestock. They will chew on each other. The farrowing crates are used to protect the piglets whose number one cause of death is being crushed by their 1000 lb + mother.

  4. @tmbthompson you sound so compassionate, what would YOU feel like being exploited senselessly all your life and maybe forced to live in such a confined space that you are not even able to stand or to turn around. Intensive farming is a SHAME and I hope one day it will end.

  5. @Alexstar1250 next time you feel hungry go and catch some prey you moron. Food chain has nil to do with exploiting animals in this brutal manner and everything to do with feeding in a sustainable way ie: only collecting whats needed. I say "collecting" as us humans are meant to eat fruit, seeds and vegetables. Nature has NOT provided us with such apparatus as to catch, chew, digest animal protein. You are defending your habit of eating cadavers with very poor arguments. Go figure.

  6. DISAGREE: the pigs value thesame as humans, every fucking animal values thesame as a human. we only eat pigs cows, and surprizingly people who are dicks that eat horses. and we also eat chicken only because we want to. we could all be vegetarian without a problem. and that saves allot of animals. we all value thesame because we all have a life. saying that you can eat and kill pigs because they aren't human means we can kill humans to be fare. heartless people liek americans are always heartless

  7. And what percentage of the human population are vegan .The answer is ver,very small .So yo becoming a vegan won't make a difference . Please don't starve yourself just cause you think you would stop this torture

  8. I'm not a vegan or a vegetarian but I hate this, I think as long as the animal is not an infant, has not been abused, is allowed to roam in the fields and has caring owners to care for them who don't cut off their horns and tails, it's okay to eat meat but intensive farms should all be shut down and people who don't know what they are doing yet work there should be fired!

  9. tons of meat is wasted so it's not like they need to keep up with demand, they just need to stop intensive farming.

  10. Poor animals. They at least need room to turn around, and maybe just a tiny taste of the outdoors. It's unfair to keep animals like that. 🙁

  11. every one who says its "wrong" to keep pigs like that is SMART
    every one who thinks dairy industry should keep away from that is an ignorent if u want cows to be kept on small farms u should let the "super dairy" come 2 britain or the british dairy industry will be killed its dieing now because ireland,india,poland,and lots of other countries are inporting milk so us british dairy farmers are being paid less because forign farming is cheaper because its farmed in "super dairyies".thx 4 ur time

  12. Americans make money with everything…..
    Go Vegan! Dont support this kind of business. Its not good for the people, not the animals and the environment.

  13. its the demand moron. they make that much because they can sell that much. youd do it too if you could, PHAG

  14. Look in the mirror Hansen. You will see a big fat greedy human, happy to eat and make profits all from animals pain and incarceration.

  15. What does "eating" have to do with it? If you continue to deny the suffering of these animals, bacon will always be salty.

  16. But why and how can they sell that much? As consumers, … I am so glad this vid has made me aware. Aren't you? I mean, …. with this information! (?) …. would we ALL not make some other choices?

  17. Hey Nick …. although you wrote your response a month ago …. this response might be both relevant and appreciated by you. You do know that 'natural selection' had …. and has … nothing to do with factory farming …. right? And you might also realize that our ancestors did not harm animals in the same way we do today? Right? I know that you need your steak …. but have we ever seen anything like this before?

  18. What have we come to if we can be okay with what we have seen …..? If we can justify that …. then what else can we justify?

  19. Ahhhh, … but we must all see the situation and act accordingly. Aren't we doing that already? It's up to us as individuals , right?

  20. Are you with or against intensive farming? People have different opinions, my opinion varies from the way they are treated and how much space they have. City people are more likely to think this sort of thing is purely wrong and disgusting on every level, whereas farmers don't mind as much… Aslong as it is acceptable. Let people have their opinions.

  21. Why don´t people quit eating meat?
    It already has been proven that deep meditative states like some people in India practice allows them to live without food at all some even doing so for 50 years!

  22. We are such an obese nation and growing more babies to feed them more and more meat! Cows were not created to be farmed like this !!! Where are the cows roaming in the grasslands..sick!

  23. Its funny how the argument that they aren't human can be used for not allowing the pigs room to turn around but if you put a dog in a cage like that the same person would call the police. I still eat meet but only from butchers where I know the animals are given some respect. If this is the way the world is heading it makes me very sad.

  24. There is much to comment on about this video. My first question is why don't dairy farms all do the anaerobic poop digestion thing, producing methane, instead of simply "spreading" their cow poop all over the place so that the neighbors suffer? About the pig farm at the end, hasn't anyone experimented with giving pigs at least enough room to move around? How would that make harder the caring for the animals?  Would it be a financial hardship to increase the use of real estate, just a little, to give pigs a slightly better existence?  If so, why not double deck and double living spaces?  I cannot imagine being confined that way.  MORE GENERALLY, the world is way-over-populated by human beings.  The biggest abusers of reproduction are the Chinese, with their 1 billion, three hundred millions, all living along the edge of the Pacific, with no habitable land in the country's midsection, which is all dessert.  The US has only increased in population because of immigration.  Maybe, it's really time for a thermonuclear war.

