Animal farming must be practiced in an ethically and environmentally responsible way.
The current treatment of animals on American farms is unacceptable for ethical, environmental and health reasons. More than half of the water used for all purposes, and 80% of all the grain grown in the U.S., is consumed by livestock. Animal farming is a major contributor to water pollution and the greenhouse effect through the vast amounts of animal waste and methane released into the environment.
Grazing on public lands - called "welfare ranching" because it is largely subsidized by taxpayers - is causing serious damage to ecosystems throughout the western states. The factory farming of cattle, sheep and poultry is an extremely cruel, wasteful, unhealthy and polluting form of agriculture. Animals are kept in overcrowded, unnatural and unsanitary conditions, causing severe physical and psychological suffering. These conditions also cause diseases, so the animals then have to be given antibiotics. Animals are also given hormones to induce rapid growth.
American consumption of large amounts of animal products causes much of our society's cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases. In the interests of the environment, health and non-violence, we recognize the value to individuals in adopting a vegetarian diet or even a strict vegan one.
The Green Party advocates humane treatment of farm animals:
Rapidly phase out factory farming and the inhumane treatment of food animals, as other countries are already doing.
Prohibit feedlots and the routine use of hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals, such as genetically engineered compounds like BVT for cows.
Ban the genetic manipulation of farm animals.
Ban the exportation of live animals for overseas slaughter.
Regulate the domestic transportation and slaughter of animals to insure humane treatment.
Transfer the responsibility for enforcing animal welfare laws from the Department of Agriculture to an agency specifically created to protect animals and the environment.
Eliminate all government subsidies, including water subsidies, that go to the meat, poultry and dairy industries.
Terminate permits that allow livestock grazing on public lands.
Initiate public education to encourage people to reduce their consumption of animal foods, including information on healthy vegetarian diets. We should make vegetarian meals available in all public institutions including primary and secondary schools.