In the February 7, 2014 issue of Alternet, Martha Rosenberg has written an excellent and terrifying summary of a report from the USDA Inspector General about the drugs that are used in the animals from which our meat comes. 6 Nasty Drugs Your Meat Is On. This telling line from her story says so much:“Unlike people Pharma, many Animal Pharma drugs do not require a prescription or a veterinarian and the hormones, growth promoters, feed additives and antiparasite and antifungal drugs are loosely regulated and monitored.” (Italics are mine.) She goes on to list the 6 most common drugs given to the cattle that end up in the meat we eat.
Consider the problems created just by the antibiotics. Most of the antibiotics used nowadays are given to feedstock. The effect of this is the increasing resistance of bacteria to the antibiotics. As a result, we humans are threatened with virulent bacterial infections that we won’t be able to treat allopathically because the bacteria are now resistant to our common treatments.
The other drugs include growth stimulators (known to be harmful to the animals – what about to us?), hormones, pesticides, anti-parasite drugs, and you should see what is being put into farm-raised fish. No wonder so many countries are banning the importation of meats grown in the US.
As I read the article, I considered how warped our society has become that we care naught for the health of the animals we raise or for the effects of the chemicals we use on our families and friends and strangers who eat these tainted meats. We wonder why we have not won the war against cancer, why so many young people are developing heart disease, why so many children are getting asthma and diabetes. The statistics are tragic – all of this human potential sacrificed for the sake of the almighty dollar.
We don’t have to be like the cattle who are fed these drugs. We have choice. We can choose not to buy these meats. We can inform our friends and others that these practices are against our values. Write your congresspeople of your discontent. Should you choose to eat meat, only purchase meat that has been pasture-raised and free range on grass that is not genetically modified. Support your local farmers who apply organic or sustainable practices for their crops and herds.
How you live your life and the choices you make contribute greatly to how healthy you will be.