  25. Been to two Farms like this in Russia, one dairy one Pig Production they are amazing and required now to feed the Planet!

  26. There is a book online that would be a great supplement to this video:

  27. cows worldwide produce 130 billion pounds of manure a day.  That is the #1 source of water pollution and ocean dead zones. 

  28. Vegan M You really need to do your Homework the Human digestive system was and is a carnival and Vegetable one, cows will shit even if we don't use them for food production. You have chosen your life and eating style habits stop forcing others to think like you with boring facts. Fact old Hippy Loving VW Beetles and Camper vans Produce More Co2 and Hydrocarbons than a modern Porsche or Range Rover yet you Vegan , Veggie loving echo bunnies drive them! Get a life sunshine!

  29. Animal cruelty.. No doubt about it… If the owner is so concerned about how much food he needs to produce, he should use that space to grow vegetables instead, make what food people really need to eat

  30. If the pigs,sheep,cows and all the other animals that we ate had more freedom and were treated more humane in a more realistic 'natural' environment where they would be able to stretch their legs and see the daylight, this problem wouldn't have such controversy. Yes we need food but No we do not need to breed so many cattle that over 50% of it is wasted. When was the last time you went to the supermarket and looked at the amount of food wasted. – It doesn't even get given to the less fortunate. Vegetarian or not I am 100% certain that we would all be more content with our meals if we knew that the animal we killed, gave our life for us, had had even just a fraction of a more favorable life, that we could have peace of mind of what's on our plate and how it got there!

  31. We do not give this food to the hungry. I bet half this milk gets wasted. I think they mean well, they do recycle the cow manure, but this does affect the environment.

  32. Cows have to be pregnant in order to give milk. There is no mention of the thousands of calves that are taken from their mothers within 24 hours of birth so the milk can be taken away and sold for human consumption. Boy calves are sold off as veal and slaughtered at the age of 3 months. Girl calves get to step into the stall of their mother or another "spent cow" — as factory farmed dairy cows rarely live beyond 3 – 5 years. In nature, cows live 18 25 years. Factory farm dairy cows are forced to have an abnormal number of calves (by way of artificial insemination) and their bodies are manipulated to provide 10x the normal amount of milk. They cannot eat enough hay to maintain their bodies. At age 3 – 5, therefore, they practically fall apart and are shipped off for slaughter. Once that cow is on the transport carrier for the slaughterhouse, the dairy doesn't care one wit. If they survive the transport, the slaughter is vicious beyond all measure – especially so for those cows who are "downers." All dairy is murder. Let them find a different way to make a living or — may they rot in hell.

  33. Did you not see how the guy that Adam Henson is interviewing at 7:17 didn't have a proper answer for Adam's question. Look, if you don't know how to take care of pigs properly, then I suggest to change your ways and farm the pigs using organic agriculture. You wouldn't even have to do as much work as you do now because you just have to make them free range. Moreover, if you said yourself that pigs aren't humans, then how do YOU know that the pigs are very comfortable and contented with where they are? What if someone put some sellotape over your mouth, stuck you in a cramped cage and spent most of their time thinking that you were happy with where you were? Would you like it? No, so then why do you think that the pigs and even the cows like it? This is NOT an effective way to feed the world so I don't know what you are talking about AND pigs aren't the only good source of protein, there are animals called fish in the world which are excellent sources of protein, so if you catch a few fish and sell them, you could make a better profit than you are now, but I doubt you will.

  34. Wow I'm sorry I didn't know humans need to suck on their mothers TITS to get milk until the day they die, OH that's right they don't they suck on an animals TIT instead….. It's time to grow up people the fairy tale is over you don't need milk when you move to solids…. and for the record lets stick these fat fucking farmers into tiny little cages and once in a while let them stretch their legs to the next fucking cage…… Humans have a choice give up meat and dairy or be culled by the elite because that is what is coming by the richest top 1% the useless eaters of this planet are about to be culled because you are destroying it for the Elites families….

