Meet Your Meat & Dairy
The meat and dairy of today is not what the general public assumes it to be. In the United States, over 99% of the meat sold in stores and served at restaurants is "factory-farmed" meat. Thanks to many of the recent documentaries, movies, and criminal allegations against many of these factory farms, the public are now learning just how cruel and inhumane these institutions really are.
The factory farming practices in the US are illegal in many other countries such as Europe, Australia, and Japan, because they are considered deplorable and barbaric.
In today's industrial farming age, it is not just about whether or not we choose to unwittingly fund the cruel animal practices of factory farming. We also have to contend with a more frightening problem. As a result of the disease-promoting factory farming practices used today, eating this meat now carries health consequences from the ingestion of medicated additives such as antibiotics, steroids, and vaccines, as well as parasiticides and diseased/tumored animal tissue. 80% of the US supply of antibiotics is used in agriculture.(1) When we eat factory-farmed meat, we are also absorbing the same contaminants given to the animal which is a contributing factor to antibiotic resistance.
- The 7 dangers of eating factory-farmed meat & dairy
- If you eat meat, learn how to eat it responsibly
- The impact of irresponsible factory-farming practices
- Destructive fishing practices of the seafood industry
- Why you should avoid high-temperature meat cooking
|Do you purchase & eat meat from these sources?
If you do, then you have a responsibility to see just how much cruelty these animals suffer so that you can have a piece of meat they sell.
- Horrific & heartbreaking animal cruelty
- Pigs kicked, punched, & spiked like footballs
- Cows kicked, stabbed, and dragged
- Torture of pigs
- Abuse of mother pigs & piglets
- The rotten truth about Egg McMuffins
- Horrific abuse at Burger King dairy supplier
What Is Factory Farming
Factory farms are very large, industrial farms that raise animals for food. Animals are raised in such a manner where profit and efficiency is maximized at the expense of animal welfare.
- Animals are packed into spaces and cages so tight they can barely move, or even turn around.
- Most animals have no access to the outdoors.
- Animals are unable to engage in their natural behaviors.
- Many animals are kicked, punched, dragged along the floor, and tortured.
- Animals continually experience severe physical and mental distress.
- Animals are pumped continually with antibiotics to prevent disease from abusive and unsanitary conditions.
- Some animals are fed hormones.
- Animals are fed unnatural diets comprised of genetically modified ingredients.
Cows - the beef (and dairy) you eat:
- 40% of dairy cows are lame before they reach the slaughterhouse.
- More than 100,000 cows are unable to walk off the transport trucks each year.
- Dairy cows are impregnated annually to keep milk flowing, with calves removed immediately at birth.
- Baby calves are crammed into tiny feces-ridden crates where some die from neglect or abuse.
Pigs - the pork you eat:
- Tails are cut off, ears are cut short, and they are castrated... all without painkillers.
- Pigs who grow too slowly are slammed against concrete floors.
- Many cannot walk as their legs cannot hold up their drug-induced artificial bulk.
- Many who are unable to walk or are crippled, are beaten with gate rods to force them to move.
- Pigs can be packed so tightly together that their limbs snap.
- Some pigs are burned alive in a scalding tank used for hair removal. Tragically, 400,000 pigs arrive at slaughterhouses each year in this condition.
- 100,000 pigs arrive dead at slaughterhouses every year.
These are industry figures.
The actual numbers are much higher.
Cruel & Inhumane Farming Practices
Stories of the horrific animal abuse on factory farms throughout the US are finally reaching the American public through many different sources. I am a great believer that the vast majority of the American public genuinely has no desire for any animal to be inhumanely treated simply because they want to eat a piece of meat, but up until recently they have been so far removed from the reality of what the meat industry does that they have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.
Animal welfare organizations and whistle-blowers have uncovered horrific videos showing thousands of factory-farmed animals living in disgusting conditions, and who suffer many acts of horrific cruelty, sexual abuse, and torture such as being beaten and stabbed to death. Many animals are confined in areas so tiny that they cannot move. They self-mutilate and become destructive to themselves, unable to adapt to such cruel confinement.
Many people are unable to watch these videos - they are not only a shock to our system when we see them, but they are emotionally heartbreaking. Others do not pay attention and pretend the abuse is not happening. But it is. And these videos and pictures serve a purpose. They have the power to change how we look at the meat we eat.
In the 1950s, it took 14-16 weeks for a chicken to reach slaughter weight, and required 3.4 lbs. of feed for each pound of chicken meat. Today, it takes only 7 weeks and 1.92 lbs. of feed to yield the same pound of meat. What the meat industry calls "efficient" is achieved only through great cruelty to animals and at a risk to the health of the consumer. Because of growth hormones and their drug-induced bulk, many pigs are so overweight they are unable to walk to the slaughterhouse trucks.
