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What's up with ANIMALS ?

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History. / Farmers. / Fish. / Disease.


In the late 1800's, farmers began to build fences to keep their animals in controlled spaces. In the late 1920's, chickens were the first animal to be farmed as a commodity. That means it was raised with a focus on making money, like producing shoes or toothbrushes. Farmers began to raise chickens in huge numbers, in order to get their eggs and to slaughter them for food. 

In the 1970's, this changed in a big, big way when pigs, cows, turkeys, and fish were added. Now, 90%+ of food animals live in horrible factory environments. Like, totally cruel spaces. Sorry for the not-so-nice news...


There's pressure on today’s family farmers and ranchers because of the way food animals are sold. Many farmers have a business contract with large companies called corporations. These food corporations make a contract with farmers and ranchers to raise animals and then sell them to the corporations. 

Finally, corporations make food products from these animals like chicken nuggets, bacon, and burgers. Over time, local and regional foodsheds have been wiped out, because these huge companies became way too powerful. Again, sorry for the not-so-nice news...


Many people eat fish because they think it's healthier than chickens, turkeys, pigs, or cows. Well... fish have also become farmed in industrial fish farms, too. These conditions create diseases in the fish, so that we absorb whatever critters are living in them. Also, these fish farms are wiping out smaller fish populations. This pushes our eco-systems out of wack.

All of this is creating more environmental harm and less nutritious fish for people. And, chemicals like mercury in the water are very toxic - the fish eat it and then we eat the fish. More not-so-nice news... 


Smart disease scientists have studied viruses and diseases for a long, long time. They discovered that viruses like SARS and the Coronavirus are probably caused by animal to human transfer. In fact, many viruses have come from our food animals. This happens because of how these animals live and are sold. 


Ok, this is a pretty complicated subject even for grown-ups! Here's the deal: because of HOW food animals are raised and sold, smart scientists say more diseases and viruses are coming. One smart solution is eating delish, nutritious plants. We can do better...

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One smart solution is eating plants in abundance!


Write these words in your notebook. What do they mean?




food shed (farming term)






Nutritious is an adjective... what is the NOUN form of this word?

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