Comparing Cattle-Farming in Kenya and the United States
In sixth grade Global Studies, we have been learning about the benefits and problems facing the pastoralist cattle farmers in three regions in Africa. We then learned about industrialized cattle farming in the USA. Through close examination of our reading material, we found that both the Kenyans and the Americans favored each other’s systems more than their own. The pastoralists are being pressured, in many ways, to industrialize and begin raising cows in feedlots, like in the United States. Meanwhile, American farmers believe the immensity of U.S. cattle farming operations are creating health and environmental concerns. The following text is an excerpt of my essay on this subject.
The way people raise cattle in the U.S. is much different in comparison to how they raise them in Kenya, but there are controversies around which system each country should use, and which system is better or worse. In the U.S. we use feedlots to raise cattle. Feedlots are big farms with 300 cows per acre where cows grow fat and juicy in an instant because growth hormones are injected into them and added into their food.
Pastoral farming, on the other hand, is when nomadic people—meaning people who move from place to place frequently—take care of herds of cattle, grazing them on large areas of land. Instead of killing the cows, they are sold for a scant amount of money. However, this system is not working for Kenyans because the region is suffering from constant severe drought, making it difficult to graze cows that remain healthy and valuable in the marketplace. In the U.S., the system for cattle farming is efficient and makes a lot of money, but it has many health and safety issues, causing harm to innocent wildlife, workers, and those living near the feedlots. Each country wishes to move in the direction of the other country’s system believing it would work better.