Some of the other well-known health concerns related to meat include the fact that it is acidic, loaded with toxins, and very high in saturated fat. Meat is a food that is by no means easy on the digestive system, which means more work for the kidneys. What this leads to is an acidic environment which weakens the immune system, making the body more prone to infections as well as contributing to chronic diseases.
On the other hand, the fact that animals are being injected with hormones and antibiotics in order to manipulate growth and make sure they survive in the terrible conditions they are bread in, means that meat is loaded up with toxins, which are naturally stored in the animal’s fat reserves. This of course suggests that it all ends up on the plates of meat eaters.
The other most popular health concern related to eating meat is heart disease, and the amounts of saturated fat one consumes with animal products are to blame for that.
All these are things the average person has possibly come across, putting aside the environmental and ethical aspects of meat consumption. But were you aware of the fact that
There Is An Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Superbug’ In Meat?
As a rule, “high-ranking public-health officials try to avoid apocalyptic descriptors. So, it’s worrying to hear those like the Director of the CDC warn of a coming health ‘nightmare’ and a ‘catastrophic threat.’” A number of prominent publications recently warned of the threat of antibiotic resistance. The CDC estimates that, at a minimum, more than two million people are sickened every year with antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States, with at least 23,000 dying as a result (See MRSA Superbugs in Meat).
We may be at the dawn of a post-antibiotic era. Achievements in modern medicine that we today take for granted, such as surgery and the treatment of preterm babies, would not be possible without access to effective treatment for bacterial infections. For example, without antibiotics, the rate of postoperative infection after a procedure like a hip replacement would be 40-50% and about one in three of those patients would die. So, the so-called worst case scenarios where resistant infections could cost $50 billion a year might still be an underestimate. “From cradle to grave, antibiotics have become pivotal in safeguarding the overall health of human societies.”
So, the dire phrasing from head officials may be warranted. There are now infections like carbapenem-resistant enterobacter that are resistant to nearly all antibiotics, even to so-called drugs of last resort. Worryingly, some of these last resort drugs are being used extensively in animal agriculture.
According to the World Health Organization, more antibiotics are fed to farmed animals than are used to treat disease in human patients. Doctors overprescribe antibiotics, but huge amounts of antibiotics are used in fish farming and other intensive animal agriculture, up to four times the amount used in human medicine. Why? “Suboptimum growth to slaughter weight caused by unsanitary conditions can be compensated with the addition of antibiotics to feed.” Instead of relieving any stressful overcrowded unhygienic conditions, it may be cheaper to just dose the animals with drugs.
In this way, factory farms are driving the growth of antibiotic-resistant organisms that cause human diseases. “This may help bolster the industry’s bottom line, but in the process, bacteria are developing antimicrobial resistance, which affects human health.”
The FDA reports that 80% of antimicrobial drugs in the United States are used in food animals, mainly to promote growth in this kind of high-density production. This can select for antibiotic-resistant bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staph aureus, or MRSA, considered a serious threat in the United States.
These industrial pig operations may provide optimal conditions for the introduction and transmission of MRSA. U.S. pork producers are currently permitted to use 29 antibiotic drugs in feed—all without a prescription. Antibiotics are currently added to about 90% of pigs’ starter feeds.
When animals receive unnecessary antibiotics, bacteria can become resistant to the drugs, then travel on meat to the store, and end up causing hard-to-treat illnesses in people.
MRSA present in retail raw meat may serve as a possible source of bacterial infections of food preparers in the food industry and the hands of consumers in the home. Once MRSA gets into our homes on meat, it can transfer to our cutting boards, knives, and onto our skin at a rate similar to the rate of transmission from touching an infected patient contaminated with MRSA.
This information alone may be a good enough reason for a meat eater to cut off their meat consumption, which will of course contribute to reducing the slaughter of innocent living beings. It certainly is worth passing on!
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