Gone are the days of grazing cattle now we have mega dairies that are rarely witnessed by the public where cows rarely go outside. Journalist David Kirby of New York (author of Animal Factory) describes them as factories rather than farms. Is animal welfare being sacrificed for volume? Panorama manages to gain entrance into a modern pig farm in North Carolina where pigs are injected with antibiotics and fed with hormones that enable them to grow from the size of a fist to the size of an adult in just five months. The Orwellian term C.A.F.O (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) is used by the US government to describe the modern factory farming operation. Unable to meet the demands of modern farming on the land area that is available, some modern factory farmers have been caught spraying animal waste into nearby rivers with predictable eutrophication and fish death. The story is almost bad with our vegetable growers. The major retailers e.g. Tesco or Walmart offer last minute offers to farmers to sell their produce at pathetically small prices and the farmers are under pressure to sell their perishable goods at rock bottom prices or face the destruction of their crop and going out of business. The supermarket customers are almost equally to blame as we see one apple orchard farmer describe how customers will reject apples with superior taste, grown in conventional orchards, for cosmetically 'better looking' apples grown with modern methods. Ugly fruit just doesn't sell as we put price before quality.
The end of the program is dedicated to the inevitable battle between the major retailers and the local independent , quality orientated, businesses and there's no need for me to tell you the outcome on that one.
"If you knew where your food was coming from, and you knew what those animals are going though.... and if you knew what the workers were going though, and if you knew about the farmers who had been destroyed to make that factory profitable then you wouldn't buy the food." Bobby Kennedy Junior.