Professor Mark Mitch
Environmental Science: Global Concern
Assignment #1: Position Paper
6 February 2015
More Meat, More Issues
Meat is no longer the ‘pure animal’ that hunters used to catch, cook and eat. Over time, our animals have been altered in several different ways, in order to benefit the people, businesses and organizations that profit from producing meat in large quantities, at a much quicker pace. Today, farmers in this industry tend to induce the animals we eat with ‘steroid like’ hormones, to intensify the growth of the animals at a much higher rate. This speeds up the process of raising these animals, and helps the farmer’s product hit the market sooner and in a much bulkier state. This means more profit for the people who run these industries. But, should this situation be all about money? The reality is, like many other businesses, income is their main interest and a priority, regardless of the risks. And in this situation the risks they are taking affect the health of the consumers, the citizens of America. Author Kathy Koch wrote, “The U.S. government has declared that genetically engineered foods are as safe as foods developed through hybridization, but critics have doubts about the safety and need for transgenic, or genetically altered animals” (Koch, 1998). For this reason we must stop the contamination of these animals with unnatural chemicals like antibiotics and hormones before they can prove to damage the health of the people who consume them.
During the 1940’s, our hungry world saw the introduction of sulfa drugs and antibiotics being forced into animals for several reasons. Sulfa drugs are also known as sulfonamides, and they are used to eliminate the chances of animals contracting diseases by terminating all the bacteria within them, and they also stimulate the animal’s growth hormones, making them bigger (Foer, 2009). This was the start of antibiotic use in animals and the creation of non-natural food consumption. From then on, hormones have powered animals and the drugs and processes changed a once natural source of food into a juiced up product that the meat market has thrived off.
One species that has been intensely modified over time is chicken. “From 1935 to 1995, the average weight of broilers’ increased by 65 percent, while their time-to-market dropped 60 percent and their feed requirements dropped 57 percent” (Foer, 2009). This has changed the ways these chickens were raised and has also altered the expenses for these industries. The increase in the size of these chickens and the decrease in time-to-raise are features that give farmers a more substantial paycheck. Since those years, synthetic drugs that are used in animals have moved on from not only chickens but to almost every edible animal that is consumed, and why not? If there are two hundred chickens instead of one hundred chickens, the production outcome is going to be much higher. So why not use as many chickens as possible for their eggs, and their meat? The more the better, right?
The hormones that are induced into these animals act as steroids that would have similar results on animals as they have on humans if injected into their bloodstream or if consumed. The animals increase in size, fat is eliminated and this is accomplished much quicker than the natural way consisting of proper food and exercise. Many people are confused about why meat industries and meat processors use hormones on animals. They wonder ‘why?’ and many other questions remain unanswered, but one fact is true. The president of Ceregen, Robert Fraley stated, “This technology will help farmers increase productivity, control costs and improve quality”. And a larger product produced at a quicker pace provides a massive increase in the money earned by the meat industries (Koch, 1998). The meat industry has been in luxury ever since these methods were introduced to animals. Do you think the meat industry is thinking of the people...
Cited: Foer, Jonathan Safran, 2009. Eating Animals. New York: Back Bay Books- Little Brown and Company. Print. 106.
Koch, Kathy. 2012. “Food Safety Battle: Organic Vs. Biotech.” CQ Researcher.
University of Utah Health Sciences. 2015. Genetically Modified Foods. Web.
Velle, Weiert. 2012. “The use of Hormones in Animal Production”. Agriculture and consumer protection. Web.
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