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FOOD FOR THOUGHT - This Is What Your Meat Eats


Business  (tags: marketing, abuse, business, consumers, corporate, corruption, cover-up, dishonesty, economy, environment, ethics, farming, humans, wal-mart, world, meat, CAFO, Factory Farming, Animals, Animal Abuse, Veg, Vegetarian, Vegan, Compassion, Nutrition )

Syd
- 177 days ago - huffingtonpost.com
When you bite into a juicy hamburger or a lovely steak, it's easy to forget that piece of meat was once a living, breathing, hungry animal. It also needed nutrients to survive. While we all want to think that our meat eats according to nature, this is...



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Syd H. (48)
Monday April 7, 2014, 2:46 am

When you bite into a juicy hamburger or a lovely steak, it's easy to forget that piece of meat was once a living, breathing, hungry animal. It also needed nutrients to survive. And while we all want to think that our meat eats according to nature, this is becoming less and less common. Livestock that live in CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) are nourished very differently -- and sometimes even dangerously.

Have you ever thought about what your meat eats? Read on to learn about the ingredients fed to most farm animals being raised today.


1 Corn. Lots And Lots Of Corn.

In 2011, 84 million acres of corn were harvested in the U.S. According to the National Corn Growers Association, 80 percent of this corn goes straight into the bellies of domestic and overseas livestock and other animals.

Although cows and other ruminants are naturally disposed to eating grass, corn is filling and significantly cheaper, allowing farmers to fatten up the meat more efficiently. Just as we humans suffer from a host of food-related ailments when we eat things that aren't healthy for us, this practice opens animals up to a number of diseases and other health issues.

2 Soy

Second only to corn as the most planted crop in America, 73.8 million acres of soybeans were harvested in the U.S. in 2011. Over 30 million tons of the crop is fed annually to livestock. In fact, soybeans are the largest protein source fed to animals worldwide.

3 Themselves

Bringing a whole new level of discomfort to the term "you are what you eat," animal feed is legally allowed to contain certain amounts of the animal it is being fed to. Yes, that means sometimes there is dead pig meat and bones in pig feed and ground up chicken in the feed given to chickens. While cattle parts were outlawed from animal feed more than a decade ago thanks to Mad Cow disease, these bits have found their way back into the food system through other unsavory means, such as the next entry on this list.

4 Manure And Animal Waste

One component of some animal feeds is something called "poultry litter" -- basically, the waste and spilled feed that is swept up from the floor of barns that house chickens. While some researchers argue that this is a cheap and relatively safe method of protein consumption for the animals, these feces can be breeding grounds for infectious bacteria, like the aforementioned Mad Cow Disease, and other germs. (Which is just one reason the next ingredient is considered "necessary" by some.)

5 Antibiotics

Thirty million pounds of antibiotics were given to U.S. livestock in 2011. While some of that was used to treat and heal sick animals, the majority was given to them in low levels in their feed in an effort to speed up growth and keep any natural infections at bay. While that may seem like a preventative measure, pumping animals with antibiotics could actually expose them (and us) to highly dangerous superbugs that cannot be exterminated with these drugs.

6 Feathers, Hair And Blood

Another component of poultry litter is the animal parts that are either cast off or left behind after an animal dies. This includes things like hair, feathers, blood and hooves. Sometimes, animals are even fed roadkill.

7 Fish Meal

Fishmeal is a byproduct (read: ground up bones and offal) of small fish such as anchovies, menhaden, and more. While it may seem pretty harmless to be serving fish to livestock, keep in mind that ruminants do not naturally eat meats. They are also excused from the seafood advisories put on humans, meaning your meat might be eating the infectious, dirty fish that cannot legally make it onto your plate. In addition, farming for fishmeal has led to significant issues in the global fishing industry, such as depleting resources for the bigger fish, like salmon.

8 Candy?

Although this is not a common practice, some farmers took to feeding animals candy in response to rising corn prices in the U.S. "It has been a practice going on for decades and is a very good way to for producers to reduce feed cost, and to provide less expensive food for consumers," livestock nutritionist Ki Fanning told CNN Money (apparently with a straight face).
 

David F. (14)
Monday April 7, 2014, 3:31 am
not MY meat.

How do YOU like YOUR Meat?
 

Brenda P. (134)
Monday April 7, 2014, 3:50 am
Yuck that was a disgusting read!!!!!!!! They should not be able to get away with that.
 

Sylvie A. (138)
Monday April 7, 2014, 3:50 am
Je suis végétarienne (et c'est bien mieux pour moi et pour les animaux).
 

Syd H. (48)
Monday April 7, 2014, 3:52 am

Maybe not your meat David F but we really are the 99% because the same percentage of animals raised for consumption are raised in such conditions (and worse) as outlined above. Over 10 billion each year in the US alone. 124,000 land creatures are slaughtered each and every second, 60 times each and every minute, and 60 times that for each and every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days each and every year with 2 to 4 times that amount of marine life. The world is just not big enough to raise the same amount even in this way but certainly not in better ways.

Which is a big reason why there is no "YOUR Meat" for me.

 

Ben Oscarsito (326)
Monday April 7, 2014, 4:59 am
A few reasons why I went vegetarian 39 years ago...
 

Natasha Salgado (531)
Monday April 7, 2014, 6:57 am
Poor animals--totally disgusting. Glad to be a Vegan. Thx Syd
 

Barbara D. (76)
Monday April 7, 2014, 1:45 pm
My cows eat bermuda, rye, alfalfa, clover, timothy, and orchard grass either at pasture in the summer or as hay in winter. Yes, we use poultry litter...Duh!...it's cleaned and sterilized! Yes, they're also fed corn and grain...there's no reason not to if it supplements grass-feed.
Of course raising commercial cattle this way isn't feasible, not with the current demand of an overpopulated world that consumes WAAAAAAY too much meat to be healthy.
 

Barbara D. (76)
Monday April 7, 2014, 1:50 pm
PS, farmers don't feed cattle corn and grain to fatten them up for profit. It ain't cheap!! Most of us have to grow our own.
The cows are fed corn/grains to produce a tender, tasty, well-marbled product ~ what the consumers demand!
 

Birgit W. (145)
Monday April 7, 2014, 2:18 pm
Animals have to be treated with respect. Our old farmers fed them well, and took good care of them, just like Barbara D. mentions.
 

Judy Davey (14)
Monday April 7, 2014, 2:39 pm
Ewwww.... So glad I no longer eat meat! Gross! I wish I had stopped consuming meat even sooner.
 

Roger Garin-michaud (63)
Monday April 7, 2014, 3:08 pm
A few reasons why I went vegetarian 38 years ago...
noted, thanks
 

Nelson Baker (0)
Monday April 7, 2014, 3:26 pm
I wonder if corruption of federal agencies is why this is happening.
 

Barbara D. (76)
Monday April 7, 2014, 3:33 pm
Nelson, I would think it has more to do with what the obese, gluttonous consumers demand!
 

Jonathan Harper (0)
Monday April 7, 2014, 3:39 pm
Noted
 

marie c. (168)
Monday April 7, 2014, 4:08 pm
Noted thank you
 

Julie W. (21)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 3:36 am
By meat, I gather from this that you mean beef. I don't think lamb or pork (pigs have their own problems) are fed this way.
 

Ruth S. (304)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 5:46 am
To me animals are friends not food!
 

Inge Bjorkman (142)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 8:08 am
This Is Why You Sould Not Eat Meat

Love Animals
 

Syd H. (48)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 8:11 am

Hi Julie, I didn't write this but it does seem to encompass several species as outlined in this section I will repeat here:

~~
"3 Themselves

Bringing a whole new level of discomfort to the term "you are what you eat," animal feed is legally allowed to contain certain amounts of the animal it is being fed to. Yes, that means sometimes there is dead pig meat and bones in pig feed and ground up chicken in the feed given to chickens. While cattle parts were outlawed from animal feed more than a decade ago thanks to Mad Cow disease, these bits have found their way back into the food system through other unsavory means, such as the next entry on this list."
~~

And here's a post on lamb (and not from a PETA type either...); turns out lambs are intensely feedlotted as well:
http://www.honestmeat.com/honest_meat/2008/11/the-real-dirt-on-lamb.html

~~
"I was naively under the impression that most lamb was grassfed, being that it grows fairly quickly (8-10 months) and can thrive on even marginal rangeland. To my surprise, I found out that over half of American lamb is actually confined and fed grain and hay for the last 2-3 months of their lives. What about all that fabulous grassfed lamb coming from New Zealand and Australia? Turns out that our friends down under have had some poor grass years and are turning to grain finishing their lamb as well. It is estimated that approximately 10% of lambs in Australia are completely lot fed, while around 50% or more are now receiving grain finishing or supplementary feeding (According to the Sheep Meat Council of Australia).