  35. There are a lot of ethical issues with this type of farming system. Yes we need I get more efficient to feed the worlds growing population, but this is not nesseserily the best option. As side from the fact that the animals are confined their whole lives and the ethical issues that raises about the indevidual animals quality if life, there is also a serious problem with the high demand for meat and dairy. I'm an omnivore, as we all are, but that doesn't mean that we should be consuming this amount of animal products. It's not healthy for a start, it causes environmental problems and ethical ones for the animals themselves. Another issue is that the worlds growing population is mainly from the developing countries, not from the developed where most Western countries have aging populations because of birth control, women's education and better health care so we shouldn't even need this kind of mega farming in the developed nations. The worlds growing population should be curbed, instead of accomodated, by providing free birth control, education for women and better health care in the developing nations like we have in the West. People should also focus their diet more on plants and less on animal products to lessen the demand and reduce dietary related diseases which we are seeing today on an epidemic scale . Have less kids and eat more plants should be a world wide general rule. It's better for the environment, better for your health and better for the animals.

  36. I can bet all these animals would enjoy doing what they want outside under the sun and walking on green grass. Moreover, all that animals eat (grains, not antibiotics ;)!) can be fed to normal people. There would be 10 000 times more food for hungry people. Meat, fish and dairy is risky for the environment, suicide and … murder, actually.

  37. how CAFO farming feeding practices killed my dad with Atypical L-BSE facebook.com/rachel.nicole.334/posts/1427637187267297

  38. This is just not right…😭 Why isn't this considered as animal cruelty? Is money more important than our planet? These poor poor animals😢😫

  39. 7:14 "they're very comfortable and contented" FUCK YOU!!!

    Let's put YOU in that steel cage and then see what it feels like.. then i DARE you to spout some BS that it's 'comfortable' ..it's literally a concentration camp.

  40. People in rural areas complaining about the stink are such crybabies. They are looking for any excuse to get rid of a form of agriculture they don't understand and are therefore scared of. I work on a large dairy, I live within 20 minutes of half a dozen CAFOs (less than 5 minutes to three of them), and have been the one in the fields as they spray slurry. It does stink on spray day, that's it, and the smell doesn't carry for miles. If these farms smelled as bad as neighbors claim, you wouldn't see families living right next to their barns.

  41. It would always be better for everyone and everything to have just a little fresh air and sunshine, maybe some grass and trees and shrubs. Utopia for us all. We are all just animals anyway and we need nature in a meadow still and always. We are shorting ourselves not just the animals. We don't need to. Is there no such thing as nature intensive farming?

  42. This is why I'm choosing not to breed. Most people should be doing this. People should stop eating meat, eggs and milk or at least consume less after it if too stubborn to give up meat.

  43. Grow fruits and vegetables for human consumption rather than keeping animals confined in factories. All the diseases that are rampant today high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer are all caused by animal products. Factory farming is the number one contributer for pollution. If you care about the Earth stop eating animal products.

  44. Nothg only profit catch the animal torture illtreat take away n kill her make calf inject for more milk n fertilization then again if not in use sell it in huge machinery he'll factories to meat enough this is a human oh sorry huminal using his powerful mind to kill God's creation n ofcourse he gets a long death disese

  45. We are what we eat, that's why we are becoming miserable, evil, hopeless, hatred, angry and prisoners of the system. We have limited time on this planet, why not live in harmony with nature.

  46. The people that lived before us didn't do this, yet they left many great resources for us! Why do we have to resort to animal cruelty? Why can't we do what our ancestors did and just protect the earth and let things be NATURAL!?

  47. It's not clear in the first part if those cows actually get to graze? If not, why not? There is land three times the size of the sheds around it. There is no excuse for that land to go unused.

  48. I'm inspired by the ingenuity of our agricultural system and the ability to feed billions of people at affordable prices, and in a sustainable way. I did not see any abuse of animals in this video. I am simply impressed by the scale of it all. Many of these livestock have evolved and changed due to breeding, so that they would be incapable of surviving without the human support provided by the industry. Most of these animals would also not exist if they were not bred because they wouldn't be bred if there wasn't demand; so many people are arguing for these animals "rights", but these creatures literal and only reason for being given life is to be eaten. Further, people at the bottom of the economy who need affordable protein for their families and children far outweigh any concerns that I am aware of.

  49. It should be love one and love the others too. All animals should have the same rights and have
    have the rights to live. Killing other animals just because they don’t consider it a pet such as
    a dog or cat. We actually should feel more for the cows since they are the ones getting tortured
    and killed while the cats and dogs are comfortable in a house and safe from danger while they
    get to play and walk with their owner and get served a nice plate of food and the food happens
    to be cows or other slaughtered animals.
    So we don’t just kill cows for people but for dogs and cats as well…

  50. I'm glad to see some clips of intensive farming that aren't meant to stoke a violent, emotional response. This seems like a more realistic picture of the industry, versus those Human Society of America videos that make your blood curl. While those videos are real too, are they really representative of the industry as a whole?

  51. No mention of the fact that this is animal abuse!
    I’d love it if everyone turned vegan overnight and all these places went out of business!
    The strange thing is this guy seems quite likeable!

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