Much, much cheaper. Factory farming roughly cuts the price into thirds. Because factory farms use government subsidized crops as a base for feed, they are extremely cheap. Livestock consumes 47% of all soy and 60% of all corn in the United States.Known as Industrial Feed, this “food” also regularly contains animal products, antibiotics, and other unnatural substances such as chewing gum and chicken manure. Factory Farms recieve up to a 10% reduction on cost due to these government subsidies.
The space and amount of care needed also falls off drastically in factory farming which cuts costs in the amount of space and care needed for the animal. Pigs are kept in crates and are mutilated so as to take up even less room.
To compare the cost of factory farmed and farm-raised meat, consider the difference between a 25$ / lb steak from organic, grass-fed steer (from my local butcher) and the same factory farmed product at a grodery store (Jewel near my house) for around 8$ /lb.
This is the scary part: “Factory farms can create public health concerns beyond foodborne illness. Because over-crowded animals are susceptible to infection and disease, most industrial livestock facilities treat the animals with low-levels of antibiotics to prevent illness and also promote weight gain. By creating a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the sub-therapeutic dosages used on millions of factory-farmed livestock can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics for human patients. The feed used for livestock can also introduce public health threats. Broiler chickens often receive arsenic-based feed additives to promote pinker flesh and faster growth, and beef cattle continue to be fed with animal byproducts, which increases the risk of mad cow disease.” -(2nd link)
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