Innovation turns farms into meat factories – Joop


Reading time 3 minutes


The “innovation” in livestock farming called by LTO Chairman Sjaak van der Tak and other representatives of industrial livestock farming as a solution to the nitrogen crisis is in fact a temporary solution to an outdated and failed production method. Instead, policy should focus on genuine innovation that respects nature, animals, and farmers.

smart pee pot
Can a cow urinate anytime and anywhere it wants? This question suddenly became topical when I watched a promotional film for Hanskamp on TV. This company says it has a clever solution to the nitrogen crisis that has crippled our country for years and driven farmers and politicians into desperation. So go. Hanskamp discovered that a cow pees when it is hit on its udder. Every time a cow is milked in the milking robot, a smart piss bowl automatically appears that first hits the animal and then collects urine. This means it doesn’t come into contact with hard stool, so ammonia isn’t formed and the nitrogen problem disappears like snow in the sun, Hanskamp says.

As clever as this idea may seem, it is actually one of the many pernicious excesses of industrial livestock farming, which considers animals not as animate beings but as part of a factory. A process that can be endlessly adapted to the requirements of cheap and rapid production of milk, eggs and meat. The Hanskamp cow may be gently rested, but in this system its safety is compromised more than is already the case in the livestock industry and for that reason alone we should not want it.

In addition to Hanskamp, ​​representatives of industrial ranching are calling for more so-called “innovations”, such as “low-emissions” flooring that does not work in practice. They make sure that the cows no longer have to go out to pasture, where they can defecate naturally and where ammonia does not form. The air purifiers that van der Tak and its partners are proud of aren’t innovation either. Even if they purify the air around the stable, they still saturate farmers and animals with unhealthy air in closed stables. Therefore, the use of the word “innovation” is often quite misleading. In fact, they are technical solutions to sustain an inherently failing system at all costs. Such technical solutions to nitrogen emissions cost farmers a lot of money, support Rabobank, lead to greater volume increases and do not solve other problems caused by industrial livestock farming.

real innovation
Instead of relying on the “innovation” sucker given to us by advocacy groups in the agro-industrial park, our politicians would do well to opt for real innovation. True innovation means optimal use of the latest scientific insights and the latest technological capabilities. Much has changed in both areas in recent decades. In this way, science teaches us not only that animals are sentient beings who can experience pain and experience emotions just like humans, but also how animals related to nature can help us keep the soil healthy and fertile and thus reduce fatigue.. of the land and stop the loss of biodiversity. Consider, for example, comprehensive nature farming, organic farming, or completely redesigned systems that are integrally based on high animal welfare and a low burden on nature and the environment, while providing good income for farming families.

Animals are no longer needed
New technologies also make it possible to produce meat and dairy without ever using and killing animals. For the first time in history, an animal was made redundant to make “animal” products. Cultured meats, plant-based meats, and dairy alternatives are rapidly gaining in popularity and will soon be cheaper than bulk meat from the livestock industry.

Thanks to all the scientific insights and technological advances, in the 21st century we can choose a truly innovative diet that contains far fewer animals, which helps preserve nature and biodiversity and helps feed the Earth rather than empty it. A system that truly offers farmers a future and feeds people in a sustainable and healthy way.

Therefore, it is better for the government to opt for such a real innovation, rather than spending billions on technical fixes to maintain a system that has long since been in use.

Leave a Comment