What is an Organic Animal?
An organic animal is an animal that is fed only organically grown feed. Also organic animals cannot be given hormones or medical pills. Organic animals are treated differently from factory farmed farm animals. You will learn many more facts about raising organic animals in the sections below.
What Organic Animals Eat
Organic farm animals, including cows, pigs, chickens, and turkey, eat foods that are much different from what conventional animals eat. Organic animals eat grass and organic feed. This means the animals are usually very healthy. On the other hand, conventional farmers feed their animals food that is a lot cheaper and unhealthier. At worst, some animals are fed manure (I know, pretty disgusting). Another kind of food that farmers sometimes feed to herbivore animals such as cows is meat products. Sometimes if this occurs, a very rare disease can develop: mad cow disease. If a person eats a cow that had mad cow disease, he or she could get that disease. Organic animals usually get no diseases from eating organic grass and feed. One farmer states, “Organic farming starts at the bottom of the food chain by raising healthy soil, which grows healthy plants, which grow healthy animals, which make healthy humans.
Where Organic Animals Live
When you think of farms, you probably think of grassy slopes and wide green fields with grazing animals. That’s what organic farms are like. However, the majority of farms are conventional, and they’re not like this. Organic farmers always give their animals bedding. Usually it is straw. Factory farmed animals might get straw but they don’t get much. Factory farmed animals are packed in one room with usually hundreds, possibly thousands of others. For example, chickens might have only one-half square foot of room. Also these animals don’t get to go outside. They might spend their whole life in one room. Unlike these animals, organic animals enjoy plenty of outside air and a lot of land to walk around.
How Organic Animals are Treated
Organic farm animals tend to be healthier than conventional farm animals. Organic farm animals live farther apart than factory farmed animals. When an organic animal gets a disease it might spread only to a few other animals. If a factory farmed animal gets sick then the disease could spread easily from animal to animal. This could happen because the factory farmed animals live right next to each other. To prevent this from happening conventional farmers give their animals antibiotics— and hormones to make them grow faster. The animals store the hormones and antibiotics in their body. When we eat this meat, these substances will still be there. This means that you might get bad chemicals into your body without knowing it. Organic farmers must use antibiotics to save an animal’s life. Afterwards the animal is considered conventional for a long time. Organic farmers, however, don’t usually need to give their animals antibiotics and hormones because they prevent the animals from getting sick in the first place.
Animals. Kids Organic. www.kids.organic.org
Organic Meat: Healthy Animals Make Healthy Humans by Amy Chen. http://www.supermarketguru.com/page.cfm/141