Throughout framework, animals are inputs alongside other

    Throughout history, new farming methods have popped up to keep up with the food demands of the growing United States population. Such farming methods strived to make food production cheaper and more efficient. Hence, the birth of the modern factory farm. Now, nearly two thirds of U.S. agricultural output is from three percent of its farms (“Factory”). Though factory farms have been very good for the efficiency of food-production, animals in the farms are often victims of mistreatment. By examining these different theories, one can form an educated stance on the economic side of factory farms.From a purely economic standpoint:Farm animals are just one of the resources (specifically a form of capital) in farming, which is itself an activity producing raw materials for the human food system. As resources, the value and importance of the animals is explicitly derived from what they contribute to the economic output of the production process – their ‘productivity’. The care they receive and the manner in which they are used/treated is logically determined solely by what is necessary to sustain this productivity at the appropriate level and for the appropriate period so as to gain the maximum returns from the resource. Within this framework, animals are inputs alongside other resources that are then combined and transformed in some way to produce the various outputs that people want and value, such as food. The production processes involved in producing these outputs have effects on the welfare of animals that are used as inputs. These effects are unlooked for, and largely unwanted by-products of production and are generally thought of within economics as ‘externalities’, because they lie outwith the economic process of productive activity. Thus, farm animal suffering can be seen as a ‘negative externality’ of livestock production in much the same way as environmental pollution is considered by economists as a negative externality of industrial production.Old Cull Livestock and Poultry of Little Economic Value:In the U.S., older farm animals often travel greater distances than young farm animals that have been fattened on either grain or grass. There is a lesser desire to treat these animals well because they are less valuable than the young. An effective way to reduce poor treatment is to increase the value of old breeding stock. This provides an economic incentive to treat them better. Producers need to be aware that if they sell animals before they become older and hold less value, they will receive more money for them. In some places in the U.S. and other parts of developed countries, programs have been put into place to fatten older animals so that they will become more valuable for meat.Alliances Between Producers and Meat Companies:An alliance between both parties would benefit all. If farmers would produce animals that met specific requirements for animal welfare, food safety, and other requirements, they are economically rewarded. The rapidly growing markets in organic and natural meats have created alliance systems where standards should  be enforced. Farmers are often interested in joining these programs in order to get higher prices for the same farm animals.Educate Consumers About Animal Welfare: In developed countries, people are becoming more and more concerned about where their food is coming from. Consumers may stop buying meat from companies where animal welfare is at a lowered standard. When consumers are educated, they are willing to spend more to ensure proper treatment. This method can be very effective with affluent consumers. In the U.K., the sales of products that were produced under fair trade agreements rose 70% in 2007 (The Independent, 2008)