Factory farming, animal welfare and the future of modern agriculture | DW Documentary
Factory farming is a mainstay of modern agriculture. In a story told from three very different perspectives, this documentary draws a fascinating and also frightening picture of the status quo.
Pig farmer Dirk Nienhaus grants us a rare glimpse behind the scenes at his modern piggery. He shows how livestock breeding has developed into a high-tech, efficient process – highlighting the fact that factory farming and cheap meat are two sides of the same coin. Dirk Nienhaus sometimes reflects on whether his pigs are suffering and candidly considers his personal role in the system.
Friedrich Mülln views modern farming from the opposing side: the founder of the animal welfare organization SOKO Tierschutz has specialized in publicizing scandalous conditions in factory farms. In the search for evidence of violations, he films in secret at night – the documentary contains some of the footage he manages to capture. Friedrich Mülln outlines why he condemns factory farming outright.
Anja Hradetzky is looking for ways to harmonize livestock farming and animal wellbeing – and finds herself challenging the limits of the system. Her cows live out on the pasture. The calves are raised by their mothers. They’re out in the fields when they’re killed – with a single shot. Nevertheless, questions remain: What constitutes a happy life for animals? Who decides when that life should end? But also: Why is this not the norm in 99 per cent of livestock farms? And why, after so many years, does a farmer like Anja still struggle to make a living?
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