“Although meat consumption has risen slightly over the past 40 years, its impact on the pocketbook is less than half of what it was in 1970, falling from 4.1 percent to 1.6 percent in 2008.”
“The majority of this cheap protein is delivered by ‘factory farms’ that house thousands of animals in confinement. These concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, produce mass quantities of food at low cost.”
So began a Chicago Tribune article. The story continued by explaining that the current cost of animal products doesn’t factor in the costs to our health, the costs the environment, or the costs to animal welfare.
Some concepts covered:
- The amount of chicken meat currently consumed would require “all of the farmland in the entire Deep South” if the chickens were allowed to live more natural lives outdoors in sunlight and pastures. It’s simply not feasible. To protect animal welfare, Americans must eat less meat.
- Factory farming “relies heavily on cheap corn and soy feed whose farming soaks up billions in [tax-payer funded government] subsidies each year.” You may not pay for it when you buy it, but you pay for cheap meat with your tax dollars.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention support new guidelines that would curb CAFOs’ use of antibiotics, citing a rise in dangerous antibiotic-resistant infections. Factory farming risks human health by fostering the spread of disease.
- CAFO excrement waste “creates toxic fumes, leaks into waterways, runs off fields and spills from lagoons and transit vehicles.” In essence, factory farming is unsustainable and bad for the planet.
- “A cheap meat supply also may affect health by encouraging people to eat more of it. Americans already eat more protein than the USDA dietary guidelines recommend” People need to cut back or cut out the animal products in their diets… or suffer the negative health consequences.
Read the whole article here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-cheap-protein–20100923,0,6328357,full.story