Standard farming practices for pigs.
This Halloween it’s not the ghouls and goblins you should be worried about…it’s the food you’re eating. That’s right! Food is definitely NOT what it used to be. The majority of the food found in grocery stores today consists of highly-processed ingredients, artificial flavors and colors, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), and pesticides. And if you’re still eating animal products, you’re also consuming antibiotics, growth hormones, and certain types of infectious bacteria, not to mention supporting cruel animal abuse.
As farmers companies work to feed the world’s ever-growing population, they are sadly missing the mark. Instead of getting back to basics like implementing organic farming techniques, planting a wide diversity of crops and switching towards more plant-based farming, these companies continue to push highly-processed foods that have been treated with chemicals and lack any real nutritional value.
Just recently researchers from John Hopkins revealed the amount of non-therapeutic antibiotics found in animal products to be of great concern to public health. This overuse of drugs within the food system is creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria or superbugs, which are difficult to treat. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2 million Americans are sickened by antibiotic-resistant infections each year and 23,000 of them die.
A prime example of this is the current salmonella outbreak, which has been linked to chicken from three Foster Farms plants in California. USDA officials have found several antibiotic-resistant strains of the disease, which have hospitalized 42% of those who have fallen ill and has spread across 20 states. And the scary part is that studies continue to reiterate the increase in salmonella and other bacteria found in grocery store meat products.
Each year approximately 65 billion land animals are killed to produce meat, eggs, and dairy, along with one trillion fish and other sea animals. Most of these animals are raised on factory farms, where they are confined, mutilated, and raised to grow so large, so quickly, that many of them literally suffer to death. Even animals raised on small family farms endure many of these abuses, and all animals raised for food face a gruesome slaughter. Not to mention the tremendous amount of waste these animals produce and the amount of fertilizers, pesticides and other harmful chemicals that are used in animal farming that contaminate the water, soil and air.
The bottom line is that these huge corporations are more concerned with their profit margins and increasing sales than they are with the health and safety of their customers. That’s why it’s up to each and every one of us, as paying consumers, to drive supply and demand. Each one of us votes everyday with our dollars as to the kinds of crops we support, the farming techniques we support, and what kind of health we promote for ourselves and our family.
It’s a scary world out there, luckily, we do have choices and we all can make a difference. So try to get back to basics the best you can by adopting a whole, plant foods, vegan diet. Buy organic as much as possible, buy local as much as possible and grow as much of your own food as possible. No one is perfect, so please don’t become frustrated or overwhelmed, take it one day at a time, one meal at a time. Your body will thank you, the animals will thank you and so will the planet. Learn more about transitioning to a vegan diet by visiting LiveVegan.org.