Stop Contributing & Take Responsibility
If you eat meat that is not organic or pasture-raised in a healthy and human environment, you are a contributor to these cruel and inhumane factory-farming practices. If you buy factory-farmed meat (or eat it at restaurants), you are condoning and putting money towards horrific acts of animal cruelty on a mass scale. It is that simple, and it is not an ethically or morally responsible way to live.
Lying to yourself and wanting to remain ignorant of where your meat comes from, and how badly the animals are mistreated to get to your plate, does not change the facts and really is no longer an acceptable excuse. The proof is everywhere: News, websites, videos, petitions, and documentaries that serve to educate the public.
Do you really want an animal to needlessly suffer and live in deplorable conditions so that you can eat meat? For most of us, the answer is a resounding "of course not!" If that is really the case, then it is time to make a conscious decision to eat meat responsibly, and from organic sources. Better still, from local farms where you can see the humane conditions in which they are raised. Or if you are ready to experience the benefits of vegetarian living, then head over to the vegetarian section...
Make Your Choice About:
- Not supporting an industry that is both highly unethical and supports animal abuse.
- Understanding that the impact of mass factory farming is not environmentally sustainable.
- Understanding that if your meat is not organic or locally raised in human conditions, you put your health at risk.
- Understanding that the seafood industry is under a similar assault, and change your purchasing choices.
We can all decide to make a difference, and luckily, the holistic movement is rapidly gaining ground. Will you be a part of it? Or, will you continue to turn a blind eye and contribute to the animal abuse. The choice is yours to make. Whatever choice you make, please make it with very careful consideration. The only way we can make a change is by walking away from factory farmed meat or dairy.
Why More & More People are Walking Away From Meat
The decision to eat meat or not has become a big one. With the number of vegetarians and vegans steadily increasing throughout the US, the biggest motivating factor is not because they feel eating meat is unhealthy. For many vegetarians and vegans (especially pet and animal lovers), the inhumane treatment of factory-farmed animals is a powerful driving force.
When it comes to eating or not eating meat, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to health. I have seen people who are vegetarians become healthier by incorporating small amounts of organic meats in their diet when their body calls for it, and I have seen meat eaters become healthier by adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet. But when it comes to making a choice between sustainably and ethically raised meat vs. eating factory-farmed meat, there is only one answer. Eating meat in today's society means that we must begin to pay attention to health consequences, the health and welfare of the animals, and the health of our environment.
Due to factory-farmed meat being made available so cheaply, the average intake of meat for many people is significantly higher than 50 years ago, increasing chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Some people are choosing not to give up meat, but to cut back to much healthier quantities of 2-3 times a week.
- Why more & more people are saying no to meat
- Vegetarian & vegan living
- Vegetarian & vegan diets - doing it right
Educating the American Public
In 1987, John Robbins (of Baskin & Robbins Ice Cream) wrote a book called Diet For A New America which was also turned into a documentary on the severe environmental impact of factory farming in the US. The documentary shocked the American public into an examination of their conscience, with every viewer led to question their eating habits and face ethical questions that until now had been conveniently brushed under the rug.
The book and documentary started a revolution and set the stage for many others to follow it its footsteps. We are now much more aware of the moral, economic, and emotional price we pay for our meat eating habits. We are finally becoming aware that the steady increase in disease is caused by pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, additives, genetically modified organisms, and other chemicals now a routine part of our food, including our meat.
The global implications of our factory-farmed meat-based diet and the agricultural impact on the environment necessary to produce meat in such massive quantities is a major factor in this crisis. The pressure for cheap meat contributes to the problem. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch stated that for pig farmers to turn a profit, they must have at least 2,000 pigs. "There are now counties in North Carolina that produce more waste than New York City."
Slaughterhouse Byproducts From Animals
It may surprise you how many things around you contain some degree of slaughterhouse by-products:
- Personal care products: Soaps, shampoos (talo), cosmetics, toothbrushes, shaving cream, lubricants, face masks...
- Household products: Cleaners, plastics, candles, telephone membranes (beef gelatin)...
- Clothing: Textiles, leather (shoes, bags, clothing), shoe soles, buttons...
- Medicines: Medications, ointments...
- Building/Industrial materials: Plaster/asphalt binders, sandpaper, wallpaper, artist's brushes, oils, lubricants, glues...
- Transportation: Hydraulic brake fluid, oils...
- Non-meat foods: Marshmallows, gelatin/pudding, candies...
- Instruments: Piano keys, violin strings...
- Meet your meat - today's meat is not what you think it is
- 7 dangers of eating factory-farmed meat
- Eating meat responsibly
- The sordid seafood industry
- Environmental impact of factory farming
- Cooked meat & cancer
- Serious health dangers of pesticides in food
- Pesticides in our home and garden
- What GMOs are & why you should avoid them
- How cooking affects food
- Pasteurized vs. raw dairy
- The health benefits of raw dairy
- The FDA: Failure to protect our food on a mass scale
- Food pyramids & food politics