Buy Organic products produced in your own country!
Export of animal products produces little profit but causes a lot of misery (f.e. Mouth and Footdisease) which is unnecessary.
Whether or not factory
farming produces more job opportunities and
tax income for the government than organic
farming is also a matter for debate.
It is clear that organic farming methods
have different personnel requirements which
may mean that some farmers would have to
retrain when a switch to an organic system
is made. These consequences can not be regarded
as a fair argument against a change to an
organic system when the suffering of animals
Export of animal products leads to factory farming
The consumption of industrially produced meat products
is on the increase because prices are low. If we were
to demand that the same meat products were produced
in an ecologically friendly way, price rises would be
inevitable. These higher prices would have the advantage
of reducing the demand and thus the production of meat
and would also increase the profit margin for the producers.
The consumers would have to be prepared to pay more
for their meat or to eat less meat in exchange for healthier
production methods in livestock farming. Is this not
a reasonable sacrifice in view of the general disapproval
of the abuse of animals in factory farming?
The disadvantages of export of animal products
If we were to choose to adopt organic livestock farming
as the norm in Holland, the export of the organic meat
products would not only be, by definition, undesirable
but would also be contrary to the basic principles of
ecologically sound working methods. These principles
involve the re-establishment of a natural cycle of raw
materials which is disrupted by export of animal products
just as it is by the import of fodder for the animals.
Export is only made possible by producing more than
the local market requires. This overproduction results
in much suffering for the animals involved because lack
of space and the search for more profits leads to animals
being kept in confined conditions.
The import of animal fodder from abroad depletes the
natural balance of minerals in the exporting country
and results in excessive fertilization of the agricultural
land in the importing country. The land is then so highly
fertilized that the only crop that can be grown is maize:
one of the few fodder crops that will tolerate extremely
high levels of fertilization.
This excessive fertilization also results in pollution
of the ground water which makes drinking water production
more expensive and swimming water unattractive. It also
produces a lot of unpleasant smells which together with
the ugly buildings that are associated with factory
farming makes the countryside unattractive to tourists. The transport of live animals in Europa and Asia causes much stress especially where export is involved
even when the regulations designed to avoid suffering
are observed which is often not the case. A ban on live
exports should be combined with a ban on the transport
of exotic animals.
Do restrictions in live exports conflict with international agreements?
It can be argued that free-trade agreements have been
signed and must, therefore, be observed but why should
it not be possible to make exceptions for animals? The
only alternative is that countries request or try to
force the factory farmers to improve the lot of their
ammonals. The continuing abuses in factory farming demonstrate
that this approach does not work because the incentives
to continue the intensive methods are so great. Consumers,
producers and the government all gain by the highest
possible production of animal products while at the
same time turning a blind eye to the objections. At
the same time, this same group of people object to the
practices used to achieve these ends. This combination
of shortsightedness and inconsequent behaviour will
not lead automatically to a solution to the problem:
this can only be achieved by setting a limit on the
overproduction. The borders of the producing country
can be used to set these limits by imposing export bans.
If no limits are set, there will be no end to this immoral
production which stems from an unscrupulous application
of free-market principles.
Which participants in the market are capable of banning exports?
It is obvious that neither the producers nor the government
would voluntarily give up their own competitive advantage.
A solution is only possible if all the participants
make concessions. A large-scale changeover to ecological
farming methods is only possible if the government decides
to support ecological farming and stops subsidizing
factory farming. This demands honesty and courage from
the government. The various government departments involved
should make an honest appraisal of the economic consequenties
of the present farming methods and should have the courage
to raise the question of whether the introduction of
decent agricultural working methods really would threaten
The consumer can exert influence by purchasing home-produced
ecological products and boycotting imported products.
This is a double-edged sword: both the situation at
home and in the exporting country would be improved.
So the moral is: buy home-produced ecological products!
What do animals prefer?
Apes prefer organic
Monkeys at Copenhagen Zoo are going ape over organic
bananas and other fruits, rejecting non-organic foods
left in their cages. Copenhagen Zoo, which hopes to
be awarded a "green label" as an environmental
zoo, began last year feeding its animals at least 10
percent organic products. "The tapirs and chimpanzees
are choosing organically grown bananas over the others,"
zookeeper Niels Melchiorsen told the magazine Oekologisk
Jordbrug (Ecological Agriculture). "The chimpanzees
are able to tell the difference between the organic
and the regular fruit. If we give them organic and traditional
bananas, they systematically choose the organic bananas,
which they eat with the skin on. But they peel the traditional
bananas before eating them." Unfortunately, we
humans have to rely upon labeling to distinguish the
(source: US Farm Crisis)
In Australia the shame of the enormous export of live animals is documented. The economics of the live animal
export trade are questionable. Its impact on the Australian
work force has been negative and over 17,000 jobs have
been lost to overseas interests along with the profits.
Despite those economic considerations - this industry
brings in around $900 million per annum, it comes at a
far greater cost and Australians are saying this barbaric
trade is not worth it.