Cows have eaten grass ever since the first cows walked the face of the Earth. This is because they are ruminants. Ruminants eat GRASS. Their digestive systems are designed specifically to digest GRASS.
What happens when you feed a ruminant grains? They gain weight really fast. That’s also what happens when you eat a lot of grains. The problem with a ruminant eating grains is that it makes them sick and quite bloated. So bloated in fact that a hose must be put down their esophagus to relieve the pressure or the cow will die. Of course this causes some amount of stress on the poor cow. The cow also becomes much more prone to disease. Stress and incorrect diet have a tendency to do that. So now we have a fat, miserable, sickly cow who is then given massive amounts of antibiotics just to keep it alive until it can get to the slaughterhouse. Millions of pounds of antibiotics are added to animal feed in the US every year. Animals get more antibiotics than people, and people get a LOT.
An interesting thing about these antibiotics is that they a) screw up the animals intestinal flora, and b) cause antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria to flourish. Even more interesting is that they do the same thing to YOU.
In a typical feedlot, the animals are crowded together, fed corn and other far grosser stuff like chicken litter (feces, feathers and bedding) blood, ground up pigs and chickens and of course “downed” animals (just guess), supplemented with antibiotics, and possibly artificial growth hormones.
Corn also causes the rumen to become unnaturally acidic which causes all kinds of problems including diarrhea, bloat, ulcers, liver disease, and weakening of the immune system that leaves the cow vulnerable to other diseases. As the acids cause deterioration of the rumen wall, bacteria enter the bloodstream and collect in the liver causing abscesses.
A corn-fed cow also has a new, acidic environment in its digestive track, unlike the alkaline environment of the grass-fed cow (its natural diet, remember?) Guess what grows well in this acidic environment?
If you guessed:
Escherichia coli 0157 (thats the one that can make people really sick or even dead)
and who wouldn’t …. ? You guessed correctly!!! Oh and there are a few more problems with corn-fed cows:
Measurable amounts of estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengesterol acetate, all hormones, are found in meat!
These chemicals do not biodegrade, they simply stay around forever causing proven sexual abnormalities in animals and humans.
OK while we’re on a roll here let’s a look at fat. Specifically the fat from a corn-fed versus a grass-fed cow.
Grass-fed cows produce 300 to 400% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a natural and very beneficial fatty acid which your body requires for many purposes, one of which is to fight inflammation. Corn-fed cows on the other hand have insignificant levels of CLA but high levels of omega-3 fat, which promotes heart disease.
Another consideration is the source of the corn, which is quite often GENETICALLY MODIFIED. I will be writing a post on this lovely worldwide experiment/disaster in the near future. It will be my adventure into the ‘horror” genre of writing and it won’t even be fiction! You might just want to switch over to organic and grass-fed now…
Do you know how much of your supermarket meat is treated with carbon monoxide? Probably not, they don’t exactly display this information prominently. Or at all. I think they forget to tell you about the irradiation too. This is to keep filthy meat from sickly cows nice and sort of sterile. Did I mention growth hormones?
All of this pertains to pigs, chickens and eggs, turkeys etc. There is also horrific cruelty involved in the production of feedlot animals. Free-range, grass-fed animals do not have these problems though. I am not trying to discourage anyone from eating meat, although most of us could cut down. Everybody must make their own personal choices here. The thing is, you want to get your meat, eggs, and dairy (milk, ice cream, cheese, etc) from FREE ROAMING GRASS-FED animals.