You have all heard you are what you eat, but do we stop to think about where our food comes from or how the food we eat is raised, genetically engineered or processed? Our food supply is largely dependent on animal agriculture, the rearing of poultry, livestock, fish, and shellfish. How does food get from the farm to table? What are the downstream effects of using antibiotics in farming? This course is an introduction to current practices in animal agriculture. Topics covered include the health, environmental, and ethical concerns involved with farming animals. We will address the research and controversies involved with biotechnology and the genetic modification of animals and discuss their implications on the future of our food systems.
Course materials will include lecture presentations and provided readings. Multimedia resources, such as the screening of Food Inc., will demonstrate how media educates and shapes the discourse of animal domestication and food production. Students will engage in group activities to compare and contrast farming methods in different animals, debate the pros and cons of a chosen controversial current issue in animal agriculture, and develop a final multimedia project that aims to persuade and education the general public about a topic covered in the course.
This course is appropriate for students interested in learning about how animal agriculture is more than farming and has economic and ethical implications that impact the environment and society. By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of practices in animal production and be able to describe the complex challenges they present.
By the end of this course, students will:
1. Build teamwork and leadership skills through group discussions and projects
2. Read and analyze current scientific literature
3. Develop critical thinking skills
4. Explain animal agriculture regulations
5. Compare and contrast the farming methods of different animals
6. Describe the associated environmental and ethical concerns
Prerequisites: Completion of a biology course is highly recommended but not required.