The High Cost of Cheap Meat

Publication: NaturalNews

Author: Sherry L. Ackerman, Ph.D.


03/15/2011 - When interviewed, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore responded to a question about whether every American was entitled to healthcare. His reply was, "We have to decide what kind of people we are." He was referring to our national character. Who are we? What kind of society do we want to become? Are we interested in creating a world that works for everyone . . . or one that only works for an elite few?

Americans' love affair with cheap stuff - all the way to education and airfares - has been one of the biggest roadblocks standing in the way of sustainability. In the same way that consumer culture has moved toward valuing profit over people, it has put profit before nature. The U.S. agricultural industry, for example, can now produce unlimited quantities of meat and grains at remarkably cheap prices. But it does so at a high cost to the environment, animals, and humans. Though Americans might like to imagine their food being produced the way their grandfathers did it, it's more likely that their burger began where 1,000 or more head of livestock were kept in overcrowded, unventilated, infected, and infested indoor feedlots, where they were fattened up for slaughter as fast as possible. Today's factory farms are large industrial facilities, a far cry from the green pastures and red barns that most Americans imagine. The animals in these facilities are not considered animals at all; they are food-producing machines. The problem is that animals aren't widgets with legs. They are living creatures and there are consequences to packing them in prison-like conditions.

Doesn't anyone ever wonder where all of that manure goes? To survive and grow in that much sludge, factory-farmed animals need antibiotics - which then leads, inevitably, to antibiotic resistant bacteria. "These antibiotics are not given to sick animals," says Representative Louise Slaughter, who is sponsoring a bill to limit antibiotic use on CAFOs. "It's a preventative measure because they are kept in pretty unspeakable conditions."

Read the article The High Cost of Cheap Meat in its entirety on the NaturalNews Web site.

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