Supporting factory farming has massive implications on the very existence of mankind. Yes, going meatless will help the future of humanity. Do not take this lightly.
Below I have posted two articles. The first article is from 2014. It deals with concerns “critics” had regarding the widespread use of antibiotics on healthy animals. Why would the meat industry use antibiotics on healthy animals?
Simple, the quicker you can get an animal to slaughter, the higher the profit margin. Antibiotics help fatten livestock. Capitalism incentives psychopathy.
Two short years later, we have a new last-resort antibiotic resistant superbug detected in Canada.
News Report From 2014:
Reversing a lower court ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the FDA was empowered to reject two citizen challenges to its policy, which discourages but does not ban the use of penicillin and some tetracyclines in feed for chickens, cows and pigs, even if they are not sick.
Critics and some scientists say the prolonged, widespread use of the feed to promote weight gain in animals can foster “superbugs,” exposing humans who contact or eat the animals to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They said the FDA should have followed through on its 1977 proposal to ban the feed entirely.
The FDA has long since promoted voluntary limits on animal feed containing the antibiotics.
“While the agency regards the indiscriminate and extensive use of such drugs in animal feed as threatening, it does not necessarily believe that the administration of antibiotics to animals in their feed is INHERENTLY DANGEROUS TO HUMAN HEALTH.”
It’s worth noting that the factory farm system, whatever else you want to say about it, is already contributing a tremendous amount of harm to the human race in terms of its inexorable march towards the creation of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
This isn’t a theoretical issue like the idea that GMO’s might have effects we can’t yet see: this is an observable trend the CDC has been shouting about for years, only we’re not listening to them because it’s not convenient for us to do so.
I would venture to say that the harm the antibiotic practices of the factory farm industry are already doing far outstrips the only-theorized dangers of GMO’s.
News Report From 2016:
Feeding livestock antibiotic drugs could end up killing us all.
An alarming new superbug gene that makes bacteria resistant to a last-resort antibiotic has been detected in Canada, the Toronto Star reported.
MCR-1 produces an enzyme that makes bacteria invincible to colistin, a highly toxic antibiotic used only when all other drugs have failed.
MCR-1 was first reported in November by scientists in China, who published a paper in The Lancet that set off alarm bells across the globe.
But the news that really sent a shudder through the scientific community was that MCR-1 is located on a plasmid, a free-floating snippet of DNA that bacteria can easily share, thus spreading the resistance to other organisms.
“It’s clearly the biggest story to come out (in 2015),” said Lance Price, a professor of environmental health at George Washington University who studies antibiotic resistance. “There have been horrible things all year but this is the most disturbing.”
So far, there have been no reports of deaths caused by MCR-1 and some people could be harbouring the superbug asymptomatically. But the nightmare scenario is that MCR-1 will spread to more virulent bacterial strains that also carry other resistance genes — thus creating a “pan-resistant” superbug capable of defeating every antibiotic in the medicine cabinet.
The superbug gene was found in three different samples of E. coli, all previously collected for special research projects: one from a 62-year-old patient in Ottawa and two from ground beef sold in Ontario.
Meanwhile, the ground beef samples were found nearly a year apart in different locations in Ontario, a butcher shop and a grocery chain, according to Dr. Michael Mulvey, chief of antimicrobial resistance with the PHAC’s lab in Winnipeg.
Colistin, which belongs to a group of antibiotics called the polymyxins, was actually discovered in the late 1940s but was quickly shelved due to its highly toxic side effects. Pharmaceutical companies moved on to develop other, better antibiotics — but, one by one, bacteria have evolved strategies for knocking them down.
Colistin is still rarely used in human medicine because doctors want to conserve the antibiotic’s effectiveness.
But polymyxins are often given to livestock animals to prevent infections and promote growth — especially in China, one of the world’s highest users of colistin in agriculture.
In 2015, the global market for colistin in agriculture reached nearly 12,000 tonnes and is expected to rise to 16,500 tonnes by 2021, according to the Lancet paper. “That’s insane,” said Dr. Gerry Wright, a microbiologist at McMaster University and expert in antibiotic resistance.
Microbiologists like Wright, who is now studying MCR-1, would like to see polymyxins banned from agricultural use in every country, including Canada.
“Any antibiotic class used for humans should never be used for animals (unless they’re sick),” he said. “I just find it absolutely mind-boggling that we’re going into 2016 and we’re still having this discussion.
“Once the genie is out of the bottle, once they start moving around, then it becomes very, very challenging to contain. And so the question we have to ask ourselves is where’s it going to end up next.”