Being someone who has never lived in the country before, I have a typical urbanite’s image of what a farm is like. The sun is shining, the grass is a deep shade of emerald green and the little lambs and big cows and chubby pigs all play together while being watched over by a talking spider named Charlotte.
Of course the truth is that most animal farms I’ve encountered in the United States are the complete opposite of that fantastical picture I created in my head. The only ones I ever came across were on my drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, but they were more like factories than farms. Thousands of cows kept in a field of mucky dirt and mud, covered in filth and baking in the hot sun – not exactly a good life (the “Happy Cows” ad series by California Cheese has to be the most blatant example of false advertising I’ve ever seen – these cows are miserable). The “farmers” were actually minimum-wage employees of some big corporation, and I imagine none had any real farming experience or much care for the animals.