We wanted to find out if the meat that we eat is actually safe for us to consume. We wanted to also research what they feed the animals, the antibiotics they use, and how it is raised. We believe that the way the cattle are treated before they are slaughtered is the main reason the meat is contaminated in the first place. The uncleanliness of the meat processing factories is another reason that we believe that people are getting sick from the meat. We used various websites, such as Elibrary, and the Food Inc website to find information. We also used various news articles, magazines, books, and notes that we have taken on this topic in class. This lead us to believe that meat produced in CAFO’s (concentrated animal feeding operations) is unhealthy and raised poorly, which can result in making the consumer sick.
The meat that is processed in large companies is full of antibiotics, added hormones, feed additives, flavor enhancers, age-delaying gases and salt-water solutions. The cows are supposed to be fed strictly grass, but big factories feed them hay and grain, so that they get fatter faster. When cows eat hay they increase the risk of bacterial contamination and experts believe that E. coli evolved in cattle, from their high-grain diets. With all of the antibiotics that are added to the cows system makes the beef more contaminated and unhealthier. Those antibiotics do not go away, they stay with the meat. Some can even last through a thorough cooking. Most grounded meat that would be bought at a store, isn’t just one cow, the meat could not even be from the same slaughterhouse. Slaughterhouses grind up all different parts and types of cows into one big blend. A package of meat can say “Angus Beef” but it could be made up of different parts of the cow that had come in contact with feces. That little contact with feces can contaminate the whole batch of grounded beef with E-coli.
The Slaughter houses that process our meat are in such bad shape that the government doesn’t try the hardest to help out. In an article, Ground Beef is Unhealthy and Contaminated, Toni Brayer states “We have learned that we cannot count on the government to protect our finances and we should not count on the government to protect our food.” The government has attempted to keep slaughter houses clean but that had been a fail because the government did not do anything after they searched the slaughter house. There are better places to get your meat, Jo Robinson, in What you need to know about the beef you are eating states “you can find beef from cattle that were not fed filth, pumped up with hormones or treated with unnecessary antibiotics. And you can make sure it’s good and fresh. Better choices are beginning to pop up in natural and specialty grocery stores, on the Internet and in a growing number of traditional supermarkets.” Getting your food locally is the best way to go. The food is fresher and can be called “fresh”. In most large meat packing industries, the meat is packaged in airtight bags and injected with gases to delay the normal aging process. In the end the local meat markets are the safest and healthiest way to go if buying meat. The large factories contaminate the meat so much that is could be very harmful to the health of the consumers.
“There’s nothing to support about a practice that causes cows, pigs, and chickens to suffer in inhumane conditions that have an impact on the health of the animals, humans, and the environment—and does not even result in truly cheap food.” This is what Hal Sparks has to say in Factory Farming is No Joke for Hal Sparks. The meat that these factory farms are producing is terrible for human consumption, one of the main reasons for that is the way that they are raised. The farm animals that are raised in U.S. factory farms are kept in terrible conditions. They are kept in small cages, disgustingly dirty feed lots, or jam packed sheds. In these conditions they cannot move, nor lie down. Lots of animals get sick in these conditions despite the antibiotics that they are all given when they live in these heartbreaking nasty conditions. They are fed specific drugs to fatten them up faster. Of course all these drugs are not at all good for humans either. Sometimes because they have so much weight on them and can’t lie down they become crippled and collapse under their feet and they even die. These poor animals rarely if ever get to see sunlight or have the ideal scenes of being in a pasture much less breath in fresh air and the usual farm life, that is a fantasy that is long lost now.
The nasty conditions in these factory farms lead the animals to get many illnesses, as you could imagine. But, they are still slaughtered. A statistic from farmsancuary.org under the article Urge the USDA to Protect Downed Pigs and Other Animals states that “Thousands of pigs, goats and sheep become downed at U.S. slaughterhouses each year.” The animals being raised are abused by the workers there which cause some of these problems. These animals are still slaughtered and produced for human consumption. Which is rather disturbing to know and completely cruel to the animal. Although a recent law has just been passed for cattle to prevent that from happening that is only one species being protected from this terrible thing. In an article titled Factory Farming: Cruelty to Animals it makes a statement about how the factories try to produce more for little amounts of money. ” The factory farming industry strives to maximize output while minimizing costs—always at the animals’ expense.” This is a sad statement because it is true. But, another thing is while maximizing output and minimizing input you are bringing the product produced down to a lower level. The way that the animals are raised is very disturbing and sad. And, to think that consumers are buying and eating this? That’s terrible; imagine how bad they would feel after finding out how they are raised. Not only that, but there are health risks because these animals are not near healthy since they are brought up in the worst of conditions. Overall this is just upsetting and disturbing to find out all of this.
