I know many farmers, they all seem to genuinely care for their animals. I've seen them give a pat or a rub to the animals and they feed, water and give them good clean shelter, fresh hay and the like. These cows, pigs and chicken live in open areas, fields and get excercise. A farmer who doesn't is a fool. My cousins and friends have all had pet cows, pigs and sheep. But none of them have lived to old age. Again, a farmer can't survive otherwise.
I don't believe in abusing animals. I have three dogs. They also eat meat. When they are ill or no longer have a good quality of life, I will put them down humanely.
For thousands and thousands of years, people have raised animals for food. A cruel farmer doesn't make a great business person. Factory farms are a new phenomenon and while I've been lucky to have a choice or where I buy my food, not everyone is. That being said, most animals in feed lots are raised humanely and not in factories pens and only their end is sad. Chickens have it the worst and I believe that this will change as we begin to realize that this isn't good for us either.
A recent report in Canada found that these chickens are full of anti-bo resistant bacteria. 67% of chicken in supermarkets had in some cases up to 5,6,7 and 8 types of very dangerous bacterias. This is a direct result of feeding chicken antibiotics.
I believe, this practice will discontinue as it is affecting the health of the average consumer. Just as the farming industry was forced to amend the practice of recycling 'protein' and feeding it back to cows - mad cow disease...
But the consumer has to educate themselves and demand better treatment and not full grown chickens in 45 days. It's just not natural.