Spain riddled with misconceptions about animal agriculture

Spain riddled with misconceptions about animal agriculture

Politicians in Spain have created a storm blaming animal production for a variety of issues, reflecting their ignorance and their selfishness to attract voters.

The discussion about “macrofarms” this past month in Spain is reaching a point of being nauseating. Everybody talks about the bad things about swine farms and, by extension, all animal protein farms, and no one, I mean, NO ONE, has said anything about the fact that these farms produce food. 

I will start with the mere word of “macrofarms.” Who knows who made up this term, but for me, using the examples they give, those examples are just farms. The rest are simple backyard operations. The “macrofarms” produce foods for all the urban population who do not have the fuggiest idea about the countryside. Backyard operations are for self-consumption and for selling something extra as a family income. These small operations cannot feed the millions and millions of urbanites. 

While discussing with colleagues, it came to my attention the fact that these small operations are dying. No one wants to live in the “empty Spain,” the so-called Spanish territory with almost no people. In addition, large supermarkets are killing these small businesses by paying very low prices for animal proteins, or even below production cost. No one can survive under those conditions. So here I see a rather social problem. 

Another interesting fact — one colleague told me, “Do they think that 25 farms of 100 pigs pollute less than a 2,500-pig farm?” Think about it.

These activists are worried about macrofarms, but during the extremely hot summer in Spain, stores crank up air conditioners all the way up but leave the street doors open, because I guess they get cold. So all the cool air is wasted. I have complained about this in several occasions and people look at me with angry faces. Why using air conditioning then? Don’t they think they are heavily contributing to climate change? 

I just hope Latin America does not follow these steps, in a region where so much animal protein needs to be produced. Conditions are quite different, because Spaniards and all Europeans consume much more protein than they need. But Latin Americans, not yet.

Lastly, as Osler Desouzart said during his presentation at the Latin American Poultry Summit at the IPPE, “During the pandemic, chicken and eggs were always on the table of consumers, ALWAYS!, while face masks and lots of other things were scarce.” Are you sure animal production should be blamed?

What do you think?