The Environmental Impact Of Eating Beef And — страница 2

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the form of small time-release pellets, are implanted in the animals’ ears. cattle are given estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone. The hormones stimulate the cells to produce additional protein, adding muscle and fat tissue more rapidly. Today 80 percent of all the herbicides used in the United States are sprayed on corn and soybeans. After being consumed by the cattle, these herbicides accumulate in their bodies and are passed along to the consumer in finished cuts of beef. beef now ranks number one in herbicide contamination and number two in overall pesticide contamination. Some feedlots now expiriment with adding cardboard, newspapers, and sawdust to the feed to reduce costs. Other factory farms scrape up the manure from chicken houses and pigpens and add it directly

to cattle feed. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials say that it is not uncommon for some feedlot operators to mix industrial sewage and oils into the feed to reduce costs and fatten animals more quickly. Moving beyond beef in our daily diets is a personal decision, but one that has profound and far-reaching consequences. Millions of Americans and Europeans are making personal choices to move beyond beef, or at least to cut down their consumption, and this will have a significant impact on the future of our planet and humanity.Beef consumption in the United States has dropped markedly in the past 20 years, from 83 pounds per person per year in 1975 to less than 68 pounds per person per year in 1990. Today’s dairy cow has been bred to be a milk machine, producing an

average of 15,557 pounds of milk a year, almost 40 percent more than her counterpart of just 16 years ago. while the undomesticated cow produced enough milk to feed her one or two calves, a dairy cow in a modern dairy farm produces about twenty times more milk than her calf needs. Excessive production demands, coupled with the trend toward confining cows indoors or in densely populated drylots (enclosures devoid of grass), have resulted in serious welfare and disease problems for the dairy cow. The modern dairy cow is usually artifically inseminated, pumped full of hormones and growth stimulants, and super-ovulated so she can churn out more calves, faster and faster. Cows are fed a diet geared toward high production. This diet, which is heavy in grain, is fed to species whose

digestive track is suited to roughages. High-production diets create many health problems, including severe metabolic disorders and painful lameness, which are compounded by confinement. Also, at any given time, half of U.S. dairy cattle have mastitis (a painful udder inflamation, usually caused by infection). Today’s cow is typically burned out (unable to keep up production) and sent to slaughter, for human consumption and other uses, at an average age of four years. Her natural life span would be from twenty to twenty-five years. A recent analysis by the FDA found that meat from dairy cows and their calves was the source of 60 percent of those drug and other chemical residues found in edible meats in ammounts that violated allowable limits (Dairy cows are the source for the

majority of processed beef and 26 percent of hamburger in the United States ). The government’s ability to ensure a safe milk supply has also come into question. Despite a dairy product surplus and with cows already pushed to their limits, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), a genetically engineered drug injected into dairy cows to increase milk production, has been approved for use by American dairy farmers. Embryo transfer, cloning, the creation of transgenic cows, and the engineering of cows to secrete pharmaceuticals and other substances in their milk are also under way. Another practice growing in popularity is tail docking, the removal of about two-thirds of an adult dairy cow’s tail- without use of an anesthetic. This procedure, the rationale for which is that it

keeps cows cleaner, is completely unnecessary. It also deprives the cow of her natural means of swatting flies. Newborn dairy calves are typically taken from their mothers at birth of shortly thereafter. Some female calves are kept as replacements for cows in the dairy herd. The other calves are sent to slaughter as babies, to veal farms, or to be raised for beef. Many are sent to stockyards when only one or two days old, even before they can walk. Calves in the sale/slaughter pipeline are often transported long distances, subjected to rough handling, and exposed to numerous diseases and weather extremes. They may be given no opportunity to rest or eat. Calves destined to be slaughtered at sixteen weeks old for “milk-fed” veal spend their lives in crates so narrow that they