Cows are Injected with Antibiotics to Keep them Healthy, But How do They Get Them so Big?
Welcome to part three of The Truth about the Beef Industry.
Remember how I told you that cows could now grow to slaughter size in twelve to fourteen months? That means they can grow from 80 pounds to 1,100 pounds in fourteen months, which is almost fourteen times their size! Sounds like an Arnold Schwarzenegger transformation to me, and the only way it can be done is with the help of steroids.
Cows are injected with various combinations of hormones such as estradiol, progesterone, growth hormone, melengestero, zeranol and trenbolone acetate. These hormones not only are used to enhance weight gain but also to enhance milk production in dairy cattle and fertility. These hormones mimic the hormone estrogen, which in turn has negative effects on the cow, wildlife and human health.
Hormone Imbalance from Conventional Meat and Dairy Consumption
When humans eat meat and consume dairy from cows that have been enhanced with hormones, measurable amounts of hormones are transferred to humans. These hormones disrupt the normal balance in the body and can lead to a host of problems such as premature puberty, acne, weight gain (cellulite, belly fat, love handles), thyroid problems, falling sperm count and cancer, such as breast cancer. I would say that this is one of the biggest problems we have facing us today, as the consumption of meat and dairy have soared!
People have no idea that every bite of cheese and every piece of meat that they consume is directly causing the slew of problems they are so desperately fighting with medications, synthetic hormone replacement and weight loss programs. Your hormonal system is EXTREMELY delicate and every bite counts. These issues are rampant in our culture today and be seen in the following: girls as early as age 8 getting their period, men developing female characteristics such as breasts and women with hormone swings, cellulite and acne. Definitely not what you signed up for…
Unfortunately the problem does not stop there. We are not only exposed to hormones by directly eating conventional meat and dairy but also by drinking tap water. Synthetic hormones are excreted in the urine of livestock and that urine contaminates our water supply. Cattle produce over 1 billion, yes 1 billion tons of fecal and urine waster every year. And that billion ton of waste is full of synthetic hormones that are actually being found in our bodies of water and your tap water. Therefore, these hormones are not only disrupting the human body but our wildlife as well. Think of the frogs with 5 legs here….
Okay if I Find a Farmer and he Raises Hormone-Free Cows, Should I Eat it Then?
I do believe that some people do need some kind of animal meat once and awhile, especially if you are dealing with parasite infection, but I would suggest that people turn to organic free-range eggs (from farmer’s market) as an animal protein source if they must. The truth is that it is difficult to find meat that is truly hormone-free. While many farmers market their meat as grass-fed and hormone-free, I have spoken with many farmers directly and they will admit, that even if they promote organic, it is not always true. Therefore, my advice is to stay clear of meat and dairy.
Secondly, beef is much more difficult to digest than other foods, especially since people do not produce adequate hydrochloric acid. Beef calls for higher levels of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid than plant-foods, which most people do not produce enough of, leading to undigested food particles. Any food that is left undigested leads to a large toxic burden on the body, which manifests as a slew of symptoms including inflammation, skin disorders, allergies, chronic disease and cancer. Cancer genes have even been shown in research to be activated by animal protein in the diet. This research can be reviewed in The China Study and the movie Forks Over Knives.
Furthermore, red meat causes a lot of stress on the kidneys, which can not only lead to gout and kidney stones but also fatigue, hair loss, reproductive and bladder issues as well as a low sex drive. In addition, grain-fed beef is high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which leads to inflammation in the body and cardiovascular issues, increasing your risk for a heart attack.
Finally, raising cattle takes a huge amount of natural resources such as oil, which have great negative environmental effects that are often irreversible. These include global warming and land degradation. There are a great number of beef alternatives that will not only be better for your health but for the environment as well. You can find them my article “Vegan Protein.” To learn more about the environmental impact, check out The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Diet for a Hot Planet by Anna Lappe.
My Final Words:
Unfortunately the demand for meat as well as the profits of the industry has dictated a drastic need for hormone use. Despite its negative health effects on us and our environment, they are here to stay. So what does that mean to you? In my mind, any conventional dairy or meat is out of the question. Hormone problems are too serious, and too difficult to correct to play around with any exposure.
Therefore, I would suggest moving onto other alternatives. If you are worried about maintaining a rich nutrient profile without meat, check out these posts on Vegan protein, calcium and iron. As for B12, another important vitamin from red meat, I would suggest including nutritional yeast or a Vitamin B12 supplement. Our health is too precious to risk, and unfortunately red meat and dairy can no longer be a viable option. We will move on and enjoy other endeavors. And for all you die-hard meat lovers- please only eat grass-fed, hormone-free meat that you get directly from a farm. No cutting corners here, this is the best of a bad situation.