The media is all abuzz with contradictory rumors and statements after a case of mad-cow disease (or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE) was found this week in California. The beef industry assures there’s nothing to worry about. Understandably, consumers are confused.
Here is the first thing to bear in mind: mad-cow disease is the tip of a nasty iceberg called feeding-livestock-’rendered’-animal-wastes. These include slaughterhouse wastes, animals that died before slaughter, supermarkets and restaurants refuse, as well as waste from animal farms including manure and poultry litter.
Now, for a bit of scary truth: unless it is certified organic, pasture-raisedť, or grass-fed/grass-finishedť, the meat and milk that you buy at the supermarket or that you consume at restaurants come from animals that were fed such “animal proteins.” Yep, including these frozen burgers and corndogs at our kids’ schools. You don’t have to believe what I say. The Union of Concerned Scientists has all the facts on this dirty trick.
At any rate, it’s definitely something to think about when considering the advantages of a vegan diet. Or when deciding to buy direct from the local grass-rancher–even if that means reducing one’s consumption to make up for the price difference.