By James McWilliams
I know a factory farmer named Bill. His Texas ranch raises upwards of 4,000 head of cattle in a way that typifies industrial animal agriculture. Cows are numbered, not named. Animals don't eat food, they convert feed. The ultimate goal couldn't be more straightforward: raise cows as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible; transform them into well-marbled cuts of beef; and, throughout the process, minimize inputs while maximizing outputs.