Some friends and I conducted an informal taste test of grain finished Australian rack of lamb, purchased at Costco for $10.99/lb. and the grassfed American rack of lamb, which we retail for $21/lb. The grain finished lamb had a thicker layer of mostly inedible fat, there was more meat on the rack, yet the taste and consistency were quite different. There were larger pore spaces in the meat, making it actually feel mushy on the tongue. The grassfed lamb had less fat that was actually soft enough to eat (not gristly)..."
~~



Further, here is a piece on Factory raised lamb (and this is nearly 20 years ago so it's no doubt much worse by now):

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/revealed-the-lambs-raised-in-factories-1568039.html

~~
"Farmers, eager to get good prices after the abolition three years ago of an EU subsidy for each slaughtered lamb, are increasingly turning to melatonin, because the winter lambs it enables ewes to produce can be slaughtered in the spring, when the price of lamb is higher and British sources are scarce.

The method is widespread in the Netherlands and Australia. Such British retailers as J Sainsbury are already buying lamb produced in this way.

But campaigners say it is cruel and leads to factory-farming. "We are not talking about some of the farmers who bring sheep into barns to lamb in bad weather, we are talking about intensively reared lambs fed on pellets in a creep [a wooden stall], " said a spokesman for the group Animal Rescue, which is leading the new campaign. "Our concern is that lambs are going the same way as veal.""


""The fact that you can force ewes to have three breeding cycles in two years means that they are becoming production units on a factory bench," he said."
~~



And a little more, this time from PETA:
http://www.peta.org.au/issue/the-truth-about-sheep-used-for-food/

"More than 30 million sheep are slaughtered for their flesh each year in Australia, and approximately 20 million of those killed are lambs. These defenceless animals are crammed onto trucks and transported for up to 48 hours with no access to food or water. A study published by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found that up to 50 per cent of lambs suffer from dehydration by the time they arrive at the abattoir.

A single abattoir kills thousands of sheep and lambs every day. Their final moments are spent surrounded by the smells of blood and faeces and the screams of their companions. The average Australian will consume the equivalent of 90 sheep in his or her lifetime.

Every year, millions of sheep used for meat – as well as sheep whose wool production has decreased – are loaded onto severely crowded, multi-level cargo ships to endure live export to the Middle East or North Africa. The voyage can last weeks, and the sheep can be exposed to a variety of extreme weather conditions.

During live transport, many sheep fall ill or starve to death because they are not used to the pellet food provided on board. Lame sheep are trampled, unable to lift their heads from the faeces-laden floors. The crowded conditions and heat stress contribute to outbreaks of diseases such as conjunctivitis (“pink eye”) and salmonellosis."

 

Syd H. (48)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 8:44 am

Thank you Barbara for your reasoned comments here. I think even you are saying that the way you raise your animals is an exception which is put at about 1% in the US these days.

But I think the idea that consumers demand the corn-fed meat is a myth and/or propaganda put out by the industry and the USDA to give acceptance to what they were/are going to do anyway (there is little value in a diamond other than the propaganda that says it is forever, that is is "love" and should be part of traditional unions):

http://www.ww1propaganda.com/ww1-poster/corn-saved-pilgrims-and-fed-our-pioneers-corn-will-help-us-feed-world-eat-more-corn

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123752

I know when I did eat meat I was not enjoying it and wondered why I had liked it years before. Then I had some that was not feed-lot sourced and it was what I had remembered. Much better flavor and texture, all across the board.


From another site:
http://foodrevolution.org/blog/the-truth-about-grassfed-beef/

~~
"Many of us think of “corn-fed” beef as nutritionally superior, but it isn’t. A cornfed cow does develop well-marbled flesh, but this is simply saturated fat that can’t be trimmed off. Grassfed meat, on the other hand, is lower both in overall fat and in artery-clogging saturated fat. A sirloin steak from a grainfed feedlot steer has more than double the total fat of a similar cut from a grassfed steer. In its less-than-infinite wisdom, however, the USDA continues to grade beef in a way that rewards marbling with intra-muscular fat."
~~

So much like expensive wine, we are being told what we *should* like :(
http://www.salon.com/2012/09/30/stop_buying_expensive_wine/

 

Sylvie Bermannova (39)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 12:48 pm
Noted.

