6 Reasons why you should consider not eating meat
I have uploaded this article with a heavy heart. For some years I just have not been able to eat meat because I know what goes on in the background. I hope that when you read this article you will make the same choice as me
– the crowding together of livestock in factory-like conditions to cut down on production charges, is widely deplored for its hurt to animals, employees, the environment and food buyers. It is difficult to find a farm that crowds animals together in pens and cages that doesn’t in addition rely on antibiotics and growth chemicals, mistreat employees, spew manure into the background and produce periodic security questions about its products.
Meat giant Tyson dumps more than 18 millon pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s waterways once a year, in line with a recent report, even as it finalizes a merger with meat giant Hillshire. Tyson was served with a federal indictment in 2001 charging it with smuggling employees across the Rio Grande and supplying them with phony social safety cards. “They cheat these employees out of pay and advantages, and then try to keep them peaceful by threatening to send them back to Mexico,” declared Rev. Jim Lewis, an Episcopal minister in Arkansas.
Meat mergers and the globalization of meat production have the potential for eroding U.S. food security standards, mention food experts. Few missed this summer’s scandal in which Starbucks, Burger King, McDonald’s and KFC were blamed of using expired meat products in their China operations. But not as lots people have highlighted the recent sale of Smithfield foods to Shuanghui International, China’s major takeover of a U.S. firm to date. In 2008, dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine in China sickened thousands and killed 6 infants. Last fall, the Obama administration authorized the sale in the U.S. of chickens “processed” in China if they are raised and slaughtered in the U.S. or Canada. In 2007, an estimated 1,950 cats and 2,200 dogs in the U.S. died from melamine-tainted food from China.
And let’s not forget that forty percent of the world’s land surface is now used for food, the extensive majority to feed chickens, pigs and cattle, not people. Increasingly governments and environmental groups mention such inefficient land use and extreme meat consumption is not sustainable. US factory farms largely escape pollution regulations yet hydrogen sulfide from manure lagoons is linked to respiratory troubles, seizures and worse and nitrates, found out in drinking water near hog factories, are linked to blue baby syndrome and spontaneous abortions.
As whistleblowers and undercover humane employees have exposed unwholesome and cruel meat production practices such as a California slaughterhouse processing and offering cows with eye cancer, there has been a public call for transparency and better regulation of meat production. Yet this year has brought serious troubles to food activists who seek to recondition factory farms and ensure pure, humane and clearly labeled food. Here are a few ongoing battles with huge Ag.
1. Slaughter Lines Are going up in Speed
Many welfare and sanitary objections concern the speed of the assembly line on the kill floor at the slaughterhouse. employees, federal inspectors and reporters who have gone undercover have all highlighted that animals are “missed” and not stunned as they are supposed to be before slaughter. 10 years ago, federal meat inspector Lester Friedlander notified the press that stopping the line cost about $5,000 a minute, so veterinarians are pressured “to look the other way” when violations happen. Nonetheless, in shocking privatization, the federal government is increasingly letting huge Meat self-police. In 2000, it instituted a type of honor system called HACCP which 62 percent of meat inspectors told forced them to facilitate feces, vomit and metal shards in food on a every day or weekly basis.
And it gets worse. The USDA is now searching to execute new slaughterhouse guidelines “that would facilitate poultry companies to boost their processing lines” and make “plants more efficient” reports the Washington Post. Is that even possible? In March, 68 members of Congress joined lots food and public health activists in saying to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, you wish to boost WHAT?–noting the evident humane and hygiene risks of more “efficiency” Similar concerns didn’t stop the implementation of HACCP fourteen years ago.
2. The Blight of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv)
Have you ever heard of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus? huge Pork in the U.S. hopes not. despite the fact one tenth of U.S. pork supplies have been decimated by the virus since May 2013, producing mountains of dead baby piglets, huge Pork doesn’t wish to turn off or scare pork eaters so the virus has been downplayed. PEDv, a severe and generally fatal diarrhea disease, has killed 7 million piglets in their first days of life in the U.S. since 2013, even if it doesn’t affect humans who consume pork or adult pigs. The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) puts the blame for PEDv, which has spread to through half the states, on cramped factory farm conditions which spread misery and disease among animals.
Earlier this year, HSUS reported on a Kentucky farm that lost 900 piglets within a two-day period and was actually feeding the dead pigs to other pigs in an attempt to evoke “immunity” in survivors. Footage from the Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, Kentucky shows pigs whose legs had bound together to keep them standing when they otherwise would have collapsed.
In managing PEDv, the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council protect “indoor facilities” which allow” safety protocols [that] conduct to healthier pigs and a safer food supply.” aside from that they don’t.
Disposal of unwanted piglets on factory farms is by “manually applied blunt force trauma to the head” in line with the American Veterinary Medical Association better known as bashing their heads contrary wall. Piglets are in addition gassed. A barn technician at Country View/Hatfield Quality Meats in Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania explicated watching 39 unwanted pigs “left in the cart all day to trample one another, before being gassed all at once.” What an irony that PEDv may instill new respect for baby piglets on factory farms.
3. California Slaughterhouse Receives crook Indictment
In March, we notified you about a giant recall of beef from Rancho Feeding Corp. in Petaluma, California for the reason that the slaughterhouse “processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these tasks without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection.” The recalled meat was found out in Nestle’s Philly Steaks, Cheese Hot Pockets, Walmart Fatburgers, Kroger field Beef Mini Sliders and other reputable brands.
