Animal farming in New Hampshire is done on a small scale, but we still support the big factory farms located in other states with our purchases.
Ninety-nine percent of the meat, dairy, and eggs consumed in the United States comes from large-scale factory farms. Unless you avoid these ingredients altogether, you are almost certainly consuming them — if not directly, in baked goods, snack foods, and prepared meals.
Regardless, the idea that you can avoid causing animal suffering by buying animal products only from small farms is untrue. All animals raised for food suffer to some degree, even on small farms.
The suffering of farmed animals often begins just by being born. Farmed animals enter the world in bodies that have been selectively bred not for fitness and health but for whatever traits are valuable to the farmer.
Even the Heritage-breed chickens wandering freely around so many New Hampshire backyards are saddled with bodies that lay 20 to 30 times more eggs than their wild ancestors, who laid a reasonable 10 to 15 per year.
“Standard Agricultural Practices”
Many of the cruelties animals endure on farms are allowed because they are “standard agricultural practices.” Actions that would be considered criminal if done to a dog or cat are perfectly legal when done to an animal raised for food.
Consider that it is standard agricultural practice for a farmer to perform any of the following procedures without anesthesia: castration, removing horns, severing tails, and cutting off beaks. Artificial insemination, separating mothers and newborns, and keeping animals in cages and crates are also “standard agricultural practices.”
These methods save time and money, and for that reason standard agricultural practices are widely used — on big and small farms alike.
“It shouldn’t be the consumer’s responsibility to figure out what’s cruel and what’s kind. Cruel and destructive food products should be illegal.”
— Jonathan Safron Foer, Author, Eating Animals
"Animal Science" Programs
One reason animal agriculture endures are the many “Animal Science” programs in place at land grant universities around the country. University of New Hampshire is part of the land grant university system and has its own animal science program.
Studying animal science at UNH prepares students for careers in animal agriculture or veterinary medicine. Graduate programs are offered in “Poultry Science,” “Dairy Science,” and “Reproductive Physiology.”
Along with other land grant universities, UNH receives government funding and grants from industry to do research that supports the continuation of animal agriculture.
This is "Animal Science"
The photo shows a cow being artificially inseminated. The farmer’s forearm is inserted in the animal’s rectum in order to guide the semen-filled instrument to the target, the cervix.