Reading Animal Farm in grade 9 english class and watching the content about food and farming this week ended with me having the exact same reaction: "Well I wasn't expecting that"
I realized that I didn't know very much about where my food comes from, how it's made, or how inequitable and inaccessible farming can actually be. The origins of my food are often something I overlook and take for granted when in reality, a burger is so much more than just a burger. It's the gallons of water that went into making it, the number of ranchers that fed the cattle, the farmers that planted the crops for the feed, and so on. I envision a world where farming can be done in a sustainable and non-exploitive way, where farmers can grow pesticide-free crops without falling into extreme debt and the land used for farming as well as the animals put on that farm, are treated well. Introducing larger farm subsidies could help alleviate the pressure farmers have to produce a high output of crops. They'd be less likely to use harmful pesticides to increase their yield and plant/harvest crops in a way that would help replenish the soil rather than deplete it. Moving towards a global social change that reevaluates our meat consumption could also make a huge difference in our cattle farming. The overconsumption and demand for meat and the cattle ranches we establish to keep up with that need is a pretty big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It also takes up a large chunk of land that can be used for other crops and so limiting how much meat we consume can reduce our need for these large cattle ranches. Rather, these animals can live in moderate numbers on a regular farm and keep the natural processes on the farm in check (i.e for fertilizer purposes, chicken companions, draft animals, etc.)