It turns out the “unsound activities” were crook. While inspectors were on their lunch breaks, employees processed sentenced and cancerous cows and put the heads of healthy cows next to their carcasses, bills a federal indictment. workers were in addition directed to “carve out” USDA sentenced stamps from carcasses.
Like Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., the slaughterhouse behind the school lunch recall in 2008, Rancho Feeding Corp. was a slaughterhouse where farmers could dump sick and dying dairy cows who could no longer walk, still making $400 per carcass. And like Agriprocessors, an Iowa kosher slaughterhouse charged with such serious worker abuse, it was forced to shut down, Rancho was back in business almost overnight, under a new name and with lots of the same workers. We learned our lesson!
4. An Asthma-Like Growth Additive Worse Than Ractopamine
Last year, AlterNet reported on the controversial growth additive, ractopamine, which is marketed as Paylean for pigs, Optaflexx for cattle and Topmax for turkeys in the U.S. Widely blacklisted in other countries, the Center for Food security and Animal Legal protection Fund have sought information from the FDA about ractopamine’s effects on animal or human “liver form and function, kidney form and function, thyroid form and function,” “tumor development” and urethral and prostate effects.
Now there is news about a relevant drug, Zilmax (zilpaterol hydrochloride), a growth enhancer that adds “24 to 33 pounds extra hot carcass weight,” in line with Merck, its manufacturer. Merck tells that Zilmax improves “cattle’s natural aptitude to transform feed into more lean beef that is flavorful, tender and juicy,” but the drug’s destruction of cattle’s hooves is well documented.
Ten months ago, 17 Zilmax-fed heifers and steers were destroyed at a Tyson slaughterhouse in Washington state for the reason that they couldn’t walk, principal Tyson to say its feedlot buyers it would not accept Zilmax-fed cattle. After a video of hoof-less Zilmax-fed cattle was shown by meat giant JBS USA LLC at a trade meeting, Merck temporarily suspended Zilmax sales in the U.S. and Canada. “Maybe we found out the point where we pushed the cattle just so difficult in the sake of making a buck that we exceeded the biological limits of the cattle,” told Abe Turgeon, a leading livestock nutritionist, who had beforehand recommended Zilmax.
Then, Texas Tech University and Kansas State University researchers reported that more than 3,800 cattle fed Zilmax in ten feedlots died in 2011 and 2012, with “between 40 percent and 50 percent of the deaths probable attributable to Zilmax”– a far cry from the 285 Zilmax-related deaths Merck reported.
Undaunted by reports of animal hurt, Merck wants to restart sales of Zilmax in the U.S. which brought in closely $160 mlln. annually. It proposes a “study” of Zilmax in 250,000 cattle, which meatpackers oppose for human and animal safety factors. Meat retailers in addition have doubts. “We don’t wish to fiddle with it as long as there’s a known animal-welfare issue,” told Costco VP Craig. A spokeswoman for Burger King in addition expressed reservations. Yes, the drug is even too extreme for meat processors and quick food outlets.
5. Factory Farm Fires
In 2012, the National Fire defense Association (NFPA) addressed the sad and preventable scourge of farm fires by proposing an amendment requiring all newly constructed farmed animal housing facilities to be equipped with sprinklers and smoke control systems. But, a letter to NFPA from Michael Formica, chief environmental counsel for the National Pork Producers Council on behalf of the other huge Ag groups, told installing fire defense systems presented “staggering charges in the billions of dollars,” and that lots operations lack “sufficient water supply accesible to service an automated sprinkler system.” This successfully killed the proposition, condemning mllns. more helpless animals to die in infernos.
In July, 65,000 hens burned to death in an Egg Innovations barn in Kosciusko County, Indiana, an egg surgical operation whose website brags about “Letting Chickens Be Chickens.” Right. In January, 300,000 hens burned to death at an egg surgical operation in La Grange, Wisconsin. More than 50 fire departments and 100 firefighters battled the blaze at S&R Egg Farm where the trapped hens perished in the worst manner any living being can endure.
It is shocking that animals are worth less to huge Ag than the cost of a sprinkler system, even though they end up burning to death. But, in line with Fire Prevention Contractor magazine, huge Ag’s cost objections aren’t even accurate. “In truth, the existing water supply system serving the animals at any farm could double as a sprinkler system just by adding heat-sensitive sprinkler heads. No more water would be necessary than the water previously in the supply lines,” it writes.
6. Ag-Gag Laws
How do we know about these and other unethical practices on factory farms? Reporters, whistleblowers and undercover humane investigators say us. That is why huge Ag has rolled out “Ag-Gag” laws which criminalize photographing farm practices, even by workers, and being hired under fake pretenses. Killing the messenger in preference to cleaning up farm operations can be a transparent ruse to continue economical meat production, but it is working.
When Idaho lawmakers were confronted with grotesque undercover video from Bettencourt Dairies Dry Creek Dairy in Hansen, Idaho showing employees beating trapped cows and dragging a cow by a chain, they had a swift response: a law criminalizing videotaping of farms.
Needless to mention, Animal Facility Interference laws, proposed or enacted in about a dozen states, are about liberty of speech and the First Amendment as much as animal welfare. “Extreme versions of ag-gag would make it unlawful for me to write about it [farm abuse], or at least publish pics,” wrote New York Times columnist Mark Bittman in a piece titled “Banned from the Barn.”
John P. Kibbie, a state senator from Emmetsburg and president of the Iowa State Senate tells the costs “make producers feel more comfortable.” Yes, at the same time they say food buyers how their food is made is none of our business.