Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reasons not to Eat Meat - Growth Hormones

In an effort to produce more animals at an increased rate for human consumption, many animals have been treated with growth hormones so that they can be raised and slaughtered at an expedited rate. At the same time this  leads us to consider how these animals are raised and treated for this purpose.

The fact of the matter is that if many people saw how many of these animals were raised, they would become vegetarians on the spot. For example, egglaying chickens are often raised with six to a cage. Each chicken only receives about 67 square inches of space. These chickens are also generally treated with growth hormones as well as antibiotics to increase growth rate and decrease disease.

Free-range and certified organic chickens may receive more spacious conditions and are not fed hormones or antibiotics.

This brings us to another point. After you handle chickens it is suggested that you use bleach to clean the surfaces so that you remove bacteria. Also, chicken must be cooked at certain temperatures and for a certain period of time to ensure that you will not catch any food-borne illnesses. It does not seem wise to eat anything that has to be handled with such care.

From chickens, you can easily move into how cattle are treated. First you mustconsider dairy cattle. Dairy cattle are often given hormones that stimulate their reproductive processes so that it continues to produce milk. A cow will only produce milk after she has given birth. They often live in cramped conditions and as soon as they calve, male calves are sent to become veal while females are raised to produce milk. The hormones that the cows receive cause the cow to produce ten times more milk than they would ordinarily. At the same time, they are hooked up to electric pumps, which cause irritation to the cow’s udders.

After a certain age, we really don’t need to consume milk. At the same time, we are not designed to drink cow milk, but human milk. We don’t milk pregnant women do we? Just like our bodies were not designed to eat milk, we were not designed to drink cow milk and digest those proteins either. You can receive just as much and more calcium from green, leafy vegetables.

Many people, even by those people who eat meat regularly, have viewed the veal industry negatively. The veal industry is cruel no matter who you are and how you look at it. The calves are taken from their mothers after they are about one day old. They are then kept in pens that prevent them from moving so that their muscle tissue stays soft and tender. The calves are then fed a liquid, often containing beer, that is deficient in iron and fiber. This causes anemia in the animal and produces the pale meat. At about 20 weeks, the calf is then slaughtered.

Turkeys are also produced in an inhumane manner. The consumption of turkey has become very popular over the past few decades and it is eaten for more than just holidays. Turkeys are more aggressive birds so they are kept in a confined and dark area to discourage their aggressive behavior. They are then overfed until their legs cannot support the weight of their body. This is because Americans want the largest turkey breast they can get for their holiday celebrations. Naturally and wildly, a turkey may live up to 10 years. These turkeys are slaughtered at 2 years of age. They also suffer from foot and leg deformities, heat stress and starvation. Approximately 2.7 million turkeys die each year due to the abnormal stress and disease of this process.

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