One of the biggest concerns on the part of my doctor is the foods we eat from factory farms. We talk about those farms putting the family farmer out of business, but do we really know what factory farming is?
It actually began back in 1920 when Vitamins A and D were discovered. Add these two vitamins to animal feed and they don't require sunlight or exercise for growth. This allowed large number of animals to be housed indoors in smaller spaces without sunlight or movement year round. Since the animals were so closely confined, it also insured quick spreading of diseases which was dealt with in the 1940's by the development of antibiotics.
Todays animals raised on factory farms are pumped full of antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals to increase productivity. They are confined to small cages with metal bars with artificial lighting, or no lighting at all. They are no longer animals, they are food producing machines. Chickens get their beaks seared and their toes cut so they are unable to fight. Other animal's tails and ears are docked, their teeth are cut with pliers and, of course, they're castrated. Without benefit of pain killers.
The chicken industry alone generates 6 billion whole chickens annually from 60 producers. Animals are genetically altered and bred selectively to produce bigger thighs and breasts. This creates birds so heavy that their bones can't handle the weight. They are bred to grow at such a fast rate that they reach the market weight of 3.5 pounds in just over 7 weeks. Laying hens don't have it any better.
Between 5 and 8 birds are placed in a 14 square inch cage. This, of course, causes aggressive behavior. To combat that their beaks are seared off. Chicks are separated at birth and most newborn males are suffocated in trash bags. The layer hens are subjected to constant light to encourage more egg production. At the end of their laying cycle they are either slaughtered or forced to molt by water and food deprivation, which shocks them into another layer cycle. Many birds become depleted of minerals because of this excessive egg production and either die from fatigue or can no longer produce eggs and are sent to the slaughterhouse.
Pigs, veal calves, dairy cows, you name it, the factory method will apply. Pigs kept in cages that are not large enough for them to turn around in. Veal is actually produced from the dairy industry more than from the beef industry. Bulls born to dairy herds are sent to veal crates where they're pumped full of growth hormones and the ubiquitous antibiotics. If they become upset enough to fail to eat, they're pumped with appetite enhancers like steroids to force them to eat. In the US almost 50% of the antibiotics produced is administered to animals destined for our dinner table. That scares me due to all of the super bugs we're learning about now. They mutated from over use of antibiotics.
All this animal suffering is doing is producing a food supply that isn't safe. Cage cleaning is done by automation since the animals can't be moved. How effective is that automated cleaning? Not overly effective since 51% of tested meats were found to harbor staphlococcus aureus bacteria. In the words of my doctor..."We still have to consider the food source; highly processed animal or plant source with GMO’s (genetically-modified organisms), hormones, antibiotics, fecal-laden, caged environment, saturated with herbicides, pesticides, etc." Yeah, it's not just our meat supply. It's everything we buy in the grocery stores across the US.
It's enough to make me ask myself if the increase in child behavioral problems like ADD, Autism or Aspergers Syndrome has anything at all to do with vaccines and everything to do with antibiotics in our food. How much of all of the chemicals in our food adds to our own health concerns? Is there any evidence that all these chemicals are contributing to obesity? I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it did.