For the Earth
Our readers probably already know this, but meat and dairy production are greenhouse gas culprits—even more so than flying. There’s also the issue of the basically-unregulated sludge and other pollution that factory farms get to release into the environment.
For the Local Economy
As I’ve pointed out before, when you buy from a national chain—and for this purpose, factory-farmed food is no different than, say, Barnes & Noble—the community keeps $4.30 for every $10 spent. When you buy local (from your farmer’s market, for example, or local natural foods store), $6.80 will stay in the community. Plus, supporting local farms will probably mean supporting more green space and healthier land in your community, which means a healthier lifestyle overall.
Salmonella, Avian Flu, and Swine Flu
(Different reasons, same underlying problem.) This summer’s egg recall is the most obvious example: the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions on factory farms lead to disease. The H1N1 virus is also affiliated with factory farm conditions, as is swine flu.
Sensing a pattern here? Just some food for thought as you put your next grocery list together.