Thursday, November 5, 2009

Factory Farmed Meat: You are what {they} eat

I'm listening to Kevin Gianni of Renegade Health interview vegetarian activist and former cattle rancher Howard Lyman on the perils of factory farmed meat.

Next time you are tempted to chow on fast food or buy some cheapo meat at the supermarket, consider what these animals are FED. It's really eye opening and totally disgusting.

Imagine that humans are fed a low cost 'protein powder'. Justification for the powder is that it's cheap and can feed the planet. Now imagine discovering that this powder contains the remains of diseased hospital patients, recycled plastic, hormones, drugs and fecal material from the city sewer system. Makers of the powder claim that it doesn't really matter where the protein came from and that they are doing the world a favor by inventing something that could feed the planet cheaply. They have a powerful lobby in place to keep that protein powder as part of the nation's food supply. People keep buying the protein powder because the company just lists 'protein byproducts' on the label and they can't believe the government would sell them anything that wasn't safe.

You would be disgusted, outraged and violated. Yet, this kind of stuff is routinely fed to the factory farmed livestock who end up on your dinner table.

Note: if you read the article and are as disgusted as I am please know that there are safer alternatives if you still want to eat some meat and cheese. Chemfree/organic grassfed products are the safest bet and support small local farmers. In Ohio you can find great products like Heini's Cheese, Hartzler Dairy, Snowville Creamery and other small, local operations. Many of these can be found in health or gourmet oriented stores and at local farmers markets.

Material below quoted or paraphrased from a Union of Concerned Scientists Article

Same Species Meat
Although cows technically can't be fed cows due to mad cow disease it still creeps in. It's perfectly legal to feed dead animals to livestock, (whom God created to be herbivores).

Diseased Animals
Including roadkill, dead deer and your euthanized pets left at medical clinics, and 'downer' animals too sick to stand on their own. Yep, even if Fido had cancer and was pumped full of meds, his body can legally be dumped right back into the nation's food supply.

Feathers, Hair, Skin, Hooves, and Blood
"Rendered feathers, hair, skin, hooves, blood, and intestines can also be found in feed, often under catch-all categories like 'animal protein products.'" Blood is a major carrier of disease. Even back in the Old Testament, Jewish law required the blood to be drained from the flesh of any ritually slaughtered animal. Guess they had more sense back then.

Manure and Other Animal Waste
"Feed for any food animal can contain cattle manure, swine waste, and poultry litter. This waste may contain drugs such as antibiotics and hormones that have passed unchanged through the animals' bodies.

The poultry litter that is fed to cattle contains rendered cattle parts in the form of digested poultry feed and spilled poultry feed. This is another loophole that may allow mad cow agents to infect healthy cattle."

"Many animals need roughage to move food through their digestive systems. But instead of using plant-based roughage, animal factories often turn to pellets made from plastics to compensate for the lack of natural fiber in the factory feed." My comment: this is like cheaping out and feeding your Grandmother plastic pellets instead of Metamucil.

Drugs and Chemicals
"...Animals at animal factories often receive antibiotics to promote faster growth and to compensate for crowded, stressful, and unsanitary living conditions. An estimated 13.5 million pounds of antibiotics—the same classes of antibiotics used in human medicine—are routinely added to animal feed or water. This routine, nontherapeutic use of antibiotics speeds the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can infect humans as well as animals. Antibiotic resistance is a pressing public health problem that costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars each year.

Some of the antimicrobials used to control parasites and promote growth in poultry contain arsenic, a known human carcinogen. Arsenic can be found in meat or can contaminate human water supplies through runoff from factory farms."

Unhealthy Amounts of Grains
"While grain may sound like a healthful food, the excessive quantities fed to some animals are not. This is especially true for cattle, which are natural grass eaters. Their digestive systems are not designed to handle the large amounts of corn they receive at feedlots. As a result of this corn-rich diet, feedlot cattle can suffer significant health problems, including excessively acidic digestive systems and liver abscesses. Grain-induced health problems, in turn, ramp up the need for drugs."

Eat Wild: Organic Grassfed Meat (essay on byproducts fed to factory farmed livestock
This is a great site because it allows you to find local sources of organic grassfed meat. Cows and sheep were designed to be herbivores so organic grass fed livestock is as close to nature as you can get. Because the animals are out grazing in the pasture they are also able to enjoy their natural God given environment.

Technical Article on animal byproducts and other nasties in feed

American Grassfed Association

No comments:

Post a Comment