It would just seem that "what your 'meat' [sic] eats" is a nonsensical statement, as in truth it cannot be "meat" {i.e., part of a dead being} but "an animal" {i.e., a living being} who eats, or does anything for that matter. It's similar to referring to cows grazing in the field as "beef", etc. I see this as more than mere hair-splitting, since it's suggestive of living beings being degraded to nothing but food in the eyes of many, even when they are still alive! And to this, I must object, believing that all living creatures, regardless of species, deserve more of our love and respect. How sad to see that often it's not the case.










 

Sergio Padilla (62)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 12:50 pm
Thanks
 

Syd H. (48)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 2:09 pm

I get what you are saying Sylvie but in this case I think it gives the animals more respect in that so many people do not think of their meat as being living beings before it gets wrapped on the styrofoam tray. We have become so divorced from where our food comes from. That "meat" eats means it had life, but what kind of life was it? Clearly given what they are fed it was likely not a pleasant life.

Personally I think everyone should have to work a few weeks in all stages of food production but especially in regards to animal products so we would appreciate what we consume so much more, as well as be more aware of what we are putting in our bodies. Nothing really is more intimate, or happens more often.

 

Jonathan Harper (0)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 3:03 pm
Noted
 

Kathleen R. (138)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 5:24 pm
Read & noted. Glad to be vegan. Sad animals are treated this way.
 

Amy Belau (0)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 7:16 pm
Really? Candy? Gosh, how surprising.
 

Panchali Yapa (13)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 6:36 am
Thank you
 

Melania Padilla (179)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 8:51 am
I´ve read books about this, it is really disgusting (not to mention the horrible abuses animals go through). I hate factory farms, they are not the answer to feed so many people!
 

Kamia T. (67)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 1:14 pm
The beef I consume are raised next door on lush pastures where they are allowed to live out their lives humanely until slaughter. So are the chickens. However, Barbara D is right. This takes more time, more money and costs the consumer more, and those people looking for cheap meat will get what they pay for.
 

Jonathan Harper (0)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 2:51 pm
Noted
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 3:23 pm
I didn't read the article & I am not planning to, but I just want to point out that the title is very rude! Calling animals "meat" is very disrespectful. Doing it to get people's attention is not an excuse... You probably are not the original writer & only posted it here, but you could have named this article otherwise. :(
 

Syd H. (48)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 10:27 pm

Hmmm Rim, you obviously did not read the article, nor the comments which seems a bit rude itself as you missed the point, just to accuse me of something you did. Further to that you have used your butterfly credits to raise "meat" as that's what those farm animals humanely raised are for, not to be companions, or education but subsidized meat, by you and others here who choose that.

But I suppose also to that idea of getting people's attention that you then think animals should suffer silently as any opportunity to expose how poorly they are treated is just posturing for attention?
 

Syd H. (48)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 11:04 pm

However, playing semantics with word games to pussyfoot around the reality does not change what is done to animals as though it doesn't happen. It's just closing your eyes and covering your ears to what they are put through. In fact, it just makes it easier to treat them with impunity. Witness the recent ag/gag laws.
http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/tag/ag-gag/

So go ahead, treat me as your enemy while being blind to the truth.

But as with any abuse, it doesn't stop until people start talking about it.


~~
"Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission, to be of service to them whenever they require it."
- St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

 

Beverley Jeffs (18)
Thursday April 10, 2014, 2:11 am
I suppose knowing how so many humans treat their animals this shouldn't have been a surprise.. Wonderful information there Syd. H. thanks for the effort youve put into it!!
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 10, 2014, 8:09 am
To Syd – Thank you for your interest in my opinion. I read throughout your comment & took the time to reply to each paragraph:


1- « Hmmm Rim, you obviously did not read the article, nor the comments which seems a bit rude itself as you missed the point, just to accuse me of something you did. Further to that you have used your butterfly credits to raise "meat" as that's what those farm animals humanely raised are for, not to be companions, or education but subsidized meat, by you and others here who choose that. »

I did say that I did not read the article, so no need to point that out again. However, I did a quick scan of it & realized, from the pictures & titles, that I knew all that information already – so I decided not to read it as I’m trying to spear my heart further breakage & stay away from that dark place I’m been trying so hard to get out of. I am very sorry if my behaviour turned out to be rude; it really was not my intention & I apologize.
About my butterfly credits – Did it ever occur to you that I had no idea those poor animals were raised for meat?! I found out about that while reading your comment! I am still shocked as I thought those poor souls were saved & being taken care of in sanctuaries… I’m very disappointed. I guess I can’t escape being heartbroken. Still, thank you for letting me know as I’d rather not stay ignorant to such a fact. On another note, don’t you think an animal having a good life then dying is less cruel than being tortured daily then killed? I love animals too much & anything that could spear them some pain is something I wouldn’t hesitate to do. Do you suggest I stop? I really don’t know what to do in such a case… Can anyone enlighten me on this matter? What do you do when you can only ease someone’s pain & can’t save them from being murdered? This is a confusing situation; It just goes to show us the hypocrisy of humanity again.


