• Markus:
  • Perdue Farms is a well-known company that specializes in the production of poultry and pork products.  As with most other organizations within this industry, the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials are incorporated.  Perdue has made claims that it doesn’t utilize antibiotics in their process, and that their livestock is  raised antibiotic free.  In the Chicken Factory Farmer Speaks Out video, Craig gives the public an unseen reality of what goes on behind the scene.  The food that is fed to the chickens is a mixture of corn and soybean product, which is genetically modified to grow faster.  Increasing the gain of these animals at an expediential rate. Because these animals are raised in such tight and confined spaces with no outside light or fresh air to move through these “chicken houses”, it creates an ideal environment for infections and bacteria to breed (Truth-worx Cornelia, 2014).  This leads us back to antimicrobials, and antibiotics, although Perdue claims it doesn’t use antibiotics. “Consumers shouldn’t assume that because something says “No Antibiotics Ever” or “Not Raised with Antibiotics” that it is raised 100 percent naturally.  Chicks at Perdue are still getting all kinds of medications and even antimicrobials in their feed and water.” (Damian, 2015).  These discoveries raise many concerns.  If we as the consumer are eating and introducing these byproducts into our system, what are the effects.  According to Fieser (2015), “The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was the result of consumer advocacy” (Ch. 4.1).  Consumers have an inherent right to know what is being introduced into their bodies.  As seen in the text Rostagno (2010) stated, “As briefly discussed, stress in farm animals has a significant deleterious effect on food safety through different potential mechanisms affecting the susceptibility of farm animals to infections as well as the carriage and shedding of foodborne pathogens”.  To consume such products under the guise of something healthy seems unethical, immoral, and illegal from my perspective.  In the course text Fieser (2015) stated, “The ultimate purpose of a commercial enterprise is to earn a profit” (Ch. 2.1).  In true capitalism fashion a lot of these practices seemingly go unnoticed for monetary gain.  If we were looking at this from a safety concern, for myself it is hard to overlook the fact Perdue and other meat production companies are placing individuals in harm’s way with the use of certain additives.  Are they simply bending the truth?  I guess what it comes down to is perception, the way I might view how animals should be raised and packaged may be very different then you might think.  So, when we are out to purchase products, we should ask ourselves if these companies are traveling in the same direction of our own moral compass.
  • Prabjot
  • Moral Responsibility
  •                 The topic of factory farming has become a more common topic of discussion in terms of immoral treatment with a majority of the discussion in the public being based around the cruelty the animals feel and whether that is worth a potential increase in cost for meat. Perdue Farms is an example of this industry and is the largest producer of chicken in the U.S. and about 80% of all meat produced in the country raised their animals in inhumane concentrated animal feeding operations (Fieser, 2015). These conditions tend to include the animals being raised in overly crowded locations that were unsanitary and created huge burdens of stress on the animals resulting, yet the benefits in cost seem to outweigh any moral obligations these types of business have to the animal while the government has allowed regulation to be run by state governments over federal governments. On one hand, the businesses recognize the decrease in cost and boost in productivity they gain from raising the animals in this way, with the moral debate stating that non-human animals don’t have similar rights to humans and, if they did, their rights would be overridden by conflicting human rights (Ebert, 2016). For example, the rights of the consumer to have affordable food would be negatively influenced by protecting the rights of animals and might cause some humans to be unable to eat. However, the reality is that as more attention is given to the treatment and the information is becoming more publicly known, more individuals have responded negatively. As a result, some state governments have responded with animal enterprise Interference legislation (known as Ag-gag laws by critics) that prohibited video or sound recording of meat and dairy farms and made it illegal for employees to share information about their employment to animal advocacy groups, creating a realm of secrecy for the businesses to operate while being able to claim more morally positive reflections while also requiring reporting of animal cruelty occurrences (Fiber-Ostrow, 2016).
  •                 This has created a situation where governments are able to turn a blind eye to potential cases of animal cruelty while the corporations are able to work under the security veil of legislation hiding their operations. As a result, a company like Perdu Farms can release advertising such as their “Fresh Taste” commercial that openly indicates they focus harder on maintaining regulatory guidelines of the USDA and unintentionally suggesting similar maintenance of regulation from the state government regarding animal cruelty (PerdueChicken, 2014). Consider the reality being presented of the conditions, it seems morally questionable from both Perdu and the government who seem to be aware of the situation of the company but are willing to ignore it for the sake of profits. From a virtue ethics standpoint, a number of immoral acts could be considered occurring in exchange for vice of overindulgence, which is justified by the fact that free-range chicken farms exist and are profitable, from both entities. First of all, in a mixed economy, the importance of government regulation is to protect the consumer and employee and to ensure companies are following guidelines put to them. Bypassing federal legislation and allowing states to create their own laws, the opportunity for abuse grows as specific states may support factory farms if it is one of their primary industries while another may be stricter and result in a more expensive product for customers as businesses are forced to import their product from more lenient states. Governments should recognize the lack of need for such inhuman treatment and growing concern with factory farming and respond with more strict regulations and enforcement to allow the public to really know where their food comes from rather than the falsified image presented by Perdue. Speaking of who, the company itself is falling into a lie to their customers and not only ignoring their moral responsibility to their customers but also to the animals who are suffering as a result. Responses have to be 200 words apiece.

 

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