90% of broiler chickens are unable to walk properly due to the weight of their bodies.
Before you write me off as another PETA loving advocate consuming bark for my daily caloric intake. I’d stop and ask you this. Do you really know whats in the food you are buying?
I’ll be honest I hate the stigma attached to those who choose a vegetarian lifestyle. Insert image of a long haired hippie, barefoot, munching on plants fresh from the garden rocking a Meat is Murder shirt. The truth is that’s just false a perception of those who are aware of the dangers associated with factory farmed meat. It seems the people in my circle all have the same response, “my husband would never go for a meatless meal.” Or another response “I only buy free range organic meat.” But is it really organic? An organic label can be slapped on anything. Have you visited the farms where you purchase you meat products? Have you seen the conditions of the animals?
Eating meat produced from factory farming does have it’s health concerns for both the farm animals as well as consumers.
But we have been consuming meat products for thousands of years.
Yes. Animals have been farmed for thousands of years, but the way that we house, feed, reproduce, and care for these animals has dramatically changed over the years.
Let’s talk Over Consumption.
The English Oxford Living Dictionary defines over consumption as The action or fact of consuming something to excess.
Over consumption leads to an increase on demands, an increase on demands pushes farms to require mass production.
The rise of factory farming has driven farmers to raise animals in barbaric and cruel conditions. Raised in tight spaces, physically mutilated to prevent injuries from cramped spaces, pumped full of antibiotics, limited to no sunlight, these animals are sick, and we are making ourselves sick by consuming these products. In order to maximize production at minimal cost we’ve allowed our farming industry to wreak havoc on the environment. And no I’m not talking about cow farts.
Let me ask you this. If you stumbled upon a sick and injured animal on the side of the road. Would you consume it?
I think most would agree that no, who knows what sort of ailments the animal has. Consuming something sick would in fact seem like asking for some serious health concerns.
Yet we flock to Walmart, Safeway, Raley’s and purchase meat in mass quantities. How many chickens did it take to provide you with the 10 pack of drumsticks? Having slaughtered our own Roosters I can assure you that the meat we purchase from the store far exceeds the amount of meat raised naturally.
When we processed King Mabel I remember my surprise at the small drumsticks we received from him. A drumstick from a free range, naturally raised chicken is noticeably smaller than those raised from factory farms. We as consumers are the ones to blame for over consumption. Factory farms are to blame for the inhumane conditions in which our meat is raised.
Let’s talk facts.
- 80% of factory farmed pigs have pneumonia upon slaughter.
- Chickens in factory farms live in spaces smaller than your Chromebook.
- Dairy cows are slaughtered after 2 to 3 lactation cycles. When the natural lifespan is 20-25 years.
- Forced Molting, hens are forced into darkness in cramped spaces for days for the end result of more egg production.
- Animal Mutilation to prevent problems with cramped corridors. Chickens beaks are cut to prevent pecking from the stress of confined spaces. Piglets at only a few weeks old have their testicles, teeth clipped, and tails cut off without anesthetic.
- We are eating sad, stressed out animals.
The harsh reality is we are consuming animal products in mass quantities from mistreated animals.
You are what you eat.
Since eliminating many animal products from my diet aside from those raised on our own farm, or local farms I’ve noticed a decrease in hormonal issues, acne, upset stomach, and and anxiety.
Which brings me to my next concern of antibiotics in the food we eat.
Why do factory raised animals even need antibiotics?
- Antibiotics help farm animals grow faster on less food.
- Antibiotics help animals gain weight more quickly.
In 2011, it was reported by Food Safety News that animal agriculture consumes 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States. Four out of five antibiotics sold in the United States were given to the animals we consume.
Have I got you thinking?
Are you a Never Vegan? I am in no way suggesting we all go vegan. I am encouraging you to look at your own own dinner table and decide how you can make changes.
I hope reading this you feel encouraged to look at your own plate.
I will tell you this, there is nothing wrong with humanely raised animals for our consumption. There is everything wrong with factory farming.
What Can Do
- Buy locally raised meat products.
- Raise you own animals depending on your living space
- Include meatless meals a few times a week.
- Eat more plant based foods.
I challenge you to try a meatless meal this week. Why not start tonight?