Animal Agriculture – Essay Example

The paper "Animal Agriculture" is a worthy example of an essay on agriculture.
Animal Agriculture in addition to being highly mechanized today has also gone a notch higher with the advancement in Biotechnology. Evidence of this transition is that over 200 years ago, almost the entire population of humanity lived on farms and produced their own food. Today, less than 5 percent of, for instance, the US population produces food, i.e. fruits and vegetables. Adoption of technology in farm practices has enabled a smaller percentage of the population to produce and supply the rest with food sustainably. Additionally, advancement in Biotechnological research and the application of the results has seen a considerable increase in production capabilities of animals, as well as improved means of handling animal diseases, food preservation and communicability of diseases from animals to humans through consumption of animal products.  Biotechnology, as an agricultural practice, entails employing technology to enhance crop and animal production. This technology enables humans to produce more and new commercial products and through it, humans are able to manufacture effective antibiotics that improve animal performance, hormone steroids that improve growth rates in beef cattle, etc. The use of bacteria to develop fundamental animal proteins that are later transferred into their system for improved productivity that has shown to be very efficient but which faced initial obstacles in its early stages. Opposition to such a program resulted from the fear that products realized through such means could be unhealthy to humans, though this stance has continually softened with an increased demonstration of its efficacy. Another that has been of particular interest is genetic engineering. The question of the moral acceptability of cloning is one that continues to the present moment, but which somehow provides a new perspective on life and food production. Research on this practice aims at improving the productivity of animals by creating a new version of the same animal but with better capabilities of producing, withstanding diseases as well as extreme weather conditions (Rischkowski and Pilling, 2007). However, this quest faces the challenge of approval of many, as people fear that such modifications may result in an offspring that is weaker and less adaptable compared to the parent (National Research Council, 2012). Nevertheless, technological improvements continue to offer important insights into the practice, and hence improvements are expected. Another area of interest especially in animal farming island management and climatic changes. Grazing in public land avails animals with enough food, but at the same time, like Chambers, Roberts, and Woodings (2015) note, deprive other organisms, mostly plants, the chances of survival in the face of increased changes in climatic conditions. However, eliminating grazing does not promise to solve issues of climate change or dwindling species. Farmers can use technology to provide intensive care to the land, vegetation and animals alike. By reducing overgrazing, especially in arid and semi-arid areas, and improving communal or shared grazing fields for e.g. pastoralists in areas where such is possible, can significantly help in reducing environmental degradation and at the same time improving the sustainability of animal farming. Livestock farming is one field that has experienced extensive changes in the major practices that aim at improving food production. Noteworthy among these changes is mechanization of agriculture for efficient production, improved knowledge in biotechnology for enhanced production of commercial products as well as genetic engineering to enable the cloning of organisms that are better adaptable to environmental changes and with increased productivity. These developments contrary to being feasible also face challenges that include changes in climatic conditions and environmental degradation.