Before factories were created in 1960, many cattle were raised on different farms around the country. Back then, this meat was free of antibiotics, added hormones, feed additives, flavor enhances, age-delaying gases and salt-water solutions. Mad cow disease and E. coli did not exist then. But today, in all of the meat we eat, it can affect our health in a big way. Eating processed meat can cause heart disease and diabetes in many human beings. Also, taking cattle of the grass and feeding them on grain and byproducts decreases the nutritional value of the meat. One of the most frightening meat diseases in history is mad cow disease. Abnormal proteins called prions could survive the horrible disease of mad cow. Until 1997, most of the cattle in the United States and Europe were fed blood, meat and bones from other cattle. The meat and bones were left from other slaughtering processes. If just one infected cow is ground into hamburger and mixed with other meat, then all of that meat would be infected with those infections. After the disease of mad cow got out of control, the FDA put a stop to feeding cattle other animals such as sheep, deer, and goats. They also removed types of meat tissue such as small intestines, spinal cords, brain and nervous tissues that could also cause mad cow disease. Meat industries now use a process called Advanced Meat Recovery which strips every meat from the bones. The Food Safety and Inspection Service now has many regulations about what part of the animal can be stripped, but it is not risk free. According to Jo Robinson in What You Need to Know about the Beef You Eat, he states, “The beef industry and government regulators go to great lengths to assure the public of the safety of the U.S. beef supply. We are told that the meat is inexpensive, safe and abundant.” But that’s not the case when many people are getting affected by diseases such as mad cow and E. coli. We has humans need to know what goes into our meat and how it can be unsafe for us. This is why families take extra precaution while cleaning meat or where the meat is purchased from.
This research project really opened are eyes to the truth about CAFO’s. They are dangerous to humans and the animals. It is not fair the way they treat the animals and not to mention they way that the animals are raised, and what they put in them is dangerous to humans. There are a lot of risks and we need to stop these companies from doing these horrible things to animals and people. In conclusion we believe that the meat produced in CAFO’s is unhealthy and raised poorly which can result in making the consumer sick.
The first graph represents how many people think that the meat they are eating is safe. We surveyed our 6th hour english class of 17 people that were there that day. The second graph represents the amount of people that know where their meat is coming from such as slaughterhouses vs. organic farming. We surveyedour 6th hour English class of 19 people that were there that day.
“Ground Beef Is Unhealthy and Contaminated.” Everything Health. Web. 15 Mar. 2011. http://healthwise-everythinghealth.blogspot.com/2010/03/ground-beef-is-unhealthy-and.html
Robinson, Jo. “What You Need to Know about the Beef You Are Eating.” ELibrary.com. 1 Feb. 2008. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. <http://elibrary.bigchalk.com/elibweb/elib/do/document?set=search&dictionaryClick=&secondaryNav=&groupid=1&requestid=lib_standard&resultid=7&edition=&ts=D5471E6140554DFFA67A17B2D3C92431_1299785749843&start=1&publicationId=&urn=urn%3Abigchalk%3AUS%3BBCLib%3Bdocument%3B148882613>.
“Factory Farming: Cruelty to Animals | PETA.org.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): The Animal Rights Organization | PETA.org. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming.aspx.
“Get Involved | Farm Sanctuary.” Farm Sanctuary | Watkins Glen, NY. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. http://www.farmsanctuary.org/get_involved/alert_USDA_downed_animal_protection.html.
“Force-Fed Animals : The Humane Society of the United States.” The Humane Society of the United States : The Humane Society of the United States. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/force_fed_animals/.
“How Humans Are Not Physically Created to Eat Meat.” Natural Medicine Cures Remedies Herbs and Service. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. http://www.celestialhealing.net/physicalveg3.htm.
-In this wedsite you will find that humans are more like herbivores and not ment to get meat.
“Eating Meat Is Bad for You.” Vernon Coleman – International Bestselling Novelist and Campaigning Author. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. http://www.vernoncoleman.com/eatingfor.htm.
-In this website you will find out how eating meat can affect your health.
-In this website you will find a video related to force fed ducks and how humans consume their diseased livers.
-In this website you will find a video realated to the issues of downed animals.