In Reason 2 I listed all the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
In this Reason..it’s a little different..I am going to list off why factory-farmed meat is bad for your health. I already listed off reasons why dairy is bad for your health (unfortunately) in Reason 1.
For this argument I am going to look at the health risks of factory farmed meat. All of my reasons so far have been about health..I haven’t even touched on cruelty and the environment yet.
Anyways I am not yet convinced that animals raised naturally in ideal conditions are bad for your health except for the fact that meat increases your risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and cholesterol. But.. besides that..I am all for natural organic meat from the local farm! Which is why I am currently planning on buying naturally-raised meat after I finish my 30 day vegan challenge. My friend recommended this place called Heritage Meats! All of their meat and poultry contain no hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products and are naturally-raised. http://www.heritagemeatsgourmet.com/content/index.php
Truth be told..I don’t think I can live without meat and I am very grateful that due to many others who have made the conscious choice to stop buying factory-farmed meat, many places now do have a third option. First option is to either go vegetarian or vegan. Second option is to continue to buy factory-farmed meat. And the third option is to buy naturally-raised meat. The closer we are to the way things were made to be, the less problems we have to face. But the further we move away from the natural order of creation and life and the more disconnected we become as a people towards these things.. the more consequences we have face. And these consequences are not small unfortunately. According to the Centers for Disease Control, food-borne disease causes 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. That is one quarter of all Americans that are suffering because of this problem. We love to make a mess of things and we are all responsible for the consequences related to this issue. We can’t simply point our fingers to the systems in place. It’s supply and demand. We wanted more of it. And I’m sure nobody intended for these things to happen. But does ignorance ever justify or change the end?
Anyways..here is a list of health risks related to factory-farmed meats versus naturally-raised meats.
1. Factory-farmed: Rather than doing something about the conditions that these animals are in (stressed, confined, unsanitary, crowded) they give the animals a lot of antibiotics (i mean a lot..scientists believe that 70% of US antibiotics are given to animals in factory farms) to fight off the infections and diseases and to stay alive long enough till they are sold for food. Then we eat that..we already know too many antibiotics is not good for you and increases antibiotic-resistance bacteria. Not only do we consume this meat but the antibiotic resistant bacteria from the animals are passed into the manure and fields and gets into the rivers resulting in widespread antibiotic resistant bacteria that are constantly increasing in number. So even if we do not eat meat we are still affected by the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are increasing in number outgrowing the antibiotics we have available to us which we need for certain health situations.
2. Factory farmed animals are fed cattle grain and corn which are not natural to their diet. Like I mentioned there are natural consequences when we move away from the way things were meant to be. There is a reason why things are made a certain way (which is why we need guidelines and boundaries).
As a result..we have more fatty beef increasing health risks such as heart disease and high cholesterol. Also the grain must be mixed with antibiotics and other additives to decrease the incidence of bloat and acidosis in the animals. Some animals die as a result and others cannot get up.
Naturally raised cows move around and graze as they are intended to do. Their bodies are designed to work this way and therefore do not require antibiotics and chemicals to fight off the diseases related to feeding them an unnatural diet. Because they are digesting the foods in the way their bodies are meant to we get higher nutritional value in our meats. They are also grazing on wild grasses, shrubs, clovers, herbs, and of course they contain nutrients and micronutrients.
As a result there is way more healthy omega 3 in naturally raised cows, higher B-vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K, and trace minerals including magnesium, calcium, and selenium.
3. Factory farmed animals are given growth hormones for the animals to gain weight resulting in higher fat content and a range of chemical contaminants whereas naturally raised obviously are not given any growth hormones. As a result naturally raised meat are leaner, have higher omega-3 (the good fatty acids essential for good health) and CLA fats that help to fight disease.
4. Due to the stress factory animals face the meat fibers are tense when slaughtered and the glycogen (stored in the muscles for energy to move around) is not used up due to the confined conditions. The glycogen then does not have a chance to become lactic acid which is what creates the higher quality tender tasting meat in naturally raised animals. I know this is not a health concern..however the quality of the food can definitely be a deal breaker for some.
5. Disease, broken limbs, bleeding, pus pockets, tumors, being covered in urine and excrement. I don’t know..but I can’t see how it can be good for your health.
Like I said the good news is many places now do have alternatives. If you can’t go completely vegetarian, buy naturally-raised meats. Then once the demand decreases, either the factory farms are going to have to make drastic changes or shut down. Improvements are still better than nothing but I still stand on moving closer to the way things were made to be. We as a people need to be more connected to one another and to our earth.
“On the old family farms, pigs and cattle and chickens were raised for food, but they were free for a time; they mated, raised piglets, calves and chicks and were protected by the farmers…. They had a life. On industrial farms, they don’t.”
Conservative commentator Fred Barnes in the Wall Street Journal