The Next Era of Industrial Farming

Image courtesy of André Ford and

We read a thought-provoking article the other day about what might be the next era of industrial farming. A student at The Royal College of Art in the UK put up an installation detailing the potential “progress” that could be made in the ways of “efficiency” and “humane treatment”. The project was the result of a search for how dense and vertical architecture can bring food production back to cities.
The article can be read here: Farming the Unconscious, but at a high level it describes a reality where consumers and producers come to terms with the fact that animals should be treated as crops instead of as animals and thus the production systems should completely disregard animal welfare (which they pretty much already do anyway). After all, the British artist (André Ford) argues, “Animals are things we keep in our homes and watch on David Attenborough programs. 'Animals' bred for consumption are crops and agricultural products like any other. We do not, and cannot, provide adequate welfare for these agricultural products and therefore welfare should be removed entirely.” Since the system is already flawed he proposes taking it even further. Why torture these poor animals? Why not just anesthetize them and use technology to capitalize on their meat production capabilities?

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