2- « But I suppose also to that idea of getting people's attention that you then think animals should suffer silently as any opportunity to expose how poorly they are treated is just posturing for attention? »

You don’t know me. You have no idea how much I have turned my life around for this cause: saving Animals. It’s very sad that we live in a world where people go ahead & make such hideous assumptions about someone they never met or even talked to! I would like for you to apologize just like I apologized for you about something I did unintentionally, when you completely meant to hurt my feelings. You insinuated that I am a hypocrite & basically called me an attention seeker! That’s very cruel & rude. You have no clue how much I love animals & live for the Animal Welfare cause. Did you know that I’m fighting depression & suicidal thoughts on a daily basis, that I stopped caring about this superficial human world & that the only reason I’m still here is to help save animals from this insanity? You have no idea how cruel your words are to me. You made me cry & it took me some time to get over it & decide to reply back. It’s not that I care what people think of me, believe me I really don’t, but this is a very sensitive topic in my book & I couldn’t help but feel very emotional. I am also not one to expose my personal life online to strangers, but you pushed me into doing it & I just hope I won’t regret it.
Back to our topic – I will absolutely support anyone trying to make people aware of the animal condition. But using ugly words & degrading comparisons by calling animals “meat” just to shock people & call their attention to an article is not a good thing because it helps anchor the concept in people’s minds that animals are just “meat”. You should probably read about N.L.P. to see where I’m coming from.


[Will be continued.]
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 10, 2014, 8:11 am
To Syd – [Continued.]


3- « However, playing semantics with word games to pussyfoot around the reality does not change what is done to animals as though it doesn't happen. It's just closing your eyes and covering your ears to what they are put through. In fact, it just makes it easier to treat them with impunity. Witness the recent ag/gag laws.
http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/tag/ag-gag/ »

I am not playing anything here, I am very serious. Words are scientifically proved to be very powerful & to stick in the subconscious mind. If we want to change the way people think about animals, one of the things we could do is fix our language when referring to animals. Examples: referring to them by the pronouns “she”, “he” (& “them” for neutral instead of “it”); not using their names as insults, such as “pig”, “bitch”, “dog”, “snake” & even “animal”… Believe me, I never meant that we should act as if nothing is happening to them! It’s really upsetting & funny at the same time because, everything you say, I completely agree with, but you’re treating me as if I’m against it! If you knew me in real life, you’d see how I’m always the one pointing out the cruelty whenever I can, how I’m always begging people not to turn their backs on animals, how I’m reminding people that animals are sentient beings who deserve to be respected (even more than humans, as far as I’m concerned, for they are kind-hearted & ethically superior for sure).


4- « So go ahead, treat me as your enemy while being blind to the truth.
But as with any abuse, it doesn't stop until people start talking about it.
~~
"Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission, to be of service to them whenever they require it."
- St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. »

We are definitely on the same page, Syd. I realize how this is just one big misunderstanding! You are not my enemy & I am not yours; we’re on the same side. We both love animals very much & want to help them as much as we can. We need to stick together! Can we be online friends?
 

Shawna S. (43)
Thursday April 10, 2014, 8:33 pm
You are what you eat.
Thanks Syd, for sharing :")
 

Robert O. (12)
Thursday April 10, 2014, 10:22 pm
What a revolting thought. Thanks Syd.
 

Franck R. (52)
Friday April 11, 2014, 12:03 am
Thanks for sharing
 

monka blank (77)
Friday April 11, 2014, 7:18 am
that's disgusting. You are what you eat.
 

Aaron Bouchard (130)
Friday April 11, 2014, 9:07 am
noted thanks
 

Thomas B. (1)
Friday April 11, 2014, 3:01 pm
Oh yeah? Well, plants eat poo!
 

Rhonda B. (100)
Saturday April 12, 2014, 5:36 am
Noted. Thank you.
 

Linda Kemp (0)
Saturday April 12, 2014, 8:52 am
disturbing info, thanks
 

Freya H. (307)
Saturday April 12, 2014, 8:20 pm
So glad I went vegetarian years ago!
 

Edgar Zuim (48)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 3:33 pm
The animals are not part of my food chain.
 
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