” The root of intellegence lays in the ability to make meaningful, conscious, connections – Please wake up world in all that you are supporting and come correct!” – Marina Love
The industrialization of food production has created large-scale Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), also called factory farms, that imprison animals in crowded, toxic environments that reduce labor costs and allow for lower prices of animal foods by relying on cheap fossil fuels and subsidies. To lower costs, the confined mammals, birds, and fish are bred for rapid weight gain and given steroid hormones to further shorten the timeline between birth and slaughter. Chickens, for example, are now killed when just 45 days old! ( compared with 84 days in the 1950’s) These hormones and growth promoters are illegal in Europe because research has shown they increase the risk for cancer and reproductive dysfunction in humans – yet they are approved and used on more than ninety percent of beef cattle.
The stress, stench, insects, feces, and urine buildup, insecticides, and overcrowding create ideal conditions for disease, and the antibiotics and the other drugs routinely administered also end up in the animals’ flesh, milk, and eggs. There is virtually no oversight on the drugs used on animals in factory farms. Research Gail Eisnitz writes:
“(U)ntrained workers, not veterinarians, administer drugs to sick animals, often by injection. According to one worker who administers medication, what drugs and dosages they use are a matter of “trial and error.”
“I’d use the same needle on a hundred pigs, till you couldn’t poke it in the skin anymore. Or till it broke. Then I’d have to get a pair of pliers and pull the needle out.” The residue of these drugs can wind up in the bacon next to consumer’s morning eggs.
For all these reasons, the animal foods in our supermarkets carry high levels of toxic contaminants and pathogens. Because of the wretched conditions in battery egg operations, for examples, over 650,000 North Americans are sickened every year by salmonella bacteria in eggs; salmonella contamination is found in seventy-two percent of slaughtered chickens. Campylobacter, which is the number 1 cause of gastroenteritis and is linked with Guillain-Barre syndrome, infects ninety-eight percent of store-bought chickens. Listeria is a particularly dangerous pathogen frequently found in cheese, eggs, shellfish, and meats, causing ninety-two percent of the people infected with it to be hospitalized. It is linked with brain damage and cerebral palsy in infants born to infected pregnant women. And E, coli sickens hundreds of hamburger eaters and kills several daily, according to conservative figures of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Like mad cow disease, this is due to the cruel and irresponsible practices that pervade factory farms, causing animals to arrive at slaughter plants diseased and covered in excrement.
The conditions in slaughter plants today guarantee even more toxic contamination in the meat we eat. Over the last twenty years, line speeds have been rapidly accelerating and USDA inspection and oversight has been diminishing; now with the passage of HAACP ( Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points) in 1996, the meat industry basically regulates and inspects itself. Eisnitz tells what workers in signed affidavits say about slaughterhouse production of the meat we eat:
“Every day I saw black, green chicken, chicken that stank, and chicken with feces on it. Chicken like this is supposed to be thrown away, but instead it would be sent down the line to be processed.” An employee at another plant said, “I personally have seen rotten meat – you can tell by odor. This rotten meat is meat is mixed with fresh meat and sold for baby food. We are asked to mix it with the fresh food, and this is the way it is sold. You can see the worms inside the meat.”
Another worker, “in the department where chicken bones were ground up and processed into chicken franks and bologna.” reported that “almost continuously, the bones had awful, foul odor. Sometimes they came from other plants and had been sitting for days. Often there were maggots on them. These bones were never cleaned off and so the maggots were ground up with everything else and remained in the final product.”
“I’ve seen birds with cancerous tumors come through regularly, sometimes all day long. While on quality control, I’d pull off those I saw, but I couldn’t possibly catch them all. Right after I’d put them in the condemn barrel, foremen would have the floor workers hang the birds back on the line.”
“Every day carcasses fall on the floor and are not trimmed before the company puts tem back on the line. Floors are filthy, covered with blood, grease, feces, pus from abscesses, and mud. A lot gets embedded into the meat from high pressure carcass sprays..”
Instead of cutting away fecal contamination and tumors, workers now use high-pressure hot water spray, which has the effect of driving contamination particles more deeply into the flesh. In hog and poultry slaughter operations, scald tanks are used;
“In the scald tank, fecal contamination on skin and feathers gets inhaled by live birds, and hot water opens birds’ pores, allowing pathogens to seep in. The pounding action of the defeathering machines create an aerosol of feces-contaminated water which is then beaten into the birds. Contamination also occurs when the birds have their intestines removed by automatic eviscerating machines. The high-speed machines commonly rip open intestines, spilling feces into the bird’s body cavities.”
Chill tanks are also used:
“Another example of high-speed contamination occurs when the chickens are immersed in the chill tank. “Water in these tanks has been aptly named ‘fecal soup’ for all the filth and bacteria floating around. By immersing clean healthy birds in the same tank with dirty ones, you’re practically assuring cross-contamination.”
“Rancid meat has been smoked to cover foul odor, or marinated and breaded to disguise slime and smell. Warm meat or sour product was added to acceptable meat then processed…. Chickens ad hams were soaked in chlorine baths to remove slime and odor, and red dye was added to beef to make it appear fresh.”
“Meat packed in boxes with fist-sized clumps of fecal matter. Pieces of lungs, rectum, and dead insects had been found as well….Maggots were breeding in transport tubs and boxes, on the floor, in processing equipment and packaging. Plant personnel shoveled food directly off the floor into edible sausage bins.”
So this is just the tip of the iceberg. When we eat animal foods for protein or some other imagined benefit, we are inevitably bringing into our psychophysical being products that are profoundly contaminated. In an attempt to reduce the risk, in February 2000 the USDA legalized applying nuclear radiation to meat products to kill the dangerous pathogens inherent in them; the long-term side effects of eating irradiated foods are unknown, but short-term studies show the possibility of creating carcinogens and mutant bacteria. Interestingly, the medical establishment has not been found protesting any of this.
My feelings are so strong that if you have to eat meat – be a smart, conscious consumer. Buy from small farming operations that treat these precious living beings with dignity and respect. If you are eating an animal that has been grain fed and NOT free-ran, I am sorry but you are eating a sick animal that has had a horrible life. Cows, Chickens, and pigs are vegetarians and need to eat greens – not the horrible grains they are feeding them. They need to be sacrificed in a proper way – these concentration camps for animals must be stopped. Just because they cannot speak – doesn’t mean they cannot feel. Animals feel pain as we do, what makes it okay to be eating these poor, tortured, abused, loving animals? Especially when there is more than enough food to go around. Educate yourself – you do not need meat for protein, this is a seriously outdated dogma that deserves an UPGRADE. Eat lower on the food chain and experience deep nourishment, emotional and physical freedom, peace, and compassion! This is just my opinion…take it as you will.