What Will Trump’s New Executive Order Mean for Animal Agriculture?

By Erin Thompson

On Tuesday, April 25, before he signed an executive order on “Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America,” President Donald Trump met with farmers and asked them to explain some “impediments” to farming in the United States.  The executive order also assigns a task force to identify and regulate policy changes.  One particular “impediment” or defect, if you will, that comes to mind instantly concerning farming in America is the animal agriculture business.

The meat, poultry, pork, egg, and dairy industry, run mostly by private farmers, not only produces large amounts of food for the American people, but has also led the animal agribusiness to treat animals as inferior objects.  It is no secret by now that animals on farms in the United States are confined in small spaces with limited natural light and cleanliness, awaiting their untimely deaths.  Unfortunately in this instance, the main concern of the farmer is to enhance productivity in order to raise profitability.  The end result of this practice is essentially to push for maximum production regardless of the trauma placed on the animals.  Other impediments that this executive order might be alluding to include the negative impacts of animal agriculture on the environment, such as soil erosion and the loss of biodiversity.  Finally, it must not be overlooked that the agribusiness is simply horrible for human health and safety.  Farmers, for example, run the risk of becoming ill because of pesticide exposure.  The general public is also at risk because of “the danger [animal agriculture] poses to public health through the overuse of antibiotics and the pollution it causes to air and water . . . .”

Picture by Thegreenj (Wikimedia Commons)

The Humane Party‘s Agricultural Policy Transition Team has already done the labor intensive task of crunching numbers and ultimately resolving such impediments.

The team’s report is designed to compare the animal agricultural farming industry to the plant-based farming industry.  The ultimate goal is to find which of the two industries reports the most profit over the course of one year.  The team offers an analysis of the USDA reports and censuses.  According to their findings, “plant-based agriculture generates around 1.5 trillion more pounds of product than animal-based agriculture.  These 1.5 trillion pounds are grown on less land [and] at a lower cost for both the farmer and the final consumer.”

In essence, plant-based agriculture will enhance productivity while earning higher profits than animal-based agriculture, not to mention that it will enable farmers to consolidate land, increase their labor force, and produce a reliable food supply while saving the lives of billions of innocent farm animals.