Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Animal Feed - Grain or Growth Hormones?


More by this author
We usually enjoy your daily pleasures and indulgences without really considering details like their manufacturing, production, or effect on our health. But did you ever imagine that when you ate that salmon fillet last night, not only did you digest simply a fish and perhaps some seasoning, but potentially hundreds of residues of toxic and artificial animal feed?

You heard me. Over the past 50 years, there has been a huge increase in the amount of drugs that are fed to the 10 billion animals that our country alone raises annually for slaughter. Here’s a taste of what animal feed truly consists of.

Every year, about 22 million American cattle are injected with growth hormones in order to make them grow physically larger, begin milk production at earlier ages, and produce up to 100 gallons of milk a day (when a more natural amount would be 10). Some of the health effects that these hormones have on the cattle are addiction, hoof diseases, internal bleeding, open sores, deformation, udder infections and severe malnourishment.

In addition, 29 million pounds of antibiotics are used on cows, pigs, chickens and turkey every year. Millions of pounds of herbicides, insecticides, pesticides and fungicides are also fed to our livestock to ward off insects and bacteria. But wait, there’s more! The F.D.A. lists approximately 2,000 drugs approved as animal feed when there are actually more than 35,000 being used.

But how does this affect us, you might ask? Growth hormones are disrupting our natural human hormone balance, causing puberty to happen earlier in young girls, developmental issues, reproductive problems, and cancers in the colon, breast, kidney, liver and prostate. The main reason for the exponentially-growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is that humans are ingesting animals that were fed antibiotics. To top it all off? The toxic substances that we are feeding to our animals have been linked by countless studies to the skyrocketing epidemics of obesity, asthma, diabetes, ADD, ADHD and cancer.

But perhaps what someone might find to be the most repulsive substance fed to livestock is what we refer to as "rendered waste removal", which consists of – prepare yourself –ground-up dead, rotting animals, including their blood, insides and waste. "Rendered waste removal" is responsible for diseases such as Mad Cow Disease, tuberculosis, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, and Alzheimer’s. Steroids are also fed to 45% of all American pigs, despite the hyperactivity, muscle breakdown, vomiting, seizures, heart problems and death that they cause in the animals.

It is vitally important that we understand what exactly is entering our mouths with that slice of salmon. Virtually every time that we eat an animal food product, we ingest growth hormones, steroids, antibiotics, animal waste, drugs, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. We must be aware of the potentially very serious health effects of these toxic chemicals. The realization that we are often ingesting far more than just a serving of meat, poultry, fish or dairy can continue to guide us as we question our stance on the industry of animal food products.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback