Human Health Risks, Environmental Dangers and Cruelty to Animals
The meat, poultry, dairy and egg industries employ technological short cuts as drugs, hormones, and other chemicals to maximize production. Under these conditions, virulent pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics are emerging. These new "supergerms," whose evolution is traceable directly to the overuse of antibiotics in factory farming, have the potential to cause yet unknown human suffering and deaths.
Peculiar new diseases have been amplified by aberrant agribusiness practices. For example, "Mad Cow Disease" (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE), a fatal dementia affecting cattle, spread throughout Britain when dead cows were fed to living cows. When people ate cows with "Mad Cow Disease," they got Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), a fatal dementia that afflicts humans.
For the full report go to: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/health/
Why we need labels on all factory-farmed food.
BBy Ronnie Cummins, Director, Organic Consumers Association
Common Dreams, January 17, 2013
They're also ruining our health. A growing chorus of scientists and public health advocates warn that the intensive and reckless use of antibiotics and growth hormones leads to factory-farmed food that contains antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
How to Stop the Next Pandemic: End Factory Farming
By Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks, The Daily Take | Op-Ed Wednesday, 16 January 2013 14:01
Factory farms, according to Dr. Greger, are the, "perfect storm environments for the emergence and spread of these super-strains of influenza."
Food MythBusters -- Do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world?
Just released by Anna Lappé and it's the first in a new series that she's creating to bust the myths surrounding our food system. This video focuses on why we don't need industrial food production to feed the world.
Farmers Speak: Bust Up Big Ag
There are 2 million farmers and 300 million consumers in the US. Standing in between
are a handful of companies who control how food gets from one side to the other.
Inevitably, intensive animal agriculture depletes valuable natural resources. Forests, wetlands, and other natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats have been decimated and turned into crop and grazing land.
Waste produced by farm animals in the U.S. is more than 130 times greater than that produced by humans. Agricultural runoff has killed millions of fish, and is the main reason why 60% of America's rivers and streams are "impaired". In states with concentrated animal agriculture, the waterways have become rife with pfiesteria bacteria. In addition to killing fish, pfiesteria causes open sores, nausea, memory loss, fatigue and disorientation in humans. Even groundwater, which takes thousands of years to restore, is being contaminated. For example, the aquifer under the San Bernadino Dairy Preserve in southern California contains more nitrates and other pollutants than water coming from sewage treatment plants.
For the full report go to: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/environment/
A River of Waste
A heart-stopping new documentary, A RIVER OF WASTE exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry production. Some scientists have gone so far as to call the condemned current factory farm practices as "mini Chernobyls." In the U.S. and elsewhere, the meat and poultry industry is dominated by dangerous uses of arsenic, antibiotics, growth hormones and by the dumping of massive amounts of sewage in fragile waterways and environments. The film documents the vast catastrophic impact on the environment and public health as well as focuses on the individual lives damaged and destroyed.
Watch the full documentary
"Downed Animals" that is the term the meat and dairy industries use to refer to animals so sick, diseased or disabled, that they cannot even stand on their own. Under current law, most downed animals are still sent to slaughter for human food. (and may I add my own comment that they are dragged through their own and other cow manure on the way to slaughter.)
Following the discovery of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) also known as "mad cow disease" in Washington in 2003, the USDA took modest measures to curtail the slaughter of downed cattle for human consumption. While this was a step in the right direction, the regulation contains loopholes big enough for some cattle and all other farm animals to be dragged through. The law only includes some downed cattle (those who go "down" after arriving at the slaughterhouse may still be sent to the kill floor). Other animals who go "down" may be left to die, piled atop one another for hours or even days without food, water or veterinary care, are pushed, prodded or dragged onto the kill floor.
There is no indication, even with the most recent expose and the largest meat recall in history, that the industry will continue stop its abuse of "downed" animals.
For the full report go to: http://www.nodowners.org
Slaughterhouse Investigation from Kinship Circle
Sick animals make sick food, from mad cow disease to E. coli or Salmonella. But Kinship Circle already advocates a plant-based diet. We care because no dying animal should be rammed upright with tractors, forklifts and chains. Hauled, electro-shocked, water-hosed, pounded. So meat makers can eke about 30 dollars out of her tortured body. Kinship Circle will continue to push for a Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act that protects all disabled animals, calls for merciful euthanasia, and forbids violent means to move downed animals.
Full Report at: http://www.kinshipcircle.org/action_center/letter_new3.asp?LetterID=1973
Traditionally, all beef was grassfed beef, but we've turned that completely upside down. Now, thanks to our misguided policies, our beef supply is almost all feedlot beef.
It's not widely known, but E. coli 0157:H7 has only recently appeared on the scene. It was first identified in the 1980s, but now this pathogen can be found in the intestines of almost all feedlot cattle in the U.S. Even less widely recognized is that the practice of feeding corn and other grains to cattle has created the perfect conditions for forms of E. Coli and other microbes to come into being that can, and do, kill us. http://www.foodrevolution.org/blog/the-truth-about-grassfed-beef/.
Since the 1980s a series of mergers and acquisitions has resulted in concentrating over 80% of the 35 million beef cattle slaughtered annually in the U.S. into the hands of four huge corporations.
Today, after being weaned, cattle leave the farm or ranch for the feedlot to be fattened up for slaughter. Feedlots are virtual cattle cities, with up to 115,000 inhabitants crowded, barren and filthy.
The enormous weight gain that allows a calf to go from 80 pounds at birth to 1,200 pounds within 14 months is accomplished with the use of a grain diet, protein supplements, antibiotics and growth hormones.
Most beef cattle spend the last few months of their lives at feedlots, crowded by the thousands into dusty, manure-laden holding pens. The air is thick with harmful bacteria and particulate matter, and the animals are at a constant risk for respiratory disease. Feedlot cattle are routinely implanted with growth-promoting hormones, and they are fed unnaturally rich diets designed to fatten them quickly and profitably. Because cattle are biologically suited to eat a grass-based, high fiber diet, their concentrated feedlot rations contribute to metabolic disorders. For the full report go to: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/beef/
It is common for modern dairy cows to produce 100 pounds of milk a day - ten times more than they would produce naturally. As a result, the cows' bodies are under constant stress, and they are at risk for numerous health problems.
Approximately half of the country's dairy cows suffer from mastitis, a bacterial infection of their udders. Other diseases, such as Bovine Leukemia Virus, Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus, and Johne's disease (whose human counterpart is Crohn's disease) are also rampant on modern dairies.
Another dairy industry disease caused by intensive milk production is "Milk Fever." This ailment is caused by calcium deficiency, and it occurs when milk secretion depletes calcium faster than it can be replenished in the blood. For the full report go to: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/dairy/
Monsanto &Cancer Milk: FOX NEWS KILLS STORY & FIRES Reporters
FOX NEWS Reporters Steve Wilson & Jane Akre uncover that most of the Milk in the USA and across some parts of the world is unfit to drink due to Monsanto Corporation's POSILAC®, which has been proven to be a cancer-causing growth hormone.(known in short as "BGH" "BST" or "rBGH" ), but they were fired for attempting to inform people of the truth. After a long court battle, the Court dismissed the whistle blowers protection for the reporters because the Court stated that there was no law to force that the NEWS state the truth.
Nearly ten billion chickens and over a quarter billion turkeys are hatched in the U.S. annually. These birds are typically crowded by the thousands into huge, factory-like warehouses where they can barely move.
Today's "broiler" (meat) chickens have been genetically altered to grow twice as fast and twice as large as their ancestors. Pushed beyond their biological limits, hundreds of millions of chickens die every year before reaching slaughter weight at 6 weeks of age.
Confined in unsanitary, disease-ridden factory farms, the birds also frequently succumb to heat prostration, infectious diseases, and cancer.
Like meat-type chickens, commercial turkeys also suffer from serious physical malformations wrought by genetic manipulation. In addition to having been altered to grow quickly and unnaturally large, commercial turkeys have been genetically manipulated to have extremely large breasts, in order to meet consumer demand for breast meat. For the full report go to: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/poultry/
There are more than 280 million egg laying hens in the U.S. confined in battery cages small wire cages stacked in tiers and lined up in rows inside huge warehouses. In this tiny space, the birds cannot stretch their wings or legs, and they cannot fulfill normal behavioral patterns or social needs. Constantly rubbing against the wire cages, they suffer from severe feather loss, and their bodies are covered with bruises and abrasions.
Laying more than 250 eggs per year each, laying hens' bodies are severely taxed. They suffer from "fatty liver syndrome" when their liver cells, which work overtime to produce the fat and protein for egg yolks, accumulate extra fat.
After one year in egg production, the birds are classified as "spent hens"and are sent off to slaughter. Their brittle, calcium-depleted bones often shatter during handling or at the slaughterhouse. They usually end up in soups, pot pies, or similar low-grade chicken meat products in which their bodies can be shredded to hide the bruises from consumers. For the full report go to: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/eggs/
WHAT'S IN THAT PORK?
The January 2013 Consumer Reports article posited that low dose antibiotics used in pork feed may be "accelerating the growth of drug-resistant SUPERBUGS that threaten human health." Our analysis of pork-chop and ground-pork samples from around the U.S. found that yersinia enterocolitica, a bacterium that can cause fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, was widespread. Some samples harbored other potentially harmful bacteria, including salmonella. And there are more reasons to be concerned about "the other white meat."
Read the report:http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/pork0113.htm
Modern breeding sows are treated like piglet-making machines. Living a continuous cycle of impregnation and birth, each sow has more than 20 piglets per year. After being impregnated, the sows are confined in gestation crates - small metal pens just 2 feet wide that prevent sows from turning around or even lying down comfortably. At the end of their four-month pregnancies, they are transferred to similarly cramped farrowing crates to give birth. With barely enough room to stand up and lie down and no straw or other type of bedding to speak of, many suffer from sores on their shoulders and knees.
After the sows give birth and nurse their young for two to three weeks, the piglets are taken away to be fattened, and the sows are re-impregnated. When the sow is no longer deemed a productive breeder, she is sent to slaughter.
Poor air quality, extreme close-quarters confinement and unsanitary living conditions combine to make diseases such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), swine influenza virus (SIV) and salmonellosis a serious threat to animal welfare. In factory farms, they are forced to live in their own feces, urine and vomit and even amid the corpses of other pigs. For the full report go to: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/pork/
Over the latter half of the 20th century, wild catches have increased by approximately 500% to nearly 100 million tons per year.
As a result, wild fish populations have been decimated. In addition to fish who are caught by factory trawling vessels, other economically useless sea life are caught and killed in the nets. Called 'by-catch,' these animals including non-target fish, sea turtles, sea lions, and even dolphins are thrown back into the water dead or dying.
The quantity of farm-raised fish has doubled over the past decade and is "one of the fastest growing food producing sectors."
Raising fish in crowded, excrement-laden water necessitates the broad use of agrichemicals. An FDA Veterinarian article explains that fish farmers "use chemicals as disinfectants and to kill bacteria; herbicides to prevent the overgrowth of vegetation in ponds; vaccines to fight certain diseases; and drugs usually combined in the feed to treat diseases and parasites."
As described in Food Chemical News. When aquaculture operates in coastal estuaries, the chemicals and waste products it generates pollute and destroy vast expanses of valuable and increasingly rare estuaries every year. For the full report go to: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/fish/
Industrial food model and soy-based aquaculture a disaster for fish, environment.
Agribusiness behemoths including Monsanto and Cargill are set to cash in big from industrial fish farming or "aquaculture" as the soy industry spreads its reign to the seas, a new report from environmental and consumer watchdogs shows.
The new report, "Factory-Fed Fish: How the Soy Industry is Expanding Into the Sea" from Food& Water Watch and Food & Water Europe, shows how the use of soy as feed in aquaculture -- branded as "sustainable" -- is an environmental disaster, harming fish both wild and farmed as it pollutes the oceans and brings unknown effects to consumers eating the soy-fed fish.
Fish That It's OK To Eat:
GO to http://www.care2.com/causes/4-delicious-fish-that-its-ok-to-eat.html
One of them is Tilapia, make sure that you purchase tilapia that has been farmed in the US, where closed inland systems guard against escapes and pollution. Tilapia farmed in Central and South America is a good alternative, but never buy farmed tilapia from China and Taiwan, where pollution and weak management are widespread problems.
Over fishing of the Oceans
A public service announcement about how the oceans are being exploited. Over fishing must be stopped.
Every year, over 16 million pounds of